Monday, September 20, 2010

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

By Jeri Smith-Ready
2010, Simon Pulse, 320 pages

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.

— description

How to I explain how I felt about this book without totally spoiling it? Because there were twists and turns and mysteries and an ending that just left me feeling...aghhhh! But I will say this at least: I was starting to get bored with the YA urban fantasy genre. Yeah, werewolves, vampires, all that, I get after book. And then this book came along, about ghosts of all things, and I was sincerely interested and, for the first time in a while with an urban fantasy book, emotionally invested. And that pleasantly surprised me. Toward the end, there's a crucial scene where all the attention is focused on Logan, and I actually CRIED. I can't remember that last time I cried at a book that wasn't totally contemporary.

Plus side: GHOST SEX. No, really. Listen, I was Team Zachary from the get-go because, I mean, a) hot accent and b) Logan's dead, so he's not really much of a viable option, right? But still hot...even if it was with Logan and it totally got them in trouble later. I'm just saying! It was also clear that this book was very well thought out. The details of this alternative universe and its back story were impeccable.

Also on the plus side? Deep analysis of a Death Cab for Cutie song. Nice!

Down side: I was scared the whole time that Zachary was going to be her secret twin brother. Even Aura thought it might be true! I was so torn the whole book. Stop playing with my emotions, Jeri Smith-Ready! Also, I had a hard time keeping track of who was who for some of the peripheral characters, but not really a big deal.

Moral of the story (well, not really): Go listen to some Irish rock!

You might also like:
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

PS: Shade's sequel, Shift, will be released in May 2011.

Anna Reads young adult book blog


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