Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: September 2nd, 2010
Grade rating: A-
Like everyone born after The Shift, sixteen year-old Aura can see and talk to ghosts. Persistent, and often angry, some even on the verge of becoming Shades, these violet-hued spirits are constantly talking to her, following her, and demanding her help to make amends for their untimely deaths. Aura has always found this mysterious ability annoying and wished she could find a way to reverse it. She'd much rather the ghosts left her alone so she could spend time with her boyfriend, Logan. But when Logan dies suddenly and unexpectedly, Aura is forced to reconsider her connections with the dead...and, the living. Surely a violet-hued spirit Logan is better than no Logan at all, isn't it? And things are complicated further when new exchange student, Zachary, is paired with Aura for a class project researching the 'Shift phenomenon'. Zach is so understanding - and so very alive. His support and friendship means more to Aura than she cares to admit. And, as Aura's relationships with both the dead, and the living, become more complicated, so do her feelings for both Logon and Zach. Each holds a piece of her heart...and clues to the secret of the shift.
If I had to quickly sum up why I loved Shade so much, I'd have to say 'ghosts' and 'love triangle'. I'm a sucker for a love triangle, and ghosts are a side of the paranormal that we don't seem to see much in YA. Vampires, werewolves and winged ones better move over, though, because I think ghosts could be the new angels.
Jeri Smith-Ready has expertly crafted a creepy story, about a mysterious shift that has enabled people born after it to see and speak to ghosts. Aura was the first person born after the shift, which I'm guessing has some huge significance when it comes to figuring out the phenomenon. Nothing is really explained in Shift, but I think we'll find out more in the next book. At least, I hope we do!
Main characters Aura, Logan and Zachary were all brilliantly written, and each had their fair share of clever, snappy dialogue. Zachary is a hot scotsman, while Logan is a dead musician with Irish heritage - believe me when I say choosing between these two was very hard. I went with Zachary in the end, because I think he could play a mean bagpipe tune, and I like the sound of his hair. Yes, I'm shallow when it comes to boys and their hair. I blame Edward Cullen.
The shift itself was fascinating to read about, and I loved the ghostly input. I never ended up looking over my shoulder in fright, and that's because Logan was so nice and endearing. His death was a tragedy that should never have happened, but even as a ghost, his playful personality still remained. It's hard to be creeped out by a gorgeous vocalist who likes Snow Patrol, so I settled for liking him instead.
The only thing that stopped Shade getting a higher grade from me was the occasional slow chapter. It seemed to lose its momentum every now and then, but it's not really a big deal. I can't wait for the next book and, until then, I'm quite tempted to jump on a train to Scotland. Zach's gotta be somewhere, right?