Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Shade

Jeri Smith-Ready
Young Adult/Urban Fatansy
Shade series/Book 1
Simon Pulse/May 2010

From the inside cover ~

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.

There are a few of Ms. Smith-Ready's adult novels on my tbr pile but when I saw this one at the library I had to get it. I had planned to get it when it came out but, it got lost in the shuffle. It's not that I need to start yet another series, believe me I don't. It's not that I'm heavy into young adult novels or getting them for the teen. In fact, she hasn't read this one yet, she's re-reading her Mercedes Lackey books, again. I simply love Smith-Ready's writing and the premise of the story intrigued me.

In a world where kids can see and hear the dead, it maybe be cool at first but can become annoying fairly quickly. For Aura, it's been annoying for a while. She works for her Aunt Gina who provides legal counsel for the dead. Since Aura can see and speak with the dead, she acts as a translator. Aura isn't all work, she's a high school student with a boyfriend who's in a band. She's busy with her friends and school. Just a regular teenager. It's when things go horribly wrong that Aura begins to realize that she may not be just a regular teenager. She was the first one born after the Shift and the significance of that will play into Aura's future.

Wouldn't it be weird if teens has this power to see what adults couldn't? It puts them in a unique position. But there's more to it than just seeing ghosts. Aura is determined to find out why the Shift happened. She teams up with the new guy at school, Zachary, to work on her research of what caused the Shift. She doesn't tell anyone, afraid they'll think she's crazy, but Zach figures it out. But Aura isn't the only one keeping secrets. Zach is keeping some pretty big ones too.

Since Aura grew up after the Shift seeing ghosts has always been part of her life. But when that ghost is your dead boyfriend, that makes it odd in a way she wouldn't have imagined. After Logan dies, he visits Aura and she's happy he's there but she knows he needs to move on. The problem is that the circumstances of Logan's death are not cut and dry and Aura finds herself in the middle of the conflict. Aside from typical teen issues, Aura certainly has some unique ones. Her boyfriend is dead and is now a ghost and there's the new boy at school that she finds herself attracted too. Nothing like a little love triangle, no matter how odd, to add drama to a teens' life.

The world building is first rate with ghosts part of society. The government, of course, is involved and not always on the side of the innocent. I liked how Smith-Ready incorporated the various government entities into this world that now includes ghosts and the more darker Shades. The Shades are the ghosts that basically turn mean. They are not bound by the elemental laws that govern the standard ghost. The Shades are powerful and dangerous, something to fear. Loved that twist that made this so much more than just a simple ghost story.

So, it's another YA series I'll be adding to my reading list. I enjoyed this different take on ghosts and Aura's world. I'm curious to see where Aura is heading and hope the next book, Shift, (May 3, 2011) will answer some of the questions that Shade left us with.

Rating: A-


  1. I keep confusing the books cover of Shade with the ones from Rachel Vincent YA series!!!

    Okay, this sounds pretty interesting :P I like ghosts LOL. Question though, are all the teens able to see/hear ghosts? Or is Aura unique?

  2. Nath ~ I'm not crazy about ghosts but this worked well for me. :)

    All kids, from babies on up, born after the Shift can see ghosts. Aura was born literally right after the shift so she's unique in that way.

  3. Okay. So what is the shift? LOL