In elementary school, way back in the early 2000’s, I was just becoming a voracious reader. One of my favorite activities was a trip to the library. Luckily, there was one right down the street from my house and I literally looked at it as a treasure trove. To quote Forest Gump, “You never know what you’re gonna get.” I miss that; just picking something off the shelf and reading the back to see if you wanted to check it out. Now, with the Internet, we don’t really stumble upon great books in the same way.
One day, I happened to stumble upon a book by Meg Cabot called The Princess Diaries (maybe you’ve heard of it?). I devoured all the books in that series (the ones that had been released), but was then left feeling empty. What was I going to read now? Well, lucky for me…Meg Cabot had more books. One of them was titled Shadowland — the first book in her Mediator series.
As a girl always obsessed with supernatural and fantasy stories, I found that Cabot’s Mediator series was a perfect blend for me. It was fantastical, but it was grounded. At its heart, it was about a teenage girl trying to figure herself out (see: Tavi Gevinson TED talk), but with one added caveat: She’s a mediator (i.e., she can see the dead and they usually want her help with some unfinished business). The central romance is also a huge selling point, as one of the participants is a ghost. I mean, when you’re in love with a ghost, what are your options, really?
Cabot’s heroine is not by any means a damsel in distress. She takes charge in every situation, even if someone tells her not to do something (it’s her biggest flaw). We’re in Suze’s head the entire series and the narration is very much of the stream of consciousness variety. She did things we all wish we could do. Suze is a hero in her own right. She doesn’t always makes the best choices, but you always understand where she’s coming from.
Once I was a fan of the series, I was on the edge of my seat, awaiting every new book (and with not much patience). Once I got my hands on a new book in the series, it didn’t last the night. My parents thought I was nuts. I even remember my dad yelling at me, “You need to eat your dinner. Put the book down!” It was a real problem. As I got older and the series came to its conclusion, my love for it only increased.
I told everyone about it, including one of my high school teachers who listened, but ultimately said to me, “I think you’ll grow out of these books as you get older.” Well, no offense to my teacher, but she was wrong. You don’t grow out of good books. Instead, they grow with you, giving you a new perspective on your life. I’m just as much of a fan now as I was then.
These books are not just for teenagers. Recently, I got my mom hooked on them. She doesn’t even like supernatural stories, but with this one, she made an exception. She’s steadily working her way through the series, too…just in time for Meg Cabot’s amazing news. One thing Meg Cabot really understands is that her readers have gotten older, but haven’t lost interest. To that end, she is releasing the first adult installment in her Mediator series this February. That should be just enough time for you all to catch up, or just re-read them (as I will be, obvi). Below is the brand new cover and a link to the brand new excerpt via cosmopolitan. Happy reading!
I won’t be the only one clamoring for this new installment, right?
(Images via HarperCollins.)