Thursday, June 10, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: May 4th 2010, Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover, 309 pgs
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.
Shade is absolutely brilliant. The concept is fresh and fun and heartbreaking all at the same time. Smith-Ready captures you on the very first page and never lets you go. It's been days since I finished it, and I'm still thinking about Aura, Logan, and Zachary, not to mention the world they live in.
The Shift makes Aura's life hell. She's tired of seeing violet ghosts everywhere she turns, until the love of her life becomes one. Logan doesn't get to spend much time alive, and you know he's going to die up front, but Smith-Ready doesn't make it easy to let him go. Her characters are vivid and alive, even when they're not, and I connected deeply with each of them. I was angry at Logan for being so caught up with his music and at Aura for not understanding that she meant more to him than she thought, and it completely broke my heart when they both realized they could never go back.
Enter Zachary. I love him. Seriously. That's all I'm going to say about that.
The plot unfolds smoothly, and is full of intrigue and twists. As Shade is the first in a series, a few plot strings are left untied, the bigger mystery still waiting to be solved, but Smith-Ready doesn't leave you dissatisfied in the slightest. Well, that's not entirely true, but the novel does come with a sense of completion and satisfaction upon reaching the end.
Jeri Smith-Ready's Young Adult debut Shade is a heart-wrenching, beautifully crafted book that sucks you in and never fully lets you go. Shade is gorgeous from cover to cover. I highly recommend it, as well as a box of Kleenex, because you'll probably need it.