Alternative Title UK:Love You To Death
Author Meg Cabot
Publication date 2000
Published by Avon Books
ISBN 9780060725112
Number of Pages 304
Series Guide
Preceded by
Followed by
Ninth Key

Shadowland (a.k.a Love You To Death) is a young adult novel written by author Meg Cabot and published by Avon Books in 2000. It is the first part of The Mediator series. Its alternative title is Love You To Death.

There's a hot guy in Susannah Simon's bedroom. Too bad he's a ghost.

Suze is a mediator -- a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won't leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn't seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations.

But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it's not that easy. There's a ghost with revenge on her mind ... and Suze happens to be in the way.


Susannah Simon is a mediator. Which means she spends a lot of time directing the unhappy dead into the afterlife. And it isn't easy - not all ghosts want to be guided. At the beginning of the story Suze moves from New York to Carmel, California, because her mom remarries to Andy Ackerman after Suze's father dies ten years prior. She gets three stepbrothers in the deal, whom she nicknames Sleepy (a senior), Dopey (a sophomore like Suze), and Doc (12, and, according to Suze, going on 40, as he knows more than an encyclopedia), but to the rest of the world they're Jake, Brad, and David.

Suze feels that now that she is in California and she can start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery and surfing instead of tending to lost souls. But she has hardly settled in when her skills are put to the test. When Suze tries to get settled into her new room, she finds a ghost sitting on her window seat. She describes him as an exceedingly hot ghost who happens to be already living in their house, and he doesn't seem to need her help. Suze at first is annoyed with the living arrangements and tells Jesse (he told her his name after she called him "amigo") to move on or find some other house to haunt, because now she is living there.

There is a ghost with revenge on her mind in Suze's new school (the Junipero Serra Mission Academy) and Suze plans to stop her. The ghost, Heather, died because she shot herself when Bryce Martinson broke up with her. When Bryce and Heather's old friends begin to show interest in Suze, Heather claims Susannah is taking over the life she had. Angered, Suze punches her into the locker. Before Father Dom can tell her off, her new homeroom teacher interrupts and Father Dominic is forced to leave her there. Father Dominic (the Priest of the church and principal of the school, who happens to be another mediator) tries helping Suze with Heather.

Father Dominic insists that Susannah should try a more friendly way to deal with the ghosts she meets. She argues with him, saying she has done this job all her life and is not going to change. He often calls her into his office to talk about how to get rid of Heather, and many other ghost related things throughout the series.

Its not long after that Heather makes a re-appearance and tries to kill Bryce but Suze intervenes and saves his life causing another buzz to go round the school, it also causes Bryce to ask her out on a date to say thank you. When she gets in the car to go home its all any of the three boys can talk about. After dinner Suze gets lots of calls including from Father Dom, Bryce, CeeCee (with Adam) and even Kelly Prescott the most popular, richest girl in her year.

At midnight, Suze decides to go down to the Mission and put an end to it all. The idea was to talk Heather into moving on, but Suze slips up in her wording and Heather misconstrues her meaning, giving Heather the false hope that she might get her life back. Suze tries to carefully explain this isn't so, but Heather throws a fit, going into such a rage that she attempts to kill Susannah. She uses her abilities to boil water and to snap off of and levitate the bronze head of a statue of Junipero Serra, the man of whom the mission was named after.

Just as the statue's head is about to collide with Suze, Jesse appears and knocks her aside. Having followed her from the house to watch over her, he helps her flee the building, the head pursuing them the whole way. Once outside he says that they are safe, not because Heather can't reach them there, but because she is too young a ghost to know she can.

The next day, Father Dominic is very unhappy with Susannah. She tries to explain that it was going to work - she just didn't expect Heather's strength.

Over the next few days Heather seems to get more and more violent whilst Suze gets closer and closer to her old friends and her old life that she desperately wants back. Suze is now nominated and eventually gets to be the sophomore class vice-president after Kelly who is president.

Suze asks Doc to try and find something out about the house, to try and find the connection to Jesse. It's here that we learn his real name -- Hector De Silva (called Jesse by his mother). He was supposed to marry Maria De Silva -- his cousin back in the eighteen hundreds, but he never showed up for the wedding. He had just disappeared and was never heard from again.

Days later, Heather puts Bryce in hospital again in her attempts to kill him. By now Susannah is furious and despite Father Dominic telling Susannah not to handle it alone, she does a special Voodoo exorcism. She tricks Heather into believing that she can go back to her old life but actually exorcises her. Heather soon realizes and goes on another rampage, but Suze wins and Heather is exorcised -- but not before bringing half the breezeway of the school down with her and on top of Suze.

Doc and Sleepy come to her rescue and when quizzed about how he knew Suze was at the school, the only way Doc can explain it is that the ghost that haunts their house woke him up and told him. This causes another disrupt between Jesse and Suze as she warned him not to come to the school as he could get exorcised with Heather, but he saved her life, again - evidently there is something there.

Father Dominic is pretty mad but very pleased that Heather is gone and that all the suffering will go away. Unfortunately for Susannah, Bryce got sent to another school since Father Dominic thought this would be best for him, therefore deleting their very small love life that didn't even consist of one date sue to Heather and her envy.

Doc seems to be quite brave for his age as despite seeing the ghost and being a little afraid of him, he offers to switch so that Suze can feel safer, but Suze declines. Out of everyone, he knows the most about Suze's talent although she hasn't directly told him, he's deducted what he knows and come to an answer.

Suze finds out she has won the election for the sophomore class vice-president with two-thirds of the class voting for her even though she's only been there a week, and her first act as vice-president is having a memorial for Heather instead of the traditional prom like dance that's usually held. In the end she decides to make the most of this new start as she says 'we should stick around for a while'.


Main CharactersEdit

  • Susannah Simon - The sixteen year old protagonist of the story. She is a mediator and aids in the passing on of ghosts. She moved from New York to Carmel, California when her mom got married to Andrew (Andy) Ackerman. She now has three stepbrothers. Suze has a 19th century ghost living in her bedroom, and seems to have a crush on him.
  • Jesse de Silva - A 150 year old Spanish ghost living in Suze's bedroom. It's obvious he has feelings for Suze, as he is protective of her and saves her life on more than one occasion.

Supporting CharactersEdit

  • Father Dominic - The principal of the Junipero Serra Mission Academy and a fellow mediator. He has dealt with many ghosts over the years and he obviously cares for Suze deeply.
  • Heather Chambers - Appears in Shadowland. Killed herself after her boyfriend broke up with her and haunted Mission Academy. Injured several people with her physic powers and caused a lot of property damage. Eventually exorcised by Suze when she could not be convinced to go on her way peacefully.
  • Bryce Martinson- Jake's friend. He was nearly killed by his ex-girlfriend Heather, who is dead. Considered hottest guy in town by the girls.
  • Helen Simon-Ackerman - Suze's mom. Works as a news reporter. She relocated to California, since she had one child and flexible job. (Although Suze's mother has no official name. When asked Meg said she named all mothers in books she was writing at the time Helen.)
  • Andy Ackerman - Suze's stepfather. He is a carpenter by profession and an excellent cook. He fancies himself a bit of a comedian, despite being not that funny. He's very nice to his children and almost immediately treats Suze as his own.
  • Adam McTavish - One of Suze's best friends in Carmel. Is attracted to Suze when he first meets her.
  • Jake Ackerman - Referred to as "Sleepy" by Suze, Jake is the eldest of Andy Ackerman's sons. He is a year above Suze and Dopey in school. Jake works as a deliverer at Peninsula Pizza and is saving up for a camaro. He very rarely speaks unless spoken to directly, or if it's a subject that deeply interests him. Sleepy loves to surf, and is known as a "hottie" throughout Suze's school.
  • Brad Ackerman - Referred to as "Dopey" by Suze, Brad is the middle of Andy Ackerman's sons. He mainly talks about wrestling, girls, parties and protein shakes. He's your average popular high school jock. Suze liked him least out of all her stepbrothers.
  • David Ackerman - Referred to as "Doc" by Suze, David is the youngest of Andy Ackerman's sons. He has red curly hair and sticky out ears. David is very intelligent and has been offered a chance to skip a grade, but refused. He also helped Suze in getting more information about Jesse.
  • CeeCee Webb - One of Suze's best friends in Carmel. She is an albino and once described herself as "Tweeny Bird" of her grade. She is the school newspaper editor. CeeCee knows everything about everyone in school and lots of facts about the people in their town.
  • Peter Simon - Suze's dead father. He won't move on, no matter how hard Suze pushes.
  • Kelly Prescott - One of the most popular and richest girls at school and the student body President. She is also Dopey's main crush.
  • Debbie Mancuso - One of the most popular and richest girls at school. Has a very large crush on Brad and he seems to return these feelings. Tries to copy Kelly but Kelly has always been more popular.
  • Sister Ernestine - The assistant headmaster, or "vice-principal" if you will, of Junipero Serra Mission Academy.


Suze Simon: I'm sorry, Heather, but everything was not just fine before I got here. You know how I know that? Because you're dead. Okay? You are dead. Dead people don't have lockers, or best friends, or boyfriends. You know why? Because they're dead.

Jesse de Silva: That hurt querida, that really hurt.

Suze (about her stepbrothers): They just kept grinning at me from over the stupid sign, Dopey because he's too dumb to know any better, Doc because – well, I guess because he might have been glad to see me. Doc's weird that way. Sleepy, the oldest, just stood there, looking … well, sleepy.

Suze Simon: How is it that I'd nearly been smothered to death, and yet I could sit there and notice things like my stepbrother's abdominal muscles a few minutes later?

Father Dominic: A mediator is someone who helps others resolve conflicts. Not someone who, er, kicks them in the face.

Father Dominic: Even in the cruelest human being there can exist a flower of good. Maybe just the tiniest blossom, in need of water and sunlight, but a flower just the same.

Susannah: They told me there'd be palm trees.

Madame Zara (to Susannah): You talk to the dead.
Gina [excited]: Oh my God! Oh my God! Really? Suze, did you hear that? You can talk to the dead! You're a psychic medium, too!
Madam Zara: Not a medium. A mediator.

Susannah: When in doubt, I always say, wear black. You can never go wrong with black.

Jesse de Silva: Heav'n has no rage like love to hatred turn'd, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”
Susannah: But you know, sometimes the woman scorned has every right to be mad.

Adam McTavish: Guys always admire girls who look as if any minute they might punch another girl in the mouth. We just can't help it.

Susannah (about Sister Ernestine): I know it’s probably wrong to fantasize about giving a nun a karate chop in the neck, but I couldn’t help it. She was making me mad.

Susannah (about her stepdad): Did I mention that Andy thinks he’s a comedian? He’s not. He’s a carpenter.

Susannah (to Heather): Do you know what the word abnegation means?

Susannah (when she first sees Jesse): All right. Who the hell are you?

Father Dominic: Every single one of the spirits I’ve helped have passed my gate quite willingly...
Susannah (sarastically): Yeah. And if you clap hard enough, Tinkerbell won’t die.

Susannah (sarastically): That’s right. I broke my wrist falling down the stairs. Oh, and the reason I fell down the stairs is that the ghost of a three - hundred - year - old conquistador pushed me.

Sleepy: If you’re gonna have your head split open, it might as well be while you’re riding a wave, dude.

Adam McTavish: All those guys on the wrestling team, though — they scare me. And they’re so homophobic...well, you can’t help wondering about their sexual orientation. I mean, they all think I’m gay, but you wouldn’t catch me in a pair of tights grabbing at some other guy’s inner thigh.

More EditionsEdit