SHADE BY JERI SMITH-READY
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 309 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (May 4, 2010)
Purchase: Amazon|Indiebound|Barnes & Noble
Quick & Dirty Review:
Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.
The cover of SHADE reads, “Love ties them together. Death can’t tear them apart.” This really sums up the book beautifully.
Aura is the first girl born after an event called “The Shift” which left babies everywhere able to see and communicate with ghosts. Aura is in pain. Torn between her love for the recently deceased Logan and new found interest in Zach, the Scottish foreign exchange student, SHADE is a unique look at the ties that bind; ties that even death can't tear apart.
“You can hear me, can’t you?”
I punched the green print button on the copier to drown out the disembodied voice. Sometimes if I ignored them long enough, they went away--confused, discouraged, and lonelier than ever. Sometimes.”
“ Aura,“ he whispered, “I wish I could wipe away just one of your tears. Then I’d feel like a person again. Like I’m something more than a bunch of light…….
….“I love you so much,” he said. “I wish you never had to be sad.”
The tear my finger had taken was replaced by another. “Let me cry, Logan. I need to.”
He brought his face near mine, so bright I had to squint, and placed his head on my pillow, close enough that if he’d had breath, it would have caressed my eyelashes. “I’ll stay until you sleep, and I’ll come back tomorrow if you want.”
I nodded, then shut my eyes against his light.” -Page 126
Relationships are always complicated. But for people like Aura born after the Shift, it's even worse. Ghosts flock to her everywhere she goes. Aura hates being able to see and hear ghosts- that is until her boyfriend Logan becomes one. Then she knows she must make a choice. Does love mean never giving up on someone even if they’re technically not living? Or does love sometimes mean saying goodbye, no matter how much it hurts?
The Shift was fascinating--though never quite explained well enough to completely satisfy me. I was intrigued by what could have possibly caused so many people to grow up seeing ghosts. I also wanted to know more about what happened to Aura’s mother at the Newgrange in Ireland. In addition, it was extremely interesting to learn how societies adapted after the Shift. Certain areas became “Black Boxed" where ghosts couldn't get into. Everyone born after the Shift had to wear red or obsidian jewelery to help repel ghosts. Ghosts could be summoned to give testimony in court trials, and wayward ghosts called “Shades“ were routinely hunted and disposed of by the formidable government agency, The DMP.
I love the unique twist on the subject of ghosts; it was fresh, exciting and unlike anything I’ve read recently. Aura was a sympathetic, well written character. I could easily put myself in her shoes and imagine the pain and conflicting emotions that she would’ve been going through. At times certain aspects of her situation reminded me of Lisa Schroeder’s characters in CHASING BROOKLYN or I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME. I would not want to make the choices she faced, but she handled herself understandably and I rooted for her the whole time.
SHADE is a book that delves into choices; whether having some small shred of a deceased love one is better than having nothing at all. I have to admit, through most of the book I found myself wanting Aura to turn toward Zachary and send Logan away for good. Logan was just so irresponsible and selfish. As for Zach, he really stole my heart. I loved his steamy manner of talking to Aura and the way his character cracked and sizzled with mystery and leading man appeal. The revelation that was revealed about him floored me and I can’t wait to see how that plays out in the next installment.
With a few loose ends left untied, SHADE was an entertaining and fascinating book. I was fascinated by the Shift and would've loved to delve more deeply into it's many mysteries. But it’s quite possible that all will be revealed in future installments to come. I look forward to the sequel, SHIFT releasing in May 2011.
Read an excerpt of Shade.
Read a prequel scene from Shade.
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