Shade, by Jeri Ready-Smith

Shade is a novel I wanted to read for some time, based on the amazing reviews I'd already read about it. I'm very happy to say that despite having exceptionally high expectations, I wasn't disappointed.

Blurb from Goodreads: 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.

The concept for the novel hooked me before I'd even started reading. It really is a unique idea and Aura'a angst about being torn between both the ghost and memory or her dead boyfriend, and her new feels for Zach are portrayed perfectly. The pace is reasonably fast, which works well because it would have been easy to be bogged down with teen emotions etc and forget the actual plot. There was enough happening to keep me reading cover to cover without putting the book down to breathe!

While I was expecting Shade to be set in the future, it seems to be set in a world exactly like ours, except for the fact that anyone under sixteen can see ghosts. There's a slight atmosphere of anxiety in the world, which Smith-Ready weaves in wonderfully, making the world just different enough to feel almost magical.

The characterization is fantastic, and Aura is a protagonist that I couldn't help rooting for. I think that the reader is expected to feel the "Team Logan" vs "Team Zach" tug. Both boys are very different characters and the time Aura spends with them shows how different they are. The book wouldn't have worked with just Logan-the-ghost. Zach's contrasting personality is needed and very well done.

The book ends with a cliffhanger that had me immediately searching for the second book. Fortunately, we don't have long to wait. Shift is out May 3rd!

A must-read for anyone who loves YA.

WritersBlockNZ's Verdict: 9/10



Dawn Embers said...

I hadn't heard of this book before but it sounds like an interesting one. Normally I'm a bit anti-triangle when it comes to these YA stories but this one seems to have a different approach. One being a ghost might make it unique enough that I'll be able to read it without becoming annoyed like other books. I may have to check it out some time.

Good review.

L'Aussie said...

Hey it sounds like a great book JJ. Brilliant to end with a cliffhanger to leave you begging for more = now you can grab that sequel.


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