Written by Meg Cabot
Published August, 2005 by Pan Macmillan
Purchase: The Book Depository | Bookworld | Booktopia
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What - or who - is buried in Susannah's backyard?
When the nineteenth-century ghost of Maria de Silva wakes her up in the middle of the night, Suze knows this is no ordinary visitation - and not just from the knife at her throat, either. In life, Maria was the fiancée of Jesse - the same Jesse who was murdered a hundred and fifty years before. The same Jesse Suze is in love with.
Maria threatens Suze: The backyard construction must cease. Suze has a pretty good idea what - or rather, who - Maria doesn't want found. But in solving Jesse's murder, will Suze end up losing him forever?
Young Blood is quite possibly my favourite in The Mediator series (so far, in my re-read anyway!) It’s the perfect balance of plot and character development, proving to be an extremely captivating read and page-turner.
“Really, is it too much to ask that I be able to come home from a long day of work and relax? Oh, no. I have to come home and read a bunch of letters written to the love of my life by his fiancée, who, if I am correct, had him killed a hundred and fifty years ago. Then, as if that is not bad enough, he wants me to explain the Vietnam War.”
For one, Young Blood’s ‘haunting’ mystery has to do with Jesse and his history. From the get go we’re hinted that something has been found in the backyard of Suze’s home and it doesn’t bode well. Instead of being totally clueless as you’d expect, Suze is on the ball and one step ahead of everyone – she knows what’s back there has to be Jesse, and she knows what this means.
I felt we got a really genuine reaction when it came to Suze dealing with her feelings for Jesse and the fear of his disappearing. Yes, she’s still tough-as-nails, but she’s also got a vulnerable side and we see her at her breaking point. I think it was great for her character advancement, and it showed us just how important Jesse has become to her.
“You’re thinking I said no because the whole thing would just be too Dirty Dancing, right? Summer fling at the resort, only with the roles reversed: you know, the poor working girl and the rich doctor’s son, nobody puts Baby in the corner, blah blah blah.”
Suze’s summer job at the resort was also entertaining and offered a chance for some new characters to get aboard the Mediator train. I really love discovering all the different aspects of Carmel-by-the-sea. Even though it’s not a fantasy setting, the world-building is quite on point. You could literally go and slip into the life Suze leads (apart from the ghost hunting).
We’re introduced to new character, Paul Slater, who becomes a major player in the series from here on in. I really like the ‘back and forth’ attraction and animosity between he and Suze, with what promises to be some really great developments in terms of finding out more about her mediator power. As my memory is a teeny bit foggy when it comes to the finer details, I can’t wait to find these out all over again.
“But once I’d come up with it, I realized it really was the perfect plan. Instead of waiting for Maria to come to me, I was simply going to go to her and, well… Send her back to where she came. Or reduce her to a mound of quivering gelatinous goo. Whichever came first.”
For me, the mystery with Maria de Silva and her husband was a great storyline. Not only did we get to see some great mediator stuff (exorcism, punches to the face; that kind of thing) it also advanced what we knew about Jesse and brought to light he and Suze’s feelings for one another. I really felt as if these two characters become ‘whole’ in Young Blood.
With only two more books to go in the YA series, I’m getting majorly pumped for the release of Remembrance in February!