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Saturday, July 02, 2005
by Meg Cabot #20

This is number six in Meg Cabot's Mediator series. I love Meg Cabot's YA books - particularly this series and the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU books. (pay no attention to the terrible Lifetime Television series made out of the latter - it is just the sort of thing that one of Cabot's characters would make fun of.) Both of these series were originally written under the pseudonym Jenny Carroll that the very (VERY!) prolific Cabot used for her supernatural novels. Now that she has lots of recognition from her Princess Diaries books, I am guessing her publishers decided they could make even MORE money by using her real name. Whatever- that is not really important. This book has been a couple years coming. I keep being afraid that she will quit these entirely to write Princess Diaries XXVI: Princess Gets a Haircut, but fortunately for me that hasn't happened yet.

The Mediator books focus on Suze Simon, a 16 year old transplanted New Yorker who now lives in Carmel, CA with her mother and step-family. Suze is a mediator - someone who can communicate with the dead and help them to "the other side." This, as one might imagine, causes any amount of trouble for a teenager. Of all of Cabot's books, the Mediator ones remind me the most of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (in a good way). We have the super-powered teen who can't tell her family (Suze/Buffy), the mentor who knows her secret (Father Dom, Giles), her Scooby pals (CeeCee and Adam/ Willow and Xander), and her otherworldly boyfriend (Jesse/ Angel). It all maps pretty well in my opinion. BUT, since Buffy is no longer on the air, and maybe because it is good to move on and stay fresh, there was a new wrinkle introduced in the last Mediator book (#5) - another mediator who may or may not be working on the same side as Suze. And in Twilight, Cabot changes it up even more, making this either a transition book (my hope) or a good place to leave it (NOOOOOOO!). I don't want to give too much away. At first I was sorry that there wasn't more of Cee Cee, Adam, and Suze's step-brothers. They were present but not as involved in the action as usual. But that gave me time to learn about some new characters that I am sure will be featured in the future. She certainly kept me going and actually tied it up in a way that felt both surprising and inevitable. I love it when that happens, and I hope she continues on with these characters.
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