Remembrance by Meg Cabot
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Paranormal
For Fans of: The Mediator series, Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries, Ghost Whisperer
My Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
You can take the boy out of the darkness.
But you can’t take the darkness out of the boy.
All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva).
But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight.
From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child, to ghosts of a very different kind—including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is certain must have come from the Devil himself—Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night.
Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past—including one she found nearly impossible to resist—strike first?
What happens when old ghosts come back to haunt you?
If you’re a mediator, you might have to kick a little ass.
I am disappoint
Look, I’m not going to tell you that I didn’t enjoy this. That would be a lie. I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the original series when I reread it last week. Thaaaat’s not necessarily a good thing.
I read the original series (books 1-6, for those of you who don’t know) a decade ago. 2004!Gabrielle would have loved the socks off this book, because at that time, my standards very ridiculously low. I would have devoured it, salivated over Meg Cabot’s writing, and Suze and Jesse’s characterizations. 2016!Me knows better.
I’ve learned and accepted that Meg Cabot writes a little bit like how I think. I tend to get easily distracted and wind up telling stories within stories and then coming back to my original point. It confuses strangers to no end. Friends and family find it amusing, and patiently let me do my thing. And this is exactly how Cabot’s main characters narrate – in fragmented sentences/thoughts, spliced together haphazardly.
And, alright, for the most part that works. It’s her thing – every writer has that little something that makes them unique, and this is Cabot’s. But does that mean the writing is stellar? No, it does not. But it’s entertaining, and that’s what count.
As for the Suze and Jesse’s characterization? Well…
They haven’t grown. Sure, they’re physically older, but for the most part, they were the same old Jesse and Suze we’d gotten used to in the original series. And considering that this book was set 6 years after the evens of the last book, this is not okay.
Comparatively, Jesse underwent more character change than Suze did, but I can’t say it was all good. It was like the dude went backwards. Like, listen, Jesse’s been around Suze waaay to long to be as old-fashioned as he was. SPOILER: [I mean, that whole premarital sex issue? Completely bogus. Especially considering how he did a complete 180 at the end and had sex with her anyway. What hell was that about? It’s only allowed when it’s on YOUR terms, Jesse? Nuh-uh. A Jesse who’d undergone proper character growth would have never done that. Jesse’s not that selfish.]
And don’t even get me started on the whole macho-man shtick. What the heck. When did Jesse de Silva turn into a cringe-worthy hero from straight out of a bodice ripper? Original!Jesse was protective, sure, but he always knew that Suze could take care of herself. This whole, “I don’t want my woman in danger” bullcrap? Yeah, no, it needs to go away by the next book. BYE.
AND PAUL. Why the FUCK is Paul back? (No, I am NOT putting a dollar in the swear jar)
No, no, no, no. Listen to me. Paul was done as a villain. He and Suze got the perfect ending in Heaven Sent (or whatever the heck the US version of that book was called). He realized that he didn’t love her the way Jesse loved her, and they called a truce. They shook on it. That should have been the end of it.
But nooooooo. Paul had to somehow pop back into Suze’s life, spouting nonsense about how Jesse has a demon inside of him ???? like… what? ??
Paul made zero – say it with me, ZERO. ZIP. ZILCH – sense as a villain. It was just lazy writing. I expected better of you, Cabot. We deserved better.
When you’re told that a series you loved as a kid is getting a revival, you expect great things. I expected growth and development, I expected a meatier story and new plotlines. But I didn’t get any of that.
What I will say is that it’s nice to see Suze not hating her stepbrothers anymore. In that department, yes, the characters have grown. It’s one of the few things that’s giving me hope for the rest of the series. I mean, if DOPEY could grow, maybe Suze and Jesse can too.
This was entertaining as hell. It’s filled with the Meg Cabot flair that we all know and love. But there’s a lot of room for improvement. I’ve got my fingers crossed for the next books (if there are any set to come out, I’m not sure). Don’t let me down, Cabot.