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Meg Cabot – Remembrance

May 13, 2017

38. Remembrance by Meg Cabot (2016)
The Mediator, Book 7

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

Length: 400 pages
Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Mystery

Started: 20 July 2016
Finished: 21 July 2016

Where did it come from? From the publishers for review.
Why do I have it? I devoured the original six Mediator books when I discovered them a decade or more ago; I was excited to see what Suze and Jesse had been up to in the meantime.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 08 February 2016.

Having your boyfriend
no longer be a ghost should
make things easy, right?

Summary: Suze Simon is a mediator – someone who can see and hear Non-Compliant Dead Persons, and convince them to move on, by any means necessary. During high school, she fell in love with Jesse, an NCDP who had haunted Suze’s bedroom since his death 150 years ago, but their relationship is on much more solid ground now that he’d been restored to his body. They’re engaged, but waiting until Jesse’s on more stable financial footing before they get married — which wouldn’t be an issue, except that Jesse also was raised in a time when sex had to wait for marriage as well. The strain that that decision causes in their relationship is worsened when Paul Slater approaches Suze with a proposition: he’s purchased the house that Jesse haunted and is planning to tear it down, thus unleashing the horrors of a ghost whose home is destroyed, unless Suze agrees to give him a chance to win her back. But Paul isn’t the only problem Suze has to deal with – there’s also an angry and violent ghost that’s attached to one of the girls at Suze’s former high school, and in order to help her, Suze might have to solve a decades-old murder.

Review: enjoyed the main Mediator series when I originally read it (and all of the subsequent times I’ve re-read it), so while it’s a little bit odd to get another installment of a series that was completed almost 15 years ago, I wasn’t complaining. This installment was one of the better ones in the series, too, despite a few things (and people) (read: Paul Slater) that were pretty annoying.

I’ll start with the least annoying, and work up to the most. There’s a definite sense of “even though it’s six years later, everyone you knew in high school is still around, and you’ve met no one new in the interim.” There’s a few new characters, most notably Suze’s step-nieces, but basically, everyone from the earlier books crops up again, although for the most part Cabot does find reasonable excuses to reintroduce old characters. (There are also Suze’s college roommates who show up in the intervening novella, but they’re absent from this book except for a brief passing mention.) Cabot also continues her habit of having a running “joke” and beating it into the ground over the course of the book; this time it was in regards to Suze swearing too much, although everyone was extremely scandalized by her use of things like “hell” and “damn”, which made the repetitiveness of the gag even dumber.

Which brings us to Paul Slater. He’s still as gross and sociopathic and rapey as ever, although he’s now a little more childish than he seemed in the earlier books. And Suze is still dumb about “oh I can’t tell Jesse because he’ll get angry and murder Paul and he’ll go to prison now that he’s not a ghost.” Which: YOU ARE TRAINING TO BECOME A THERAPIST YOU THINK YOU WOULD HAVE AT LEAST HEARD SOMETHING ABOUT HONESTY AND ITS IMPORTANCE FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS BY NOW AAAAARRRRGH. Because, seriously: Be a grown up, and trust your damn fiancé (who is, in one way of thinking, 170-odd years old) to be the same. But the good news is that at least Suze has stopped giving in to Paul, and stopped being all “well he’s assaulting me but he’s least he’s cute and interested in me so I probably shouldn’t knee him in the groin or at least verbally shut him down” that bothered me so much in the early books. Stalking is not romantic! (And I think Suze has finally figured that out.)

All that complaining aside, this was an enjoyable book – and for different reasons than I enjoyed previous books in the series. My favorites of the earlier books were those that focused most on Jesse’s past, and on Suze and Jesse’s relationship. In this book, although some of those parts of were good, what I found most interesting was the murder mystery. I think that’s a good direction for this series to go… in previous books, although some had some mystery elements, they were more “what’s keeping this ghost from moving on”, and less “why is this ghost dead in the first place”. And while I don’t know that this book would necessarily satisfy a true mystery buff, I did enjoy the added complexity that solving the murder added to this book’s plot.

So, all in all, this book was fun and pretty fluffy, just like I’d hoped, and not as infuriating as I’d feared when Paul Slater reappeared. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: This book could be read without having read the first six books – Cabot recaps important previous plot points pretty well, and this book is otherwise mostly self-contained, although because she’s recycling characters, she doesn’t spend a ton of time on character development of the secondary characters. (For example, if you hadn’t read the previous books, Father Dom’s role in this story wouldn’t have quite the oomph.) But they’re all fun, fast reads, perfect for travel or beach or lazy afternoons or any other time you need a little bit of brain candy.

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