Warning: This review will contain spoilers for the previous MEDIATOR books. If you’re interested in this series, please don’t read this review, but take a look at the first book, Shadowland, instead.
Remembrance (2016), the seventh novel in Meg Cabot’s MEDIATOR series, was published 11 years after fans thought the series was finished with Twilight (though Cabot prepared readers for reentry with the novella Proposal, published just before Remembrance).
Judging by all the gif-laden squeeing in the reviews on GoodReads, Cabot’s fans were pretty excited about the appearance of another novel about Suze, the (now adult) mediator, and her boyfriend Jesse, a hot guy who used to be a ghost but is now a real-life doctor. Though I’ve been disappointed by the past few books in a series that started off so well, I was interested in seeing what finally happened to Suze and Jesse.
Suze has graduated from college and is doing an internship as a guidance counselor at the private Catholic academy she attended for high school. Jesse is a doctor doing his residency. They’re planning their wedding and, because Jesse is old-fashioned (being from the 19th century), they are “waiting,” which is driving Suze nuts.
Suze’s got two more problems: One is the disruptive ghost of a child who was murdered several years ago and needs to be put to rest. The other is Paul Slater, the totally hot, and very rich, but kind of evil, guy from high school. He’s baaaaaaacccccckkkk and he’s still after Suze. He’s got another plan to get rid of Jesse and is trying to bribe Suze into sleeping with him. Suze, being still extremely immature despite now being an adult who has graduated from college, is tempted.
I’m sad to say that Remembrance continues in the same vein as the last few books. Though they’re adults now, Suze and her high school acquaintances still act like they’re teenagers. The drama is silly and feels choreographed to create tension in the Suze-Jesse-Paul love triangle that shouldn’t even exist anymore after Paul showed his cards in previous stories. His behavior in this book is unbearable — I don’t care how hot and rich he is — and it’s hard to have any respect for Suze when she seems to be contemplating his offer and when she keeps lying to Jesse (who should dump her). Also, the actual bribe Paul is using (another threat to Jesse’s existence) is ridiculously unbelievable.
As for the ghost story— at least there is one, but it’s poorly plotted and also hard to believe in. Suze once again does some really dumb things to catch the bad guy. But many readers won’t care too much about that. They want to know what happened to Suze and her family and friends, so they will probably be pleased to find out in Remembrance. Some of it is believable, some is not.
Fans who can’t get enough of the romantic tension of, on one hand, sweet Jesse’s old-fashioned refusal to sleep with Suze before the wedding and, on the other, Paul’s relentless chasing of her and her temptation to give in will probably love Remembrance. I found the entire thing totally unconvincing and just silly.
As usual, Johanna Parker is fabulous as the audiobook narrator.