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Meg Cabot – Proposal

May 12, 2017

16. Proposal by Meg Cabot (2016)
The Mediator, Book 6.5

Read my review of book:
1. Shadowland
2. Ninth Key
3. Reunion
4. Darkest Hour
5. Haunted
6. Twilight

Length: 149 pages
Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Mystery

Started/Finished: 05 May 2016

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I wanted to keep things in order before reading the new Mediator book.

How can a girl have
a nice Valentine’s Day when
she’s pestered by ghosts?

Summary: Suze knew that this Valentine’s Day wasn’t going to be the best – her boyfriend Jesse is four hours away at med school – but she wasn’t prepared for how bad it could really be. First off, she starts the evening in a cemetery, dealing with a recently-deceased young man who doesn’t take kindly to Suze’s accusations that he killed his girlfriend. Next, she inadvertently sets the now-murderous ghost against the mourning cousin of the dead girl. Then she accidentally discovers that Jesse was planning to propose, causing that to go horribly wrong as well. Can Suze save the living boy, mediate the dead one, and smooth things over with Jesse, all in a single night?

Review: My main issue with this short story was that it felt strangely unanchored in time. Or, not unanchored, exactly, but the original books were set in the mid-to-late 90s, and only 4 or 5 years are supposed to have passed in the chronology of the storyline, but this story is clearly set in the 2010s, so I had a vague sense of cognitive dissonance throughout.

The mystery that’s in the background of this story was pretty good, but the main emotional conflict of the plot – Suze’s refusal of Jesse’s proposal – felt contrived; she had no clear reason to refuse him other than to create drama. Suze’s college roommates were not particularly well developed, and felt more like caricatures rather than characters, but at least they were new, in the realistic way that people meet new people during college – something definitely missing from the following book.

Overall this was, like the rest of the series, a fun and quick read, although not long enough to be particularly well developed in terms of characters or plot. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: A cute story, and a good appetizer for the book following it (although it doesn’t really explain Jesse’s backstory well enough to be stand-alone), but it’s not essential reading if you just want to focus on the main series books.

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