Reunion is the third book in the Mediator series by Meg Cabot/Jenny Carroll, centering around a young woman named Susannah ‘Suze’ Simon, who is a Mediator: someone who guides unquiet spirits to their eternal rest (whether they like it or not!) Having recently moved from New York to California to live with her mum’s new husband, Suze has had to learn to cope with a new Catholic school and putting up with three new stepbrothers as well as the supernatural antics of the ghosts she has to control.
The only people who know her secrets are the kindly Principal Father Dominic and her best friend Gina from New York, who is present throughout this book, and of course Jesse, the incredibly gorgeous ghost that inhabits her room, that Suze has a mighty big crush on. For the moment however, she’s happy to hang out with Gina on the beach and enjoy her company whilst it lasts. But that all changes when she spots the four spirits of teenagers that were killed in a car accident on the night of their school prom, who seem eager to dish out revenge on who they belief was responsible for their deaths: Michal Meducci. This somewhat geeky (but as it turns out, very cute) young man seems to be very accident prone, whether it’s giant puppets falling on him at the mall or jellyfish strangling him in the ocean. But Suze knows the truth: the ghosts are out to avenge their deaths, and its up to her to stop them.
The core of all of these books is the character of Suze, whom you can’t help but like. With her in-your-face attitude concerning the often-violent spirits she comes across, and in the snappy first-person text that Cabot/Carroll uses to narrate her own stories, she keeps the story bounding along nicely. And in this case, her voice is needed in order to smooth out an otherwise shaky storyline. There are plot holes galore if you look hard enough (if the car was rammed over the cliff surely the police would have noticed a damaged back-fender) and some rather odd statements that seem to have no place within the context of this kind of story, such as Suze commenting on the traditional covering of Catholic images with black cloth before Easter: “Religion. That is some wacky stuff I tell you,” and on a school assignment concerning the arms race: “We should care. Because as the charts Kelly’s group was holding up revealed, there were some countries who had way more bombs and stuff than we did.” Maybe I’m over-reacting, but a teenage thriller-ghost story doesn’t really seem the appropriate place to flaunt one’s religious and political ideas, especially when both of them are somewhat offensive.
Likewise, the story is hopelessly predictable — as in the previous books a murder takes place that Suze must investigate, which leads her into the clutches of the murderer, who is obvious from the word go due to his/her good looks and insane personality. Ah well, it kept me entertained for three hours, and Suze is definitely quite a character. Her role as Mediator (sort of a blend between Ghostbuster and Vampire Slayer) needs some more meat to it — such as how many are there? Is there an organization of them? Who/what chooses them? — and then this series could really take off.
And could someone please explain why it’s called Reunion? No one got reunited so far as I could see!
~Rebecca Fisher (2007)
The plot of Reunion (named, I think, for the reunion of Suze and Gina) is, as Rebecca said, a bit shaky. It’s hard to believe that Suze and Father Dom find clues that the police investigators overlooked. And Suze did some really dumb things in this book. Like Rebecca, I guessed the murderer early on, but figured I was wrong because it was too easy. Unfortunately I wasn’t wrong.
Still, the strength of the series remains: Some great characters (especially Suze herself) and a nice pace. I’ll keep reading. The audiobooks are wonderful.
~Kat Hooper (2018)