Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready (review copy) - 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 realises 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 as 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 cues to the secret of the Shift - and it's time for Aura to choose between loving the living, or embracing the dead... From Amazon UK
I really liked this book! I was really looking forward to reading it, being a huge urban fantasy fan and having wanted to try out Jeri Smith-Ready's adult series previously, and it was so good!
To be honest, I've not read paranormal ghost stories before. I've read books which have ghosts in, but they haven't been the main focus. However, Shade is nothing I would have expected of ghostly paranormal, and, I feel, quite unique. The world she has set up is fascinating and intriguing, and not all questions are answered for the world as a whole, let alone us as readers. Smith-Ready was very clever in how she set out this story. There is a self-contained plot for Shade, about the death of Aura's boyfriend, Logan, and their relationship while he's a ghost. But there is also the bigger picture of the Shift, and the importance of Aura, who was born one minute after the Shift happened, and Zachary, who was born one minute before. Aura wants to find out what caused the Shift, and believes her mother, who died of Cancer when Aura was three, had discovered something, through reading her diaries. The story with Logan is sweet and sad and quite worrying, but it's the bigger picture that kept me reading.
The characters are nice enough, but I didn't adore them. I found Logan to be a little annoying at times, though I felt huge amounts of sympathy for him. Aura is caught between a rock and a hard place in several different ways in this story, and you just want her to make a decision either way, most of the time. Zachary was probably my favourite character, he was just charming and lovely!
There isn't much in the way of action in this book, but that's simply because it's not that type of book. Though there are some close shave when government agents are trying to track Aura down, and there are a few close shaves.
Shade isn't the best book I've read this year, but it was still really enjoyable. I'm really looking forward to reading Shift, the sequel which is released 1st June 2011. I highly recommend this book, it's a quick, enjoyable read!
Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for the review copy.
Published: 2nd September 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse UK
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Jeri Smith-Ready's Website