Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Pages: 309
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Pub. Date: May 4, 2010
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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.

Aura lives outside Baltimore with her aunt in a world that is very different than ours because of the Shift.  If you were born after the Shift, you can see and hear ghosts and Aura, being born after it, struggles with this daily. No one knows how or why the Shift occurred, but Aura really wants to get to the bottom of it.  Other than her ability to see and hear ghosts, Aura is a normal teenage girl. She has a supportive and loving boyfriend, Logan, who has been one of her best friends since childhood and a group of friends she loves. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes and Logan makes a serious mistake which costs him his life.  Consequently, Aura's world is turned upside down.  Logan has come back as a ghost and although it is comforting to have him back in her life, she knows it can't and shouldn't last forever; it's not healthy for both of them.  Logan needs to move on and to top it off, she has met Zachary, who reminds her everyday that he is alive and has the potential to be a "real" boyfriend.  Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade is brilliant and one of the best paranormal novels novels I've read in a long time.

Smith-Ready's writing style is captivating. I know when I am into a book when I can't put it down, regardless of what is going on in my life, and if you wanted to communicate with me these past two days, you had to literally pry the book out of my hands. I was hooked.  I must admit that at first I was a tad skeptical concerning this book as I've read my fair share of paranormal novels that lack that something special; however, Smith-Ready took me by surprise. In fact, I wish I had read this book before the end of 2010 as I would have added it to my Top Ten Favorites of 2010 list.  

Ever since traveling to Ireland last year, I've been pretty much obsessed with all things Irish and Smith-Ready incorporates a lot of that in the character of Logan as well as other aspects of the book. I loved and savored her many Irish allusions.  Aura and Logan's relationship, although they are young, felt real and genuine. I'm definitely a fan of Logan.  Additionally, the hottie Scottish/foreign exchange student, Zachary, was also swoon-worthy.  I kept imagining a younger Gerard Butler in my mind; lets just say that Smith-Ready did a great job of making him dreamy. I mean who doesn't love a good accent?

I also thought this novel really dealt with serious issues of death, forgiveness, letting go, and moving on. I think it's a fascinating premise that Smith-Ready came up with for Shade. It really made me think; plus, communicating with ghosts has long been one of my personal interests.  Don't get me wrong--I'm not a professional Ghost Hunter (Ok. I'll be honest. Once I tried it when I was in middle school.) but I find the idea of communicating with ghosts extremely riveting.  Needless to say, I found the world that Smith-Ready created to be both engrossing and unique.  

In sum, Smith-Ready provides a compelling tale that I was absorbed in.  I can't wait to read the next book in the series, called Shift, which comes out this May.  One thing is for sure: Jeri Smith-Ready is one of my favorite "new-to-me" authors!

*Buy Shade
*Read chapter one
*Watch the book trailer
*Pre-order Shift


  1. I'm glad you loved this one. I loved Smith-Ready's writing style (this is the first book I'd read by her), but I wasn't too enamoured with the storyline (too much left unexplained) or the characters (I thought Logan was a douche!) lol! I'll still be checking out the next book though.

    Great review! :)

  2. Ireland and a hottie that reminded you of Gerard? *swoon* Great review!

  3. So happy to hear you liked it. I seriously need Shift now. That ending is the ultimate cliffhanger!!!

  4. I can't wait to read this now. I have this book and I love the whole ghost thing. Great review.

  5. Thanks for checking out my review, guys!

    Leanna- I am a sucker for accents, but you are probably used to them. :)

    Adriana- You are so right---ultimate cliffhanger!


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