The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl


By Paige McKenzie

With Nancy Ohlin

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The final installment of the New York Times bestselling Haunting of Sunshine Girl trilogy (based on the hit YouTube channel, and in development for television) about a girl who can communicate with ghosts.

Is Sunshine Griffith who she thinks she is? Now that her luiseach powers are fully awakened, and having barely survived an abyss full of demons at the end of Book Two, Sunshine must figure out who-or what-has been organizing the forces of darkness against her.

Thanks to her brainiac boyfriend, Nolan, they not only unearth that Sunshine’s death would trigger a calamitous event, but that all civilization depends on her survival. So when an unexpected event unleashes a fierce war between the luiseach and the demon army, Sunshine will learn a shocking truth about herself. Can she bring herself to make the ultimate sacrifice to save humankind?


She Was Supposed to Die Today

She was supposed to die today.

The prophecy was unfolding as planned, on schedule, so elegantly. She had finally made the decision to sacrifice herself for the greater good.

Then, just like that, she changed her mind, thanks to her boyfriend and his confounded map. The little halfling appeared and rescued her, completing the reversal.

How very tedious.

Still, today isn't over yet. Even now, as she lies there surrounded by friends and family, my dark servants are rising out of the ground, preparing to soul terminate the humans. What grand theater it will be!

At the end—at the very end, when the five-pointed star is completed—the world will be washed in fire and reborn as the new kingdom. My kingdom.

And then I will convince my beloved to join me at my side. What a pair we will make—the ultimate combination of light, dark, and everything in between.

But first, the girl. The prophecy. The party to end all parties.

Let the carnage begin.


My So-Called Death


The voice is insistent, piercing through my foggy brain haze.


I blink. Gray light, a blurry figure. Figures—plural. My temples throb, and my mouth feels like a giant, yucky cotton ball. Prickly needles press painfully into the backs of my arms and legs. The air against my skin is a cold, clammy blanket.

"Sunshine, are you all right? You hit your head and lost consciousness for a few minutes."

A face hovers over me. Several faces, actually. A tall, tall man in a fancy gray suit. A kind-looking woman in pastel nurse's scrubs and clogs.

And a cute guy in a brown leather jacket. He rakes his hand through his tousled, tawny hair and gives me a lopsided grin. "Sunshine," he exhales. The way he says my name in that dreamy deep voice sets my heart aflutter.

Wait. Sets my heart aflutter? What century is this? Am I having a retro dream?

"Thank goodness you're alive!" The nurse kneels down at my side and pushes back her long red curls. She touches my forehead tenderly; her vanilla lotion smell is familiar and comforting. "I can't believe… we thought you were… I don't know what I would have done if…" Her words unravel as she begins to tear up.

I rub my eyes. Information floods my scrambled synapses. The nurse is my mom, Kat Griffith. My human mom.

"Where's the owl?" I ask her groggily.

"What owl?" Mom asks, confused. Behind her the man in the suit squares his shoulders and gives a little cough. That's Aidan, my not-human dad.

"The owl that was here before," I say. "With that girl?"

And then it comes to me. I know that girl. She's Anna Wilde, who is ten and dead and invisible to most people. The owl is her favorite stuffed toy.

I tried to kill myself earlier, and Anna saved my life.

I tear up too as I remember.

"You're okay now, Sunshine," the leather jacket guy murmurs. Nolan, my brilliant and awesome boyfriend. No wonder my heart was set aflutter before.

Nolan is wrong, though. I'm not okay, not really. Because I am a luiseach, an elite guardian angel-superhero who fights demons and helps the dead cross over to the other side.

"Her heart rate is very elevated," Mom says, pressing her cool fingers against my wrist.

"That's normal—for her," Aidan replies.

Other memories come rushing back. Earlier I learned that my very existence was going to jeopardize the future of the human race, civilization, the world as we know it. Major stuff.

And so I split the ground open with my special luiseach knife and plunged in like a sacrificial lamb.

"Her pulse is starting to regulate," Mom says.

Aidan peers at his sleek steel watch. "That took a little more time than usual, but it's understandable, given the circumstances."

Then everything went crazy, haywire, out of control. Just as I took that plunge, I learned that my death was going to make the situation much, much worse. So naturally, I decided to bail. But I couldn't. I was falling into an abyss with no way to reverse or rewind—on top of which, a zillion demons were waiting for me down below.

Thank goodness Anna appeared out of nowhere with her stuffed owl and pulled me to safety. Once we were aboveground and free and clear of the demons, she let go…

My smile vanishes.

The demons. They're still down there.

"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh," I mutter under my breath. I hoist myself up on my elbows and try to stand up. My brain swirls with nausea and dizziness.

"What do you think you're doing, young lady?" Mom puts a firm but gentle hand on my chest. "You can't move until I'm done checking your vitals! And we have no idea what sort of trauma your head, neck, and spine may have sustained…"

"Mom, you need to help me up. There were demons down there, and—"

"Demons?" Aidan interrupts sharply.

"Aidan, can we close the ground back up? Like, immediately? I saw hundreds of them, maybe thousands. Dark spirits too. What if they try to climb out or fly out or trapeze-artist out or…" Fear is fueling me now, and I'm babbling at the speed of light. Aidan isn't just my dad and my mentor—he's also a super-big-deal luiseach. If anyone would know how to undo what I did, it's him.

His brow furrows as he glances over his shoulder. That's when I notice the others standing nearby: my friends Ashley and Lucio… and Victoria, who is Anna's mom… and Helena, who is my bio-mom, not that I like thinking about my genes being linked to her genes in any way whatsoever.

Aidan reaches a hand in Helena's direction. The two of them used to be a super-big-deal luiseach couple until they had a bad break-up—not your typical "we need to spend time apart and date other people" break-up, but a "one of us wants to kill our infant daughter for the greater good and the other totally doesn't" break-up.

That infant daughter was me. Helena tried to kill me again this morning, just before I tried to kill myself. Yup, it's been a busy day.

"The incantation," Aidan says quickly, and Helena nods and joins his side. They confer in low voices. Lucio starts to follow Helena with an expression of pure rage… no one can blame him, considering that she had his parents executed sixteen years ago… but Aidan gives him a warning look, and he retreats with clenched fists.

"Can someone please explain to me what's going on?" Ashley bursts out. "First, the earth splits open, like, like, in the new Star Wars movie. Then Sunshine, you levitate… and thrash around, drop into a ginormous hole, fly back out, and crash-land in this Goth lady's—" she gestures to Victoria "—front yard. Is this some sort of demented magic trick? Is this what people in Washington do to freak out the tourists?"

I stand up slowly and peer around. This time Mom doesn't try to stop me, although she does give me one of her extremely stern nurse-mom looks.

Whoa. Ashley is right. Victoria's yard looks postapocalyptic, like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies postapocalyptic. (My literary idol Jane Austen is rolling over in her grave right now.) Jagged, gaping chasms crisscross the pine-needle-littered lawn. Chasms that I created with my luiseach knife. The dark, brooding evergreens don't help. Neither do the dying spring flowers that are brittle and hoar-white with frost.

I frown. There was something else here before. Someone else. A man in black. Where did he go? Did I imagine him?

"Are you okay?" Nolan joins me at my side. I feel a rush of warmth as I always do when I'm with him—not just because I'm madly in love with him but because he's my protector. Protectors have an instant radiator effect on their luiseach. (Every luiseach has a protector and a mentor.)

"I'm okay. Well, ish. How about you?" I reply. That's when I notice the cut on Nolan's left temple, crusted with blood. Helena did that to him.

"Are you all right?" I ask worriedly.

"I'm fine. Your mom checked me out. Listen, Sunshine, today isn't the way I imagined saying 'welcome back' to you after not seeing you for three months. Well, except for the part when we, um…"

Kissed for the first time, I finish in my head. Said "I love you" to each other for the first time.

He smiles shyly. I smile back.

If only we were alone right now, but no. Just then Aidan and Helena sweep by us and position themselves in the center of the war-zone lawn. They look very serious and ceremonious. What are they up to? Can Helena even be trusted, after everything? They close their eyes, extend their palms upward, and begin chanting in unison—strange, ancient words.

This must be the incantation Aidan mentioned. I don't know what the words mean, yet a deep part of me recognizes them, reacts to their magic.

"Excuse me a sec," I say to Nolan. He nods, comprehending.

I step forward and take my place to the left of Aidan, away from Helena. I begin to chant, my words mumbly and improvised at first, then clearer and more sure.

Something reacts.

A sudden frigid wind blasts across the yard and pushes against us. Wobbling, I dig my Chuck Taylors into the ground to steady myself. Aidan and Helena remain still as statues and continue chanting.

The wind intensifies. Pine branches crack and tumble to the ground. An entire tree falls with an ominous thud. Slate tiles blow off the roof. A stone bird fountain splits in two.

What is happening? Are we doing that?

It occurs to me that I should get Mom and Ashley out of there. But Nolan being Nolan, he knows exactly what I need and ushers the two of them toward the street. Mom protests; Ashley doesn't protest at all and in fact is screeching hysterically about returning to Austin immediately.

The earth is shaking now. The walls of the chasms start to close, inch by shuddering inch. The incantation is working. We are keeping the demon army at bay.

I shutter my eyelids and go into a sort of trance. I chant faster and faster, the words tumbling over each other, my voice hoarse with urgency…

Someone screams.

My eyelids fly open. Oh, freak. Nearby, a humungous wild animal is crawling out of one of the chasms. It peers around hungrily and leaps onto its nearest prey: Victoria.

I blink. It's not a wild animal. It's a demon. A serpent-demon.

We are too late. They are coming for us.


The Attack of the Serpent-Demons

The attack has begun.

The serpent-demon has a long, thick body with no arms or legs. Its green scales glow grotesquely in the wan light. Horns thrust out and curl backward from its head. Hissing and grinning, it proceeds to wrap itself around Victoria's slim, fragile body. She flails at it, but it is too swift and strong. Plus, she can't see it because she's an ex-luiseach and doesn't have luiseach powers anymore.

Lucio rushes forward like a football player on steroids.

"No!" Aidan commands him.

Lucio stops in his tracks. He can't see the creature either, even though he is a full-on, card-carrying luiseach. Not sure why. "But Aidan! Something's happening to Victoria! We've got to—"

Victoria screams again. The serpent-demon has coiled itself completely around her and is squeezing, squeezing. Its face is a breath away from her face.

"Victoria, close your mouth!" Aidan orders her. She stares at him wildly but obeys, whimpering in terror; he was her mentor when she was a luiseach, so she listens to him.

The creature laughs and flicks its tongue at the thin, hard line of Victoria's lips, its yellow eyes gleaming. Victoria tries to pull away, but it keeps flicking, flicking… and soon her mouth begins to open slowly, excruciatingly as though by force.

Oh no. That's how it will kill her. Not by squeezing her to death but by slipping into her mouth and down her throat. Once inside it will possess her and wipe out her soul. Stop the beating of her heart. After it is finished with her, the memory of her will fade in our minds, like she was never here.

And then it will turn on the rest of us.

I tip my face to the sky. Anna, where are you? Your mom needs you! But I can't feel her spirit anywhere.

Helena, who is no longer chanting, inspects her perfectly manicured nails. She has very small, dainty hands—for a murderer, that is. Or is it murderess?

"What's the plan, Aidan dearest?" she trills. Her tone is sarcastic but with a subtle undercurrent of anxiety. Has she never dealt with a demon onslaught before? Still, part of her probably wants to see Victoria suffer—after all, Victoria was a double agent for Aidan.

"Continue with the incantation, Helena!" Aidan instructs her.

"Why should I? Victoria did betray me, after all."

"We can discuss that later. We need to stop this now, not just for Victoria's sake but for all our sakes. You know what will happen if…"

Aidan doesn't finish his sentence. He loosens his gunmetal gray tie and strides toward Victoria and the serpent-demon. Very James Bond of him. Sighing, Helena resumes chanting. So do I, although in Aidan's absence I automatically move away from her. Lucio, ever protective, places himself between Helena and me. It must be taking every ounce of self-control for him not to go after Helena right here and now. But he wouldn't disobey Aidan, and he knows what's at stake.

Aidan circles the creature, which is too busy demon–French-kissing Victoria to notice him. As I chant, I do a quick visual sweep of the perimeter. The chasms are closing, but not fast enough. I spot two more serpent-demons crawling out: one black, one red. There may be others. There will be others. Demons… dark spirits… an army of pure evil…

The serpent-demon on Victoria finally detects Aidan's presence. It whips its head around 180 degrees and bares its lethal fangs with a low, gurgling hiss.

Aidan grabs its neck with lightning speed. Startled, it loosens its grip on Victoria just long enough for her to wriggle away and hurl herself to the ground.

The creature and Aidan wrestle. Out of the corner of my eye I see that the red serpent-demon and the black serpent-demon have cleared the chasm. The red one speed-slithers toward Helena and Lucio and me. The black one speed-slithers off in the direction of the street.

Nolan and Mom and Ashley!

Panic grips my chest. They're human—they can't defend themselves. I have to do something, anything, now.

My luiseach knife. I reach into the back pocket of my jeans, but of course, it's not there. Ack!

"Sunshine! By the fountain!" I hear Nolan shout from the street, pointing me to the knife.

Nolan to the rescue again. I send him a mental "thank you" surrounded by hearts and X's and O's. I notice that Ashley is trying to open the driver's side of her little blue hybrid car but keeps dropping the keys. Clumsiness is my thing, but terror can have the same effect, I guess. Nolan is attempting to steer Mom around to the passenger side, but to no avail; she keeps pointing to me and arguing with him. Listen to Nolan, Mom!

Aidan is still wrestling with the serpent-demon. Lucio is lifting Victoria to her feet. I check out the other two serpent-demons… if I run fast enough, I might be able to get to the knife just before the closest one, the red one, reaches striking distance.

I break into a sprint.

"Sunshine, what are you doing?" Lucio yells.

The red serpent-demon pivots and speed-slithers in my direction. I combat-roll onto the ground and reach for the handle of the knife.

My fingers close around it just as the creature catches up to me and prepares to strike. I can feel its hot, rancid breath on my face as it flicks its tongue at me.

I jump to my feet and step back. The knife burns and twitches in my grip. Its blade bears the faint echoes of its past incarnations: a torch, a storm, the epic instrument that split the earth open…


I fling the knife—or rather, the knife flings itself—toward the charged gray sky. It swoops and arcs like a bird and nose-dives down, down, down.

The blade hits the earth and pierces it. It creates a swirling cloud of dirt and smoke and pine.

The cloud funnels up, up, up and explodes… and a gigantic eagle rises up from the chaos. It flaps its massive wings—they must span at least twelve feet—with a sound as deafening as helicopter blades.

Helena abruptly stops chanting. She glances at the monster eagle and then at me, her brown eyes wide with shock.

Yup, that's right, I did that, I want to say to her smugly. But this is not the time for teen-daughter attitude. Not that I'm her daughter in any way that matters.

The eagle fixes its laser gaze on the red serpent-demon at my side and swoops in for the kill. The creature screams and screams as the eagle sinks its razor talons into its throat. Ochre-colored blood sprays everywhere. Gross. The creature flops to the ground and sizzles, dissolves into nothingness.

Then the eagle directs its attention to the serpent-demon that is—was—wrestling with Aidan. The creature is now trying to speed-slither into the nearest chasm. But the chasm is almost closed up—all the chasms are almost closed up—and the eagle seizes the creature by its neck and proceeds to shake it to death. Old school but effective.

The eagle dispenses with the third serpent-demon in the same way. I feel a huge whoosh of relief. Nolan and Mom and Ashley are safe. We are all safe.

At least for now.

Victoria is shivering and crying. Lucio has stripped down to his cargo shorts and is using his T-shirt to wipe blood and dirt and tears from her face. The earth tremors shudder to a complete stop. The chasms have all disappeared, and things are back to normal again.

Well, maybe "normal" isn't the right word. Nothing has been normal since I turned sixteen and came into my luiseach powers and the invisible world became visible to me. Stuff no one should ever have to see or experience.

Aidan appears at my side. "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine, D—… Aidan. Ai-dan."

His milky green cat eyes, identical to my own, flash with surprise. Did I seriously almost call him "Dad"? Maybe I did suffer a head injury, after all.

Aidan starts to say something but then turns to Helena. "Do you finally—finally—understand why we have to keep her alive?" he says gruffly.

"Sentimental nonsense," Helena mutters. She busies herself with a loose strand of hair and shoves it back into her bun. She and I have the same curly brown hair, except that hers is perfect and mine is a perpetual, freaky frizzball (and thanks to a little encounter I had with a fire demon recently, it's now a short, fried frizzball).

"No, it's not that. Her powers… we were wrong about… Helena, you need to speak to the other luiseach and convince them!"

At Aidan's mention of the "other luiseach" Lucio visibly tenses. I reach over and squeeze his hand. I notice Nolan noticing my hand from across the lawn, and I remove it hastily. Not that he has any reason to be jealous of me comforting a cute half-naked guy—Lucio and I are just friends, 99.9 percent just friends.

Plus, Nolan doesn't know everything I've learned recently, including what Helena did to Lucio's mom and dad.

Helena gazes at Aidan and then at me. She seems to be considering something. To kill me or not to kill me? What method to use, maybe? Earlier today she tried to choke me. When I was a baby she tried to suffocate me while pretending to nurse me. I'm pretty sure a therapist would have a field day with our relationship.

Helena slants her cold, eagle gaze back at Aidan. "I need to take this up with my luiseach council," she says finally.

Aidan arches an eyebrow. "Your luiseach council? What on earth is that?"

"A lot has changed since we went our separate ways, dearest."


Blood and More Blood

White walls, beeping machines, the smells of iodine and disinfectant. I wanted to go straight home after the demon smack-down at Victoria's, but Mom wouldn't hear of it. So now I'm stuck at Ridgemont Hospital, where she works as the head of the neonatal nursing unit, and I'm getting poked and prodded for no good reason.

Leads and wires cover my body. A nurse I don't recognize—her nametag says "Beverly"—hovers over me with a clipboard. She jots down notes as she glances over her shoulder at the blinking numbers on a monitor.

A second nurse walks into the room, pulling on a pair of latex gloves with a brisk snap, snap. She is carrying a basket full of empty collection tubes.

"Afternoon, ladies," she calls out in a friendly voice.

Beverly gives her a chin nod. "Our patient's all ready for you, Latoya."

"Great. The lab needs these samples ASAP. Kat's down there now to make certain they put a rush on everything," says Latoya.

"If anyone can light a fire under their butts, it's our Kat," Beverly says, chuckling.

"May I please go home now?" I ask, shifting carefully so I don't unplug myself. "I'm fine. Really."

Beverly pats my shoulder. "I'm sure you are, hon. Your mom just wants to be a hundred percent that everything's A-okay. We're just gonna run a couple of tests and have Dr. Kothari give the results a look-see."

"Are you right or left-handed, sweetheart?" Latoya asks me.


"Allrighty, then." Latoya takes a piece of rubber tubing out and ties it securely around my left bicep. "Make a fist for me?"

I obey, trying to ignore the pinchy pressure of the rubber tubing. If I know anything from living with Mom for sixteen years, it's that nurses don't take no for an answer. Latoya presses several points on my forearm, finds a bumpy blue vein, and swabs it with iodine. "Sharp sting, okay?"

"Um, okay."

I wince as she pierces my skin with the long, thin hypodermic needle. The collection tube attached to the needle quickly begins to fill with dark red blood. When the tube is full, Latoya switches it out for another.

The sight of my own blood has always made me feel queasy, so I look away and try to think happy thoughts.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts. Vanilla ice cream from Scoops 'N Smiles. Taking pictures with my Nikon F5, my sweet-sixteen present from Mom, on a slightly cloudy, perfect-light day. My dog Oscar wearing a sequiny, powder-blue tutu. (Second-grade me used to like dressing him up.) Pizza and movie nights with Mom. The day we brought my cat, Lex Luthor, home from the SPCA. Sleepovers with Ashley back when Mom and I used to live in Austin. Antique stores and flea markets. Anything Jane Austen.

And Nolan. Always Nolan. The way his hair falls across his forehead. His goofy, crooked smile. His amazing mind. His warm lips…

Where is he, anyway? When we got to the hospital Mom insisted he get examined too—and also Victoria, although she had to sign in under an alias, as she did technically die here in the ICU on New Year's. (No one knows how she managed to resuscitate herself—is it because she had just enough leftover luiseach in her to undo that demon's mortal attack?)

I'm not sure where Aidan and Lucio went off to. I think Ashley is downstairs at the hospital gift shop buying me trashy magazines and jelly beans and other get-well presents.

As for Helena, I hope she went back to where she came from, wherever that is. I have a better chance of staying alive that way. The thing is, she didn't always have homicidal feelings toward me. When she was pregnant with me, she was your typical joyful, expectant mom. But on the other hand she was extremely not typical—ditto Aidan—because they were too busy conducting scientific experiments on the unborn me to try to create some kind of mutant super-luiseach. Then, at the exact moment of my birth, at the Llevar la Luz luiseach training compound in Mexico, a massive shockwave of energy apparently blasted out into the universe. Several pregnant luiseach women at the compound spontaneously miscarried, as did other pregnant luiseach women around the world. Some of them even died.

And so Helena came to believe—and still believes—that the luiseach race is doomed as long as I am alive.

"Hello, hello!" Mom—my real mom, my only mom—sweeps into the room wearing ladybug and sunflower scrubs. "Sunshine, how are you feeling? Beverly, how are her vitals? Latoya, the lab is standing by for those samples," she says all in one breath.

"Aye, aye, captain," Latoya says with a mock salute. She gathers the neatly labeled dark red tubes, winks at me, and takes off.

Beverly hands her clipboard to Mom. "Her vitals are all within range, Kat… except that her temp is running a bit high."

"That's okay. She's, uh, getting over a bad cold."

Mom knows by now that as a luiseach, my base body temperature runs high. But she can't let anyone know my true, nonhuman identity.

She takes the clipboard from Beverly and scans the information. She nods to herself and regards me with anxious eyes.

"No dizziness?" she asks me.


"How about nausea?"

"No nausea. Mom, can't we just—"

Mom's pager beeps. She pulls it out of her pocket and reads the message on the screen. "Oh! My goodness. Beverly, did you know about the situation in the ER?"

"You mean the arson incident in the shopping mall? The ER's backed up six ways to Sunday."

I sit up slightly. "Wait. What arson incident at the mall?"

"They've just admitted one of the victims. She's thirty-two weeks, and she went into premature labor. They're prepping her for a C-section now. Come with me," Mom says to Beverly.

"Seriously, Mom. What's happening?" I demand.

"Nothing for you to worry about, sweetie. Just stay put. Dr. Kothari will be by soon to check on you. You remember him, right? He's the funny one with the tattoo of a…" Mom's words drift away as she sweeps out of the room, Beverly at her heels.

Arson incident at the mall?

Ridgemont isn't exactly a sleepy little town, but it's not a violent-crime kind of place either. The worst crime I know of was when Anna's dad murdered her while he was possessed, and that was over a year ago, before Mom and I moved here from Texas.

My gaze lands on the small TV screen hanging from the ceiling. I wonder if this mall situation has made the news yet? I find the remote control and click on.

A blond newscaster named Traci is saying something about a tragedy. I crank up the volume.

"—again, one person is dead and a dozen people were hospitalized as a result of the arson at the Ridgemont Mall. Police have a suspect in custody at this time. Her name is Mabel Ostricher…"

A photo of Mabel Ostricher pops up on the screen. White hair, blue eyes, rosy cheeks… holy crackers, I know


  • “Read if you dare!”
    Seventeen Magazine

  • “Love, betrayal, tortured choices and a fabulous vintage motorcycle all factor into this thrilling YA paranormal story. You may not be able to put this book down once you begin reading it. Take my advice: Start reading The Awakening of Sunshine Girl on a Friday night so you'll have fewer distractions over the next two days!
    — Rochelle Campbell

  • “Sunshine's powers are unique. She doesn't just help humans transition to
    the afterlife; her empathy allows her to feel connections to their whole lived experience, a power that proves both dangerous and useful… Sunshine continues to be a likable protagonist who strives to grow into herself and her unusual role in life. A cliff-hanger ending will have fans clamoring for the third installment.”

  • “Sunshine's story started as a YouTube series, and this creepy, suspenseful story condenses the plot of the original and offers a more polished voice than the videos. Existing fans won't be the only ones eager for more of this strong but vulnerable heroine just awakening to her potential.”
    Booklist (Grades 7-10)

  • “The plot moves along smoothly and rapidly, and the writing is graceful and wonderfully polished... It's hard not to finish The Haunting of Sunshine Girl.”
    — Lev Grossman, Time Magazine

  • “This sometimes frightening tale and series opener is based on a YouTube channel of the same name, so transmedia fans can enjoy both formats. Readers who appreciated Holly Black's Doll Bones (2013) or Cassandra Clare's City of Bones series ... should consider picking up this creepy debut.”
    — Julie Zimmerman, School Library Journal

  • “When teen prodigy Paige McKenzie sets her mind to do something, she does it big time. 200,000 active YouTube subscribers on her site and over 100 million views, for instance. Not bad for a kid who still gets carded and can't vote. So when she decided to write a scary book, she nailed that one too. By the end of the first chapter I turned on all the lights in the house, even though it was noon. And it wasn't long before I'd retreated into that last-resort safe room buried deep beneath my brain's Fear Center, praying the lock would hold. No such luck. Before I knew McKenzie was out there she'd hacked the door and let all manner of frightening things slither in to get me. ... Things that go bump in the night are afraid to read this book. Things that lurk beneath the bed cry for their mothers by page ten. McKenzie's skill telling the story of a young girl who inadvertently moves into a haunted house with her clueless mother is a thing that slips up behind and puts a cold white hand right down your spine and just won't let go. The book is called The Haunting of Sunshine Girl. Read it if you dare, but don't say I didn't warn you.”
    — Wes Craven, Filmmaker

  • Praise for The Haunting of Sunshine Girl:
  • Praise for The Awakening of Sunshine Girl:

  • “If teens gobbled up the fast-paced, thrilling events surrounding Sunshine Griffith and her mother, Kat, in The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (Weinstein, 2015), they're sure to enjoy the new twists and turns of this latest series installment… McKenzie continues to write in an authentic teen voice that sucks readers in until the end. Fans ready to graduate from R.L. Stine's Goosebumps or those looking for a mix of Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew and DC Comic's Scooby Doo will find just what they need in this paranormal series”
    School Library Journal

  • "For a truly 'adorkable' heroine and a lot of mischief and Monopoly-playing ghosts, pick this up!"
    — Jessie Potts, USA Today

  • "The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie is based on the YouTube web series phenomena and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library YA fiction collections."
    — James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

  • The Haunting of Sunshine Girl has all the makings of a creepy story without being straight-up horror. The terrifying moments are strong and seamlessly handled. The reader is right there alongside Sunshine as she first doubts her own perceptions, then fearlessly makes friends with a ghost and resolves to save the day. Her relationship with her mom is touching and real, and her loyal friend Nolan is the perfect sidekick. Teens who loved Goosebumps will be spooked and satisfied by the adventures of Sunshine."
    — Allison Chopin, New York Daily News

  • The Haunting of Sunshine Girl starts with mysterious ghostly laughter late one night. The laughter quickly turns to horror. It seems Sunshine Griffith has moved into a house haunted by many evil spirits. Trust me - these spirits will haunt YOU, too. I was on the edge of my seat from the very first page.”
    — R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps and Fear Street

  • “Enthralling! Shivers of anticipation creep up and terrifying, ancient revelations come thick and fast. Sunshine Girl is a winner for fans of teen horror!”
    — Anya Allyn, author of The Dark Carousel series

  • “Fans ready to graduate from R.L. Stine's “Goosebumps” (Scholastic) or those looking for a mix of Carolyn Keene's “Nancy Drew” and DC Comic's “Scooby Doo” will find just what they need in this paranormal series. ¬VERDICT Teens who enjoyed the previous volume or the author's YouTube channel will dive into this latest entry of ghost mischief.”
    — Julie Zimmerman, School Library Review

  • “Sunshine's adventure is filled with bumps in the night and shadowy figures, alluding to a larger mystery and larger world that has plenty to offer imaginative readers who grew up on Goosebumps and the like. Suspenseful, exciting and endlessly entertaining.”
    Kirkus Review
  • "Paige McKenzie's outstanding fantasy action/adventure series will prove to be an outstanding and enduringly popular addition to community library collections."

    Midwest Book Review
  • "Paige McKenzie's third installment... is just as riveting and satisfying as its predecessors.... Its fast pacing, adventure, and complex characters will captivate readers of the YA, mystery, supernatural, horror, and adventure genres."

    Portland Book Review

On Sale
Apr 4, 2017
Page Count
336 pages
Hachette Books

Paige McKenzie

About the Author

Paige McKenzie is a millennial hyphenate: a New York Times bestselling author, YouTuber, actor, influencer, creator, artist, and producer. Her first book series, the Haunting of Sunshine Girl, was on the New York Times bestseller list for over a month. Paige is constantly creating. Her Etsy shop, the Homebody Guild, is full of her art and designs, and she is always updating it with new creations. Paige also interacts daily with her Sunshiners across a variety of media including YouTube (where she has over half a million subscribers), Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Paige is a founding member of Coat Tale Productions, with three projects in active development. Paige lives in Portland, Oregon, with the love of her life, a seven-pound Chihuahua named Pongo. She invites you to follow her on Twitter @hauntedsunshine.

Nancy Ohlin was born in Tokyo and moved to the United States when she was nine. She has written, ghostwritten, or collaborated on over one hundred fiction and nonfiction books for children, teens, and adults, including her YA novels Consent, Beauty, and Always, Forever (Simon & Schuster). Most recently, she collaborated with Paige on The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl (Hachette Books), Quvenzhané Wallis on the Shai and Emmie chapter book series (Simon & Schuster), and Chloe Lukasiak on her memoir Girl on Pointe: Chloe’s Guide to Taking on the World (Bloomsbury). She invites you to follow her online at and on Twitter (@nancyohlin).

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