Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Aura was born shortly after the Shift and, like everyone born after the Shift, she can see and communicate with ghosts. When her boyfriend Logan unexpectedly dies, he continues to stick around in ghost-form and Aura continues to interact with him. Enter Zachary, the cute new student from Scotland and Aura’s new research partner. While Zachary and Aura attempt to uncover the mystery surrounding the Shift, Logan must pursue his wrongful death case so he can move on and avoid becoming a Shade – a dark, scary ghost that cannot move on.
This is going to be one of those I-Loved-This-Book-So-Much-And-You-Must-Go-Read-It-Immediately-But-I-Won’t-Be-Able-To-Articulate-Why reviews. You are welcome.
The premise, as I have written it and as the publisher has written it sounds a little ridiculous. But it isn’t, I promise. Smith-Ready did such an excellent job building the world as it exists in Shade that no ridiculousness can seep in. The vocabulary – post-Shifter, blackboxing, shading – fits neatly into the story without sounding forced. The pacing is perfect – I felt like I was leaning forward the whole time anxious for what came next. And there was a great balance between the mystery of the Shift and the love triangle.
And what a unique love triangle. Aura still loves Logan, but what kind of future can they have? Yet acting on her feelings for Zachary will still hurt Logan. I am 100% Team Zachary but you can’t help but feel for Aura as she makes some tough decisions (plus Logan was the singer in an Irish punk band. Hot).
Oh, did I mention that Zachary is Scottish and speaks in an adorable accent (yes, I read his lines in a Scottish accent). I have found yet another character to crush on.
Finally, one thing that I really liked about Shade has nothing to do with the supernatural aspect of the story. Shade treats drugs, alcohol, and sex as a normal part of teenage life. They play a very important role in the plot but it isn’t tackled with reservation like it is in a lot of YA books. Since drugs, alcohol, and sex ARE a normal part of teenage life, I appreciate the frankness with with Smith-Ready approached it.
This book had adventure, intrigue, love, loss, hope, music, and so much more. Please, do yourself a favor and go read Shade now (I owe Jen from Makeshift Bookmark a HUGE thanks for making me read it). And when you are finished, you can read the sequel, Shift, which comes out tomorrow (it took all the self-restraint I possess not to immediately begin Shift).