Written by Meg Cabot
Published November, 2005 by Pan Macmillan
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Is it possible to be haunted by someone who isn't even dead?
Suze is used to trouble, but this time she's in deep: Ghostly Jesse has her heart, but Paul Slater, a real flesh-and-blood guy, is warm for her form. And mediator Paul knows how to send Jesse to the Great Beyond. For good.
Paul claims he won't do anything to Jesse as long as Suze will go out with him. Fearing she'll lose Jesse forever, Suze agrees. But even if Suze can get Jesse to admit his true feelings for her, what kind of future can she have with a guy who's already dead?
Grave Doubts is still highly enjoyable, but I couldn’t help feeling as if it was a bit of a ‘filler’ book – one that explains some need-to-know things between Young Blood and Heaven Sent, particularly about the role that Paul Slater plays as antagonist.
“Unrequited love is all right in books and things, but in real life, it completely sucks.”
After Suze’s emotional outpouring in Young Blood, it’s great to see her back in action and back to her old tricks. Of course, things may have ended EXTREMELY well in the last book, but that doesn’t mean they’re staying that way. Suze has to figure out why despite kissing her – finally!- Jesse seems distant. Suze, overreacting as usual, jumps to the wrong conclusions and some stuff goes down in true Mediator fashion.
Add to this the re-appearance of villain, Paul, and you have quite the mix for a page turner. Grave Doubts was a quick and breezy read just like the rest of the series, but I noticed something was quite absent from this book – the focus of a ghostly haunting. Sure, there’s Craig who’s haunting his brother out of resentment, but it didn’t take as much of a part in this book as previous ghost hauntings have in the series. Grave Doubts hinged entirely on the relationship between Suze, Paul and Jesse – and the dynamic between the three.
“I told them I wasn’t crying. I told them my eyes were watering from all the marker fumes. And they seem to believe me. Too bad the only person I didn’t seem able to fool anymore was myself.”
There was plenty of action this time around, as well as some really cute scenes between Suze and Jesse. I’ve always remembered Grave Doubts as the book where ‘Suze has to walk home with blistered feet’. Seriously, it’s a HUGE PLOT POINT, and enjoyably so. I can’t tell you how much I could relate to Suze in this scenario. Her dramatic exit from Paul Slater’s home was great, and the visual of her walking along the scenic route in the boiling sun all the while clutching her prized Jimmy Choos in an act of defiance is so, so memorable. I just adore Suze as a character and it’s moments like these that remind me why.
Suze and Jesse’s relationship is all MAKE OR BREAK this book. Should they pursue something that’s a lost cause? Is Jesse really interested in Suze as more than a friend? Should she give up on the whole thing entirely? I feel that this book really solidified them as a couple, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out from here. Re-reading this series has been like experiencing it for the first time all over again.
“I don’t know why the world has to be populated by so many unpleasant people. I really don’t. It really takes an effort to be rude, too. The amount of energy people expend on being a jerk astounds me sometimes.”
Now that we’re almost at the end of the series (for now), it’s great to see that some new twists and turns are being thrown into the pot. We find out that Suze isn’t just a plain old mediator, and that Paul is keeping secrets – no surprises there. What his motive is, for being so interested in Suze, is unclear, but it makes for great reading. I can’t wait to revisit what happens in the final instalment, Heaven Sent.