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The Mediator #1


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Suze is a mediator -- a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won't leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn't seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations. But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it's not that easy. There's a ghost with revenge on her mind ... and Suze happens to be in the way.

287 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published November 1, 2000

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About the author

Jenny Carroll

12 books257 followers
A pseudonym of Meg Cabot, under which she wrote the first 4 1-800-Where-R-You books (When Lightning Strikes, Code Name Cassandra, Safe House, and Sanctuary) and the first 4 Mediator books (Shadowland, Ninth Key, Reunion, and Darkest Hour). These 8 books have been re-released under her her real name.

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5 stars
26,692 (38%)
4 stars
23,676 (34%)
3 stars
13,789 (20%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,750 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.4k followers
March 16, 2019
Re-read 4/24/17: This series is still perfect after all this time. It is mega cheesy and I probably wouldn't recommend it to someone to pick up for the first time nowadays, but as a nostalgic re-read, this was PERFECTION. Can't wait to carry on and re-read the rest of the series.

Re-read 11/23/15: 5 stars for nostalgia and a rip-roarin' good time. I love this series so damn much. Yes, it's cheesy and a little dated, but it is still absolute perfection. Love love LOVE.
June 30, 2016

But even on the ninth floor of Bellevue-which is where they lock up the crazy people in New York-I probably wouldn't be safe from the ghosts. They'd find me.
They always do.

Alright so, it appears that everyone wanted to like my pre-review of fangirlish relations to when I was younger...so I don't see a large point in writing a long-winded review when it seems everyone has mostly stopped by and saw all they wanted to see. But, along with those youngish nostalgic ramblings, I did want to say why I loved-and still love-this series.

It's not often a person can look back at a book they read in middle school and say they still love it and it's almost just as good as they remember. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Maybe I love it so much I'm blind to the fact that it is a little youngish. Maybe it really is just as good as I think it is. Maybe I am biased because I truly believe this author is a witty, sarcastic, and wonderful writer. Or maybe I'm just biased for Jesse. And Suze. I don't know, and frankly, who the fuck cares?

"Oh, Suze. Not again."

This series shaped a large chunk of my pre-teen years and gave me countless months, years, whatever of pining and wanting and dreaming of the beautiful Jesse. And, admittedly, my funny story for this is that I read book five first. ME. CHELSEA. The girl who hates spoilers and disorder and messing with the integrity of books. But I guess this just goes to show you that if you are a good author, you can make anything work.

I was OBSESSED with that fifth book, Haunted, and wanted nothing more than for Jesse and Suze's story to continue. Little did I know, after a little bout of research at the local bookstore (aahhh the good old brick and mortar days) that I had missed four books before!! Imagine how excited I was. I mean, really. Plus, there was yet another book coming! Hey, don't judge me too harshly. It's not like I had GR to jump onto so I could see (Mediator #5)! And it certainly didn't show on the book's spine, I'll tell ya that much.

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"Yeah," I said. "Yeah, this is my room now. So you're going to have to clear out."
"I'm going to have to clear out?" He raised one black eyebrow. "This has been my home for a century and a half. Why do I have to leave it?"

But in some weird way....I think that's why I loved this series so much. It was developed and Jesse was in full-blown swoon mode and Suze was funnier than ever-and hey, there was lots of jelly at this point...me likes the jelly boys. So, you know, maybe my little heart needed this one first. *Shrugs* I dunno.

Just before I fell asleep again, I thought I heard something besides the owl. It sounded like someone singing the words Oh, Susannah, now don't you cry for me, 'cause I come from Alabama with this banjo on my knee.
But that, I'm sure, was just my imagination.

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Witty, light-hearted, fun, fast-paced, and humorous, I will never get tired of reading about Suze's escapades as a mediator. I mean really, who gets to have a sexy, mysterious ghost boy as a roommate? Certainly not I....but I sure would have loved to have had a Jesse of my own.

For more of my reviews, please visit:


Oh. My. GOD guys....that moment when you realize a childhood favorite is better than anything you remember and you get three times the feels because you can ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND IT BETTER and appreciate your young childhood BBF in the way he deserves AGHHHH.

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Sometimes it feels like coming home when you pick up a book again...and that's all you can really ask for. Those feels, they are unlike anything you've ever felt. SO unreal. And so worth it to re read these masterpieces from my childhood.



Ahhhh nostalgiaaaaaaaa ♥


O.m.g. My favorite book series EVER from when I was in middle school is being made into a movie! You know how many times I wished that would happen 10 or more years ago?! I used to pick out songs that would make up the soundtrack.

I will be there! Hope they don't ruin it!
246 reviews18 followers
December 14, 2007
I’ve developed a really bad habit: book cheating.

Until recently, I’ve had impeccable reading etiquette. I never flip to the end of the book. I don’t cheat to see if the lovers reconcile or to discover who the murderer is. Instead, I read from cover to cover. It’s only right.

But lately I’ve found myself cheating. I can’t help it—it’s those pesky young adult serials I’ve been reading. They simply aren’t good enough to justify reading the whole series, but they are interesting enough that I want to know what happens. So I’ve started looking online to discover how the series end. I know, shameful.

I never should have started three YA series in one week. Such an overdose could only be dangerous. The latest culprit: Meg Cabot’s The Mediator series. I just finished the first book, Shadowland, and I had to know what happened to the protagonist, Suze, so I cheated.

Suze is a “mediator.” Basically, she is a teen Ghost Whisperer. I confess I have watched—and even enjoyed—the TV series, so I was a bit intrigued by the idea of a teenage girl who both sees ghosts and helps them “cross” to the other side.

The premise is interesting, and the book is a fairly entertaining read. However, it is not entertaining enough to persuade me to read the other five books in the series.

On the other hand, Suze happens to share her bedroom with a nineteenth-century-hottie-cowboy ghost. How could I not cheat to find out how the ghost and the teenage girl progress romantically?

Clearly, the cure to my problem is no more young adult serials.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
513 reviews305 followers
June 7, 2016
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner !

Beware spoilers ahead!

When I was younger I was a fan of Meg Cabot. As far as I was concerned she could do no wrong and that all her books were fantastic! Last year I discovered that it's not true. I found out that I didn't like her contemporary books. But I still immensely enjoyed her paranormal/supernatural books. This year I remembered this series and was happy to find that my library has it! I am happy to say that I enjoyed this!

The book begins with Suze mentioning the differences between New York and California. Her mother has gotten remarried and they had to shift to California because Andy her step dad owns a business there. Suze actually likes Andy and she doesn't mind Dopey, Sleepy, and Doc (her nicknames for her step brothers) but she doesn't like the fact that they had to move. Suze doesn't share these thoughts with her mother. Andy makes her mother very happy and Suze is okay with that.

Her new family take her home. On the way there she notices again how different Cali is from New York. While they are talking it comes out that the school she'll be attending is a very old building. As is there house. After hearing this Suze starts to freak out because she doesn't like old buildings.

When they get to the house Suze tries to remain calm. Andy has put a lot of work into the house and has tried to make it comfortable for her. Once they reach Suze's room she sees a guy sitting at her window seat. Only the rest of her family don't see him. Suze can see ghosts and usually there are more ghosts in old buildings.

I seriously did not expect to enjoy Shadowland this much! It was so much fun! This book is written in first person told in Suze's point of view. It takes place over the course of a few days.

I loved Suze. She is definitely my favourite Meg Cabot character! She was smart and a bit of a hot-head. She was tough and could handle a fight just fine.It was interesting to read about her experience with ghosts. And how the mediator stuff works. Throughout this book Suze trying to help people ends up being a bit reckless. She never accepts anyone's help she goes solo. Throughout the book she decides to work with other and that it isn't so bad.

The relationships were awesome! I loved how close Suze was with her mother and that she didn't mind her step father. It's nice to read about a good step parent. While Suze isn't close to any of her brothers in the beginning of the book she does develop a good relationship with Doc. It was so sweet reading about! It wasn't always rainbows and sunshine but they were there for each other.

The little I read about Cece and Adam was nice. I liked Father Dom and Jesse. Father Dom is the principle (and a priest) of the school that Suze attends. Much to her surprise he is also a mediator and does offer to train her. He was a nice mentor. Jesse was a bit clueless but sweet. This does take place in a few days so there isn't really any romance. Suze does consider Jesse good looking but at the moment they're just friends.

The plot was pretty good. Heather was realistic. There are definitely girls like her. It was also nice to for a change that Suze didn't like her powers. But that didn't mean that she was rude to people she still did all her ghostly duty without a lot of complaints. I admire her for that.

I only had two problems with Shadowland. There were times when Suze would talk about how good looking Jesse that it would become annoying. And while I understood why she did so there were times when I felt it wasn't necessary. Also I find it very weird that in a matter of a day Suze is very popular. Yes she did save one of the students and threaten to break another students fingers, I don't think it's possible to get popular that fast. Nonetheless I enjoyed this!

Overall this was a really good book! I recommend this series to anyone looking for a completed fantasy that it more focused on the character development.
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,107 reviews6,571 followers
January 25, 2016
THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN! I'm just obsessed with Meg Cabot and I think this will end up being another one of my favourite series! Thanks to Chelsea for introducing me to this series and for buddy reading this with me! <3
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
855 reviews453 followers
July 27, 2016
Why on Earth haven't I read this sooner? SO.MUCH.FUN.

I love Meg Cabot and her Princess Diaries are basically the synonym for my elementary school period. However, I didn't particularly like her Heather Wells series, so I was kind of wary when I first started reading this book. BUT HOLY MACARONI. I loved it. I loved Suze & Jesse, Father D, her step-brothers, the story, the very Meg Cabot writing, the humor, the action... It was extremely fun reading about Suze's adventures and just her awesome kick-ass personality. Oh... Jesse's a cutie pie. A hot cutie pite, though. Go get it Susannah. ♥
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,997 reviews1,636 followers
July 12, 2022
It has been a really long time since I've read this, but it crossed my path recently and I thought it was about time. It was a good thought.

This is an introductory book where we establish some of the paranormal rules Suze is facing. And we meet the core secondary characters and community. Rereading this, I remembered how much I loved Father Dominic and his steady kindness and good sense. Catholic priests tend to get such short shrift in fiction that it's refreshing to see one standing tough when needed, but never losing his core kindness along the way.

And I immediately remembered why I liked Suze so much. She's such a straight-forward paladin that she was bound to end up close to my heart. I particularly liked her interactions with her new step-brothers, most notably the youngest, Dave. He's such an earnest little guy and having someone notice and engage with him is obviously thrilling. And Suze takes that with a little teen negligence, but a lot of kindness as well.

In this one, Jesse is still mostly mysterious. He's his own version of kind and he's very attractive, not least as he doesn't brood (as his type of hero would otherwise be prone to do).

This is still a solid five stars, though the plot is thinner than I remembered. I can't wait for the next, only, I think we start getting the rich idiots and I'm definitely not looking forward to that upcoming nonsense.

A note about the Audiobook: The audiobook was workmanlike, though it's sad the narrator, Johanna Parker, seemed uninterested in accents. There should have been a broad mix with Suze and her mother native New Yorkers, the surrounding cast are upper-class California coasters, and Jesse should be dipped lovingly in nineteenth-century Spanish. A real missed opportunity, I think.

A note about Chaste: Suze is only sixteen and a transplant at a new school. And while she consciously projects tough-girl vibes, she isn't the kind of tough-girl who is interested in sexual conquest. There isn't any dating, or kissing, or anything more than some mild noticing of hot guys. So this is the extreme end of the Chaste category.
Profile Image for Gergana.
227 reviews399 followers
September 14, 2016

Fanarts and random images included! Yey!

Disclaimer: Rereading and reviewing some of my old-time favourites. First read in 2010, last reread in Summer, 2016

1. This is a review for the first (6 books). The new book that was published earlier in 2016 will be reviewed separately.
2. No spoilers are included.
3. This series has many many many many flaws, avoid if you're not a fan of YA by all cost!
4. My logic is purely emotional (as usual), you might want to check a few more reviews.

Ahhh, 2010 - the year when people were still waging wars over who should hook up with Bella from Twilight, panicking over which vampire book they should read next, or wondering whether they should just move on something more serious (such as fallen angels). And there was one website that offered the solution to all our problems...



The books follow Suze, an extroverted and mischievous teenager about to start her new life in beautiful, sunny California, along with her mum, step dad and three step brothers. New house, new school and a new roommate...who happens to be dead. Yep, Jesse, a hot "young" cowboy with KILLER ABS (as we are kindly reminded a thousand times by our protagonist) politely refuses to vacate her bedroom, mainly because he doesn't know where else to go and he doesn't want to leave the only person who can actually see and communicate with him. As creepy as this sounds, Jesse is a very old-fashioned gentleman so he never really abuses Suze's privacy. Just go with it.

Suze is a Mediator, a person who can talk with ghosts and help them move to ...to... to whatever follows after death. If she's lucky, all our heroine needs to do is help the dead person complete their unfinished business and she's free to lead a normal life, worrying about boyfriends and school. Most of the cases, however, involve murder mysteries, vengeful ghosts and dangerous psychopaths.




Witty, fast-paced, humorous, filled with action, mysteries, ghosts and romance (of a sort), extreme cheesiness that makes me giggle, easy to follow writing style and descriptions that would make you feel like you're on a beach in California. These books are super innocent, non-pretentious, rather simple and, although I first read them in my early twenties, I found myself thoroughly enjoying them once more.

Yes, the plot isn't anything phenomenal, yet, it's interesting enough to finish all six books in less than two week(Plus, they're really short.)

Yes, the characters can be on-dimensional and predictable (with a few exceptions), but they still manage to be charming and entertaining.

The "romance" was...ok, I suppose. I couldn't really connect to Suze, but Jesse was cute :D


There are series that you can reread a hundred times and each time the experience will only get better and better.The Mediator series, unfortunately, wasn't one of those series. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot that makes these 6 books highly enjoyable, but I've become super fussy when it comes to YA books featuring horny teenage girls with special snowflake syndrome and complete lack of brains. (I blame age and too many awesome books).

It takes four books for Suze to start acting... "maturely", to stop relying on Jesse to save her, to stop drooling over his abs and to start taking this mediating business more seriously. 4 books can be a long time. In addition, she can be rather dislikable, easy to anger, mean and seriously self-centred...seriously...

The writing style can become rather annoying and repetitive. Especially since we're in Suze head all the time and she isn't the brightest person around.

Of course, we are all entitled to our own opinion.



If you're looking for short, cosy read, to take your mind away from everyday life, if you don't want to read anything complicated and detailed at the moment, if you just want to have fun and a good laugh, feel free to give The Mediator series a go.

Me, personally, I doubt I'll be rereading these any time soon. Nevertheless...

...Jesse's so cute!


If you're looking for some good ghost books, check if these will be any good for you:

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1) by Jonathan Stroud - One of my favourites! Set in an alternative world where Great Britain has been infested by ghosts and the only people who can fight them are children wielding rapiers, chains and all kinds of gadgets. First book is mildly scary, but by the third book I was absolutely terrified!

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1) by Kendare Blake - didn't finish this one (lost interest around second half), but from what I can remember, it was really dark and scary.

The Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1) by Kelley Armstrong - if you're looking for another YA series, this one might be worth checking out. Includes all kinds of paranormal creatures (werewolves, magicians etc.). Slight warning though - the pacing is really slow and the ending is a little bit...disappointing.
Profile Image for Sara (sarawithoutanH).
512 reviews3,461 followers
February 6, 2018
I decided I wanted to reread this book series because it was one of my all-time favorites when I was in high school. I'm not sure if a new reader would enjoy it now, but I still loved it. It's pretty much classic teen chick lit, and a fun, breezy read. If you like spunky main characters that fight ghosts, you might like this.
Profile Image for Sharon.
506 reviews272 followers
May 19, 2018
I have been dyingggg to read this (pardon my pun LOL) ever since I finished Cabot’s Heather Wells series. She once again manages to write such a fun, well-rounded series!

Here are some of my thoughts:
• The protagonist, Suze, is confident and not afraid to speak her mind and talk back to bullies. I love that. It is so funny to see her interact with other people. Usually I would think the “new kid in school” would feel shy, but on the very first day, she stood her ground and was just herself. So props to that. Also, I appreciate that she is family-oriented. Some of my favorite scenes are just seeing her interact and grow closer to her new stepfather (who is so kind) & stepbrothers. And even though she was sulking in the beginning about changing school and being in a whole new state, you can tell how she genuinely wants her mom to be happy and that overpowers anything else. Really strong family theme, which I adore.
• In particular, her twelve-year-old brother, Dave, is such a sweetie. I am glad to see Suze warm up to him. It is cute how he wants to make her happy and comfortable.
• Besides the family theme, there is also a friendship theme (although not as strong as the family theme). Suze is really respectful and nice with them. I am glad this is not one of those silly, cliché stories where the new girl struggles between choosing friends who accept her but are considered “freaks” and the popular crowd. There is no struggle here. She did not once consider dumping her friends just because she got the attention of the popular crowd. She was just like “Oh. You guys didn’t get invited to her party? That’s cool, I’m not going anymore because who else am I going to talk to?” Props to not having unnecessary drama and finally seeing a level-headed, down-to-earth protagonist. Good role model.
• I can’t wait to see how her relationship will change with the other 2 stepbrothers who she is not close as close with.
• I like Jesse. The way he banters with Suze and they have a love-hate thing going on is cute. Curious to see how her relationship will evolve with him as well.
• Her camaraderie with the priest is so funny and cute. I am glad that she has someone to talk to about being a mediator.
• I appreciate that this book is primarily about Suze seeing her new home and school, and learning to accept her new life here. She adjusted to it quite swimmingly.

Overall, it is just a really fun storyline with a truly likable heroine. Because this is a pretty long series, I can’t wait to dive in and become more addicted (hopefully).

Things that you might want to know (WARNING: Spoilers below)
Happy/satisfying ending?
Love triangle? Cheating? Angst level?
Favorite scenes?
What age level would be appropriate?
299 reviews139 followers
April 2, 2018
Firstly, let me just say, I doubt you’ll ever read a bad review of a Meg Cabot book from me. I love the woman (her blog is hilarious). In fact, I have a whole (rather pink) bookshelf dedicated to all of her books that I own, which, I’ll admit now, is pretty much most of them. If I’m looking for a great, fun, story, likeable heroines (and a tension filled romance with a ridiculously attractive guy), Meg Cabot never lets me down. I’ll buy her newest book as soon as it comes out, without waiting for the paperback and devour it the same day.

The Mediator series is one of my favourites. I read them all in less than a week over the Easter break way back when. Sadly, nowadays, my well-loved copies are starting to fall apart. I do intend to eventually review each book in the series, six in total for you guys, but for now, here’s my review on the first book, Shadowland.

Meg Cabot’s heroines are always a perfect blend of sharp wit, humour, fiery independence, and quirkiness. (They are also usually just slightly insane which you can't help but love). Your everyday girl, that any teenager (or adult *ahem*) reader can easily relate to. This book is no exception. Susannah Simon, or ‘Suzie’, is instantly likeable, sarcastic with a tough demeanour and fiercely protective of her friends and family. And she kicks ghost butt. What’s not to like?

The plotline here is pretty basic (the blurb above just about covers it), but engaging nevertheless. Cabot draws you in with just enough action, a loveable heroine, one very attractive dead cowboy, and endearing secondary characters to keep you interested. In true style, Cabot ends with a mystery or two (and the promise of a sizzling romantic plot line), to leave you coming back for more. I dare you to try and put it down.
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews908 followers
March 23, 2016
Just as good as the other bazillion times I've read this. I do find Suze to be super hard on others, but here's hoping she'll learn to ease that judgment in the rest of the books. She's such a normal teenage girl depicting her crushes on any boy that it reminds me of when I was a teen haha
Profile Image for Lauren.
537 reviews81 followers
February 26, 2016
I forgot how much I absolutely loved these books. I mean LOVE these books. There's just something about them that makes me ridiculously happy each time I read them, and they really never get old.

Cabot has a way with her writing that makes her books extremely easy to read, without them being boring or childish and I think that's a feat in itself. Then there's the characters she's created. Everyone from Suze to Doc, Grumpy, and Sleepy, to Ceecee and Adam and of course, Jesse, really comes to life just in this first book and you can't help but love them all in their own way.

Yes, the book is full of your usual high-school novel stereotypes, but they aren't shoved in your face so much that you get annoyed, they're just floating around in the background for the most part.

All I know is, I absolutely cannot wait to continue reading this series... again. But mostly so I can get to Proposal and Remembrance ;p

**First (documented) Read- April 2012
***First Re-read- February 2016
Profile Image for DivaDiane.
974 reviews94 followers
January 6, 2022
I enjoyed this very much. I listened to the audiobook via Scribd. The only thing that annoyed me was how colloquially Suze (sp?) spoke to the "old" ghost (the one from the mid-19th century) and didn't have mercy on him when he didn't understand her. I mean, she's a smart girl. She was just so snarky. Also, she seemed to prefer to rile the ghosts up first and then help them. But it was a fun little romp and I think one day I may even listen to the sequel.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,631 reviews34k followers
April 16, 2011
I resisted Meg Cabot for so long...but turns out she's pretty fun. This first book in The Mediator series surprised me with its fast-paced story, humor, and entertaining characters. The plotting of the mystery is not particularly complicated, but that's something I expected from seeing the cover art and reading the blurbs. It's pretty much chick lit for teens with a dose of the supernatural to sweeten in it up.

What did bother me, though, was that the author used the word "fag" twice in this book, and then the word shows up again on page 8 of the second book. Now, the person who used it was grounded for it, but I was surprised to see how casually the whole thing was handled. I'm not sure if the author was trying to make a point or not, but it does seem weird that it kept popping up again and again, and pretty much out of the blue. Doesn't add anything to the story and it's an odd detail. I googled to see if there were any discussions on this topic in relation to Meg Cabot's books, but couldn't find anything...
Profile Image for P .
691 reviews327 followers
April 17, 2015
เป็นนิยายเล่มบางๆที่อ่านได้เรื่อยๆ มีมุกตลกที่ทำให้เรายิ้มมุมปากเล็กน้อย แต่ไม่ถึงกับขำก๊ากออกมา เนื้อเรื่องผูกปมไว้ไม่ซับซ้อน ให้อารมณ์คล้ายๆกับนั่งดูซีรีย์ฝรั่งที่จบในตอน ตัวละครสดใสมีสีสัน พระเอกอย่างเจสซี่มีความลับที่ยังไม่ได้ลับการเปิดเผยที่ทำให้อยากรู้จนต้องหยิบเล่มต่อๆไปขึ้นมาอ่านอีก การหาทางออกของตัวละครดูง่ายๆไปนิด แต่นี่ก็เป็น Chick Lit เล่มบางๆก็จะไปคาดหวังตรงส่วนนี้มากไม่ได้ ...

เป็นหนังสือที่อ่านคลายเครียดได้เพลินๆดี ... ซื้อมาตอนที่ลดราคาเหลือเล่มละ 40 บาท ...

392 reviews334 followers
September 8, 2010
Why didn’t I pick this up earlier? I knew I should listened to my friends at Bookers. I loved it! Shadowland was a fun and entertaining read that had me laughing. The plot was fast paced and easy to read and the characters were an unforgettable bunch. Suze, I loved her. She is an amusing character, the kind of girl you want to be friends with. Jesse is of course swoon worthy and left me thinking give me more.

This is a series that I could easily get addicted too.
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
538 reviews659 followers
February 24, 2019
Meg Cabot can tell a story. This is the second time I'm reading this series (first time reading around 4 years ago), not remembering almost anything from it, and I really liked it.

It has got pretty streightforward plot, captivating enough without being overwhelming, as it's only a first book in a series.

The MC has a strong and interesting voice. There's also a great cast of secondary characters. One of them being Doc (Suze's know-it-all younger half brother), Father Dominic (the principal) and of course Jesse (the love interest).

There's very light hint on the future romance that has yet to happen, and I really liked the fact that there was almost none in this first book. The romance takes time to start. Sure, Suze does appreciate the view, but we have to wait for the romantic feelings to develop. I also liked the writing, we really got to know Suze's voice and personality through it.

This is one of those books I wish I've read when I started with YA fantasy genre (around the age of 13). I would've absolutely loved and adored it then. I can still enjoy and appreciate this series now though.

My rating of The Mediator series -

1. Shadowland ★★★☆☆ (3.5/5 stars)

2. Ninth Key ★★★☆☆ (3.5/5 stars)

3. Reunion ★★★☆☆ (2.5 ish/5 stars)

4. Darkest Hour ★★★☆☆ (3.5/5 stars)

5. Haunted ★★★☆☆ (2.75/5 stars)

6. Twilight ★★★☆☆ (3/5 stars)

Additional :

7. Remembrance ☆☆☆☆☆ (DNF at the beginning, pretending it does not exist)
Profile Image for Susan.
13 reviews44 followers
August 12, 2013
This is the same plot used for every other story about people who channel ghosts, except less compassionate, with more emphasis on being shallow, and it doesn't give a rat's ass about telling the story of the deceased.

The world building... Well, there's a beach and it's peaceful and there's religion and stuff. I guess since this is the real world, we don't need too much, but what we were given was just sort of... There.

Our main character is Susannah Simon. She's a previous outcast who, having appeared as the new girl in a school, is suddenly loved by everyone. She threatens her classmates, is rude to the teachers, and switches between feeling "sympathetic" with our dead girl and not giving a damn about her worries. Also, she's shallower than a raindrop.
I really feel that Meg Cabot has only one protagonist, whose name she changes and slips into everything.
Other character can be split safely into two groups: Evil girls who tan and care about fashion, and friendly people who do not but are still judged for poor clothing coordination. When men tan and/or dress well, they're received positively and complimented on it. And there's a priest who's good-natured but incompetent.
On another note, who gets "Jesse" from ?

This book needs editing.
Our narrator switches between topics and rambles for pages, distracting us from getting complete stories or even caring what mundane detail they wish to describe to us. They also think we forget cliche details like the romance-obsessed mother and outcast status of Susannah.

In short, this is an uninspiring book with shallow characters and shallow effort.
Profile Image for Allison.
554 reviews573 followers
March 6, 2017
Each of the six books in this series is fairly short, which might put some people off spending money on them. Luckily these were a library find, so I didn't have to decide if it was worth it to me. I probably would have missed out otherwise, because I ended up loving them.

The series is light and humorous while dealing with some serious stuff (death, ghosts, murder, passage to the other side). I really love the setting in a small town in California. There's a feeling of history to it - of the days of Spanish influence. This adds a completely different flavor than you get in most urban fantasies or paranormals that I've read. If you're thinking 'pink princessy diary' thoughts about Meg Cabot, don't. This might as well be a different author, aside from the light, witty tone.

It's been a couple of years since I read them, but it's one of those series that will just pop into my mind occasionally. Not anything specific about the plot - it's more like catching a scent that reminds me of a feeling. I imagine I'll read them again one day.
Profile Image for Morgan.
292 reviews60 followers
February 11, 2016
I am so happy to be revisiting the Mediator world because I had forgotten how much I adored this series!!! Suze is an amazing MC (shout out to all the secondary characters, especially Suze's brothers! They are a fabulous ensemble!)

I listened to the audiobook whilst driving on my commute to work. I'm usually not one for audiobooks, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one (more than once I laughed out loud at the narration!!).

Looking forward to book two!
Profile Image for Aoife.
1,333 reviews584 followers
June 24, 2016
I first read this series when I was between 14-16 years old I believe and I really loved it so when I found out a new novel was coming in February 2016 with a grow-up Suze, I knew I had to reread the series.

I really loved going into this with a fresh pair of eyes and the knowledge I had the whole series to my disposal on my Kindle and wouldn't have to wait for the next one to show up on the library shelf (this was before the days of reserving books online, it was a 'you see it, you take it' kind of thing cause you didn't know when you'd see it again). I had forgotten alot of the series except for the basics - 16-year-old moves to California, she can see ghosts, hot ghost in bedroom, whole load of trouble.

Suze is a great character, She's independent, spunky and confident but also has a degree of warmth and caring. She doesn't let bullies or snobs get away with anything and likes to share her opinions. One of the best things I loved about the book was Suze's family dynamic. I forgot how great it was. Despite the fact she hardly knew her stepbrothers, I always felt they settled down with one another really well and with a lovely level of caring, from David/Doc's fawning over Suze to Jake/Sleepy's role of big brother caring for little sister. There was very little angst between them other than some normal sibling squabbles and her relationship with her stepdad Andy was also lovely. The family life was healthy and great to read.

I'm knocking off a half a star to the book basically because at times I felt uncomfortable with the attitude towards suicide. Suze's first ghost in the book, besides Jesse, killed herself after her boyfriend broke up with her and she became a malevolent spirit, intent on harm.I literally winced at how unfeeling Suze was at times and I'm not sure if the casual way she says "blow your head off" would go down as well in a book written today when society in general has a much better attitude towards mental health and suicide. There was basically nothing done to discover other reasons why Heather felt the need to shoot herself other than her relationship status and it definitely left the impression that she was just a stupid, shallow girl. There was also the use of the words "fag" and "fag hag" at one point which, again, I didn't enjoy at all. Though in fairness, Dopey did get a slap and grounded for saying it.

Overall, I loved revisiting this book and I can't wait to read the rest. I've already fallen in love with Jesse. I hate the new covers though. I much prefer the old ones.

Profile Image for Kay.
197 reviews373 followers
January 31, 2021
This is a fun YA paranormal book with a peppering of romance. It's like a mix of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, and the Sixth Sense (just the kid who can see dead people, none of the horror).

Yes, it's very girly. But it's also great entertainment for an audience who indulges in girliness every once in a while.

Suze, the protagonist, is a Mediator, someone who can communicate with the dead. In the beginning of the book, Suze moves to California from New York where she begins the year at a new school. She faces the customary YA issues (making friends, fitting in, etc.) except those quickly get pushed to the background when (1) Suze notices a vengeful ghost haunting the school, and (2) she finds a really hot ghost inhabiting her room.

In true Meg Cabot style, the book is a quick and fun read. Suze is already very aware of her Mediator skills, so the book is more action driven than reflective. The characters are also very likable. Suze is a tough, no-nonesense girl with a healthy interest in fashion. She's confident, capable, and comfortable in her own skin. Father Dominic was also a great addition. He's a caring and mature guardian whose genteel, old-school methods of dealing with spirits clash frequently with Suze's more rough and efficient solutions. Their numerous interactions provide a lot of comic relief through out the book.

Overall, a solid 4 stars. Recommended for those who want some light reading.
Profile Image for Marga .
290 reviews319 followers
November 20, 2014
“How is it that I'd nearly been smothered to death, and yet I could sit there and notice things like my stepbrother's abdominal
muscles a few minutes later?”

I don't know what came over me but I decided to reread this one today. And the cuteness is still there.

I have always been a fan of Meg Cabot's works. (I didn't read The Princess Diaries though.) This series is my favorite of hers. And 1-8000-WHERE- R- YOU. I wish the rumor about this series having another book is true. I'll surely be freaking out.
Profile Image for De'Siree Fairley.
514 reviews7 followers
August 20, 2017
That was highly enjoyable!! I absolutely loved everything about it!! Susannah is a badass and Jesse just sounds hot. I'm so conflicted though, I want them to fall in love, but also ...he's dead XD I need to see how this series plays out.
Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,338 reviews100 followers
April 20, 2018
This is Meg Cabot at her best! Our heroine has moved to Southern California where her mother has married a nice normal man with three nice normal sons. Our heroine is far from normal, though. She talks to ghosts. Talking is fine but our heroine usually kicks their butts when they don’t listen.
Excellent story! 😊👻
Profile Image for Claire Chibi.
428 reviews69 followers
December 17, 2019
Rating: 3.5

I've been on a nostalgia kick recently and rereading a lot of beloved books from my childhood. This was one of my favourite series 10+ years ago, and reading it now it REALLY shows its age, but I'm glad to report that it's still a lot of fun!

It feels wrong to give this anything less than 4 full stars considering how much I enjoyed rereading it, but I have to admit that a significant part of that enjoyment was for nostalgia reasons, which isn't really fair. There were a few things that I didn't notice or care about when reading this as a t(w)een that I didn't appreciate so much this time around.

The most significant issue is probably the protag, Suze. I loved her so much as a kid, hell, I wanted to BE her! (Like seriously, I was obsessed with leather jackets for a while because of this series) Don't get me wrong, I still found her to be a really fun protag to follow, but she definitely has some pretty significant mary-sue traits which were a bit eh. All the guys are attracted to her, everyone who isn't portrayed as an obvious villain loves her, and she manages to get away doing some ridiculous things.

Also, this is a pet peeve of mine that is weirdly common across the YA genre, awkward nicknaming. Seriously, why is this a thing? It always sounds so forced and unnatural.

Surprisingly, I actually still really like the love interest Jesse. (I was legit in love with this character as a kid) I'd forgotten how sassy he was! Can't wait to see more of him in the later books.

Father Dominic is such a sweetheart, and he's a great balance to Suze's personality. The family dynamic was pretty entertaining too, although Doc's dialogue really pushes the limits of my willing suspension of disbelief.

I'm really glad I decided to give this a reread, even if it doesn't 100% hold up as well as I had hoped. It was a fun, quick read, and I will be continuing on with the rest of the series!
Profile Image for Abby Johnson.
3,373 reviews318 followers
August 22, 2007
Susannah Simon has a unique calling in life. She's a mediator, a person who can see and talk to ghosts and help them leave earth for wherever they're supposed to go. When Suze moves from New York to San Francisco to live with her mom's new husband and her new stepbrothers, she finds a couple of interesting things. First, there's the hottie of a ghost who lives in her bedroom. Secondly, there's Father Dominic, the principal of her new school who also happens to be a mediator. Third, she's somehow cool in California. When Suze saves the life of one of the popular guys from the vengeful ghost of his ex-girlfriend, Suze is suddenly invited to parties and nominated for sophomore class vice president. That's all good and nice, but before she can enjoy any of her newfound perks, Suze has to figure out a way to convince this furious ex-cheerleader ghost to leave this plane... and it's not going to be easy...

The Mediator series was recommended to me by one of my coworkers and I did really like it. It features a kick-ass heroine and an intriguing potential romance. It struck me as being very similar to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I don't know what happens in the rest of the series, but at least in the first book there's no sex, although there is some violence. Perhaps it gets racier on down the line, but I'd say the first book is middle-school-appropriate.

Readalike suggestions: For another sassy SanFran girl, check out Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn. For a (much more romantic) paranormal romance, try Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. For some kick-butt ladies living secret lives, try I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter or Kiki Strike by Kirsten Miller.
Profile Image for fantine.
158 reviews344 followers
December 5, 2021
the girlbossification of ghost hunting

i'm rating this higher than this years booker prize winner and there is nothing anyone can do to stop me

went into this expecting a nostalgic and probably a little disappointing reread of my fav tween series but this was genuinely so witty and fun and surprisingly hasn't aged that badly, in fact is pretty progressive for a teen novel published in 2004

Suze lies and chooses violence at every turn making her not the greatest role model but as a former teenage girl highly relatable - I love her<3

anyway time to abandon everything on my tbr and binge this whole series
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