Monday, 9 January 2012

Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Released: 2nd September 2010
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Challenge: TBR 2012
Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Description:

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.

My thoughts:
The concept was really intriguing, I liked how everyone under a certain age could see ghosts, and how they were now violet instead of normal coloured. The world-building was really effectively mixed in with the dialogue, ensuring there was no irritating info-dumps. I loved how ghosts could be called as witnesses, and were still bound by the law. All very clever.
Another thing I really liked was the feeling that this series will have a massive, conspiracy-theory-type twist in there somewhere, what with all the secret acronym'd governmental departments and mysteries. I love that sort of thing. I especially loved how it was sort of hinted at, leaving you wanting to read the rest of the series to find out what happens. One of my pet hates is when a book feels all wrapped up and then the author goes and writes a sequel anyway. So I was really glad Shade didn't fall into that trap.
I also loved how realistic the book felt. The dialogue never felt forced or un-adolescent to me, and the teenagers did actual things like have sex (or not have sex), drink, take drugs. I feel like too many YA books shy away from these things that ACTUAL TEENAGERS ACTUALLY DO. And pretending they don't in fiction isn't going to stop them, it's just gonna make your book less real.
Onto what I didn't especially like; the characters.  Logan was just an absolute idiot--I felt nothing for him beyond sheer annoyance, which I guess is how you're supposed to feel, but still, that annoyed me. Aura I could pretty much take or leave really, there was nothing exceptional about her. I really didn't like Zach either; I felt a bit like the author relied on him being Scottish to carry the hotness factor and didn't actually bother to create him a personality. Being British, I was unimpressed by the Scottish accent and therefore completely underwhelmed by Zach. I also didn't like how he treated Aura, I thought their whole situation was really unfair seeing as her boyfriend just DIED. What did he expect from her?

So the book kinda cancelled itself out for me, hence the middle score of 3. The extra .5 came from the realism of the whole underage drinking/sex thing. I really liked that that was included. 


  1. I am quite intrigued by this book now. I know you didn't love the characters but the conspiracy theory is calling to me.

  2. Agree completely. Logan was the worst part of this book, and the realism was the best part. Are you gonna read the sequel? You might prefer it (though I personally found Aura to be worse in that one, doing the stupidest things ever - but the story progresses more, which is cool). Nice review :).

  3. I so agree about portraying realistic teenagers. Some of the things they do these days might not be so attractive, but it makes for a more rounded and believable novel. Shame the characters fell flat for you, especially since you enjoyed the premise - sucks when you get those half like/half bleggggh books! But great review!

  4. I loved this one because of how real and creative the plot was. There were no annoying plot holes in it or things that just lazily didn't makes sense. As for the characters...I liked them well enough. I think they get better in the second one, though.

  5. Damnit. I think the characters would annoy me too, but the rest of this book sounds awesome! Hmm.. I think I'll add it to my wishlist anyway.

    ComaCalm's Corner

  6. We had EXACTLY the same thoughts on the boys! I've read the next book too and I think Logan is a douche of the highest order!! I feel that Zach's scottish accent was really over-emphasised. The scottish accent is nothing exotic to me, so I was just all like 'meh'. The boys in this series just don't work for me at all, which is a shame, cos I was really excited about the series when I first heard about it.

  7. I totally agree. Loved the concept...hated Logan!


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