Shade - Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon and Schuster)
Release Date: 2nd September 2010
Other (adult) Titles by this Author: WVMP Radio series, Aspect of Crow series
Aura’s in love with two boys - but one of them’s a ghost. Can true love really conquer all - even death?
Like everyone born after the Shift, sixteen-year-old Aura can see and talk to ghosts. She’s always found this mysterious ability pretty annoying, wishing only that she could reverse it and have some peace. But when her boyfriend, Logan, dies unexpectedly, Aura is forced to reconsider her connections to the dead…
Devastated by Logan’s sudden death, Aura ralises that her ability to see ghosts might actually be a blessing. Surely a violet-hued spirit Logan is better than no Logan at all? But just when Aura is coming to terms with having a ghost for a boyfriend, she starts developing feelings for her new friend Zachary, who is understanding, supportive and, most of all, alive. Each boy holds a piece of her heart - as well as vital clues to the secret of the Shift - and it’s time for Aura to choose between loving the living or embracing the dead…
I know that lots of people, including myself, have become a little disillusioned with paranormal romances lately, but Shade is a book that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Ghosts are still a little-explored aspect of the paranormal as, in my opinion, there are fewer ways to twist the mythology than say, vampires or werewolves which only makes Jeri Smith-Ready’s debut even more startlingly original. The idea that anyone born after a particular moment will be able to see ghosts is brilliant. But what’s even more intriguing is that people who were psychics before the Shift can no longer see them and the ghosts themselves changed from slightly faded, full-colour spectres to bright, violet versions of themselves. There was also the link to monoliths that Aura suspected. All in all, not much about the Shift was actually revealed in Shade so I’m hoping I’ll get some answers in Shift.
After losing her boyfriend in the initial stages of the story, Aura spends most of the novel grieving. And my heart broke for her. The repercussions of a death like Logan’s (which I was not at all expecting) were excruciatingly detailed in the blame that Aura and Dylan put on themselves. And with Logan’s continued presence as a ghost it was only made harder as although he wasn’t completely gone, he couldn’t touch Aura, he couldn’t play his guitar and most of his family couldn’t see him. As much as they wanted to they couldn’t move on, and neither could Logan, really.
And as for the pace of Aura’s moving on, I was very impressed. Her grieving wasn’t rushed and everything moved at a natural speed, even with Aura’s conflicting emotions over a certain gorgeous Scotsman, Zachary. I loved how he never once tried to push Aura into getting over Logan and instead respected and understood her remaining in love with Logan. It was incredibly sweet and made him a stand-out YA hero. And I honestly couldn’t decide whether I preferred him or Logan; they’re just so different.
With the rather unfair cliffhanger ending, I’m dying to see more of Aura, Logan and Zachary in Shift.
For my 2010 Debut Author Challenge, 2010 100+ Reading Challenge