Series: Shade #1
Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse- May 2010
Genres: Paranormal YA
The Skinny: In Aura’s world, when you die it doesn’t necessarily mean you are gone. An unexplained phenomena called the “Shift” happened and everyone born after that point becomes like Ghost Whisperers or walking Ouji boards — they can see and talk to ghosts. Sounds cool, right? Your loved ones wouldn’t necessarily be gone. But what about when all the ghosts are constantly bombarding you with their stories and wanting you to help and they won’t go away? When Aura’s boyfriend Logan dies, on the night they decided to take that next step in their relationship, Aura tries to grapple with the fact that she can still see Logan but their relationship just can’t be the same and meeting a new guy named Zachary, who seems to share her passion for figuring out why the Shift happened and how it can be stopped, just further complicates things.
I have never seen such passion for a book before in my LIFE until I saw how much Jen from Makeshift Bookmark LOVES this series. While she certainly isn’t a one woman parade in these proclamations of LOVE for this series, she’s the voice that has resonated the loudest for me in telling me that I need to read this book. So, I had to read it to find out what the hoopla was. But I have to be honest. I was nervous because, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not an “I love everything paranormal” gal. I like SOME paranormal but not in the way a lot of my blogger friends love it. So, I was a little apprehensive to be honest.
But fortunately for my reading pleasure, and the status of my friendship with Jen, Jeri Smith-Ready wrote a paranormal story that I devoured — a promising premise that delivered, romantical tension to boot, heartwrenching passages that made my heart feel like it was in a vise and characters who I genuinely could believe in and care for.
Man, can Jeri Smith Ready write a convincing love triangle that doesn’t make me want to vom my Kashi bars all over the place! Jeri, can I just call you Queen of the Love Triangles? Seriously, this love triangle had me feeling like my heart was in the midst of a rowdy game of Tug O’ War on the playground. My heart ACHED for Aura. I mean, yes, it would be amazing to still see the people you love in theory but it could never be the same and it would be a painful thing to try and move on knowing that you are hurting that person. I’m personally Team Zachary for now but Logan is one passionate – albeit a bit stupid sometimes- dude.
I loved how unique the story was. It wasn’t a typical ghost story. It felt very much integrated into the real world but then you’d be very much reminded that there were some very supernatural things happening…as I’m sure it would feel to be Aura and going through your day, let’s saying walking your dog and listening to your music, and then a ghost comes out of nowhere. There is SO much we don’t know about the world and I loved finding out bits and pieces (and sometimes HUGE revelations) out with Aura. I wish some of the things would have been developed more in this book because it really took off in the second half in the book but I will be patient. I will.
My Final Thought: This book never disappointed for a moment. There was never a moment when I wasn’t feeling something — heartbreak, anger, surprise, suspense, tension, confusion. The story builds and builds at a pace I felt to be just right and all hell breaks loose at the right moments. I CANNOT WAIT TO READ SHIFT and, I should be scolded, because I do in fact own it but just had to “prioritize” with some review books. But don’t be mistaken, I WILL BE STARTING SHIFT SOON. Shade was just freaking awesome!
* Also, thanks to Jen for so graciously sending Shade and Shift to me just so I would FINALLY READ THEM!