Thursday, 30 June 2011

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
First published by Simon Pulse in 2010 (this edition from Simon Pulse in 2011)

Book #1 in the Shade series

Description (from Goodreads):

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:
I had been seeing quite a few things about this book around many blogs, probably because of the upcoming release (then) of the second book in the series, Shift. I thought the premise sounded interesting and different, so I decided to buy a copy for myself.

I ended up really enjoying this book! The main character's name is Aura and she has the ability to see ghosts, along with everyone else who was born after the Shift, an event that happened in the year she was born. That means that quite a few people her age can't see ghosts, including her boyfriend, Logan. And then, suddenly, while at a party for his 17th birthday, Logan dies. In the meantime, we are also introduced to Zachary, who enrolls at Aura's school because his father just got transferred from Scotland to Baltimore in the US.

Aura is a lovely character, though she also came off as rather naive at times. After Logan's death, she seems to be a little lost and unsure and that feeling seems to get better when Logan reappears as a ghost. Aura also lives with her aunt, as she never knew her father and her mother died when she was young. 

We don't really learn much about the Shift in this book. But we do get some really intriguing bits of information which led me to wonder what on earth happened to cause the Shift and what it really entails. As Shift is part of a series, I suppose we will get more information about it one of the next books, hopefully Shift (which I haven't read any reviews of on purpose).

I can't write this review without saying something about the two male characters vying for Aura's attention; Logan and Zachary. I don't like the expressions that other people seem to like, eg 'Team Logan' and 'Team Zachary', so I'm not going to use them. But I can honestly say I am completely on Zachary's side. He is so lovely and charming and nice. Not to mention Scottish! As for Logan, I can honestly say I disliked him from the beginning. Well, maybe not dislike, but I didn't really warm to him. I could even sympathise when he died, because of the completely and utterly stupid thing he did that led to his death. As the book progressed, I found I liked him even less, though I will admit that he was a bit endearing at times. All you Logan fans, please don't shoot me!

One other thing I really liked about this book was the fact that the author did not make Zachary's parts of the dialogue too Scottish. By that I mean that she refrained from writing 'oot', 'guid', 'dae'. Instead, she used actual words the Scots use to describe something, instead of the equivalent word in English. Sometimes, I find the use of local dialect forms, where the author writes the word just as it's pronounced, to be a bit tiring, so I appreciated the lack of it in this book.

All in all, Shade was a lovely, rather quick read and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series, Shift. Though I'll probably wait until it's out in hardback.

(I think this is one of the worst reviews I have ever written....)

Rating: 8/10

Jeri Smith-Ready is an award winning author of science fiction and fantasy books. She holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Policy and lives in Maryland with her husband and their cats and dog. Other than her Shade series, she has also written books for two other series, which are known as WVMP Radio and Aspect of Crow.

You can find out more about Jeri by looking at her website HERE.

Read for the: 100 Books In A Year Challenge 2011, 1st In A Series Challenge

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