Monday, 17 May 2010

Shade by Jeri Smith Ready

"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."
I heard about this book via Twitter, specifically via a few authors I follow mentioning it being good. So of course I checked it out. It sounded good but I did not expect to be blown away. This is the first in a new YA series, and it is awesome from beginning to end.

The blurb on the cover explains that one major plot thread in this book is a love triangle between Aura with her recently dead boyfriend Logan, and the very much alive Zachary. So before you even meet the characters, you know one of them is going to die early on in the book. And yet despite knowing that, despite knowing he was still going to be 'around' his death was intense and heart wrenching, and had me tearing up. Aura's pain was so obvious, so heartfelt that you can't help feeling it with her. The confusing feelings that come with grief, anger, loss, fear, are all there, carefully and fantastically written. The realness to Aura as she tried to deal with Logan's death, 'afterlife' and the other on going issues around her had me tearing up on more than one occasion.
The other major plot point is Aura's desire to not see ghosts, or to at least figure out why the Shift happened. Everyone born after than can see ghosts, and it's often far from fun, sometimes it's terrifying. It's something she's trying to figure out as a school project, close to her heart, and she intended to do so alone. But then Scottish native Zachary arrives and is told to work on it with her, causing further confusion to Aura's feelings and maybe the possibility of getting the answers she's always wanted.
Both major plots, along with a few other subplots, are woven carefully together. The book moves at a good pace and had me hooked right from the start. It was almost impossible to put down as I followed Aura's rollercoaster of emotions. Aura, Logan and Zachary are all good, well rounded characters who are pretty easy to get on with. Despite the intense, often painful nature of the book, there are a few good funny bits as well, not least of which (for me at least) all the girls going gaga over Zach's accent. I love when a book can make me laugh and cry, I adore it when it can make me do both within pages. That doesn't happen often, but it happened here.
There were some good twists and some interesting developments as the book went on. The ending was heart wrenching, yet beautiful, but left me hungry for more. I can not wait for the sequel, 'Shift', next year. I can't explain just how much I love this book. The characters, the feeling in it, the world Aura's in. It's a wonderfully written and compelling story. It's easily one of the top 3 books I've read so far this year. Two words for you: Read it!! 10/10


Jessica said...

I'll have to add that to my list of books to read once I hit a lapse! Right now I still have a toppling TBR pile that will grow even more in the next 2 weeks!

Cem said...

Ha! I know the feeling. My TBR pile is around (without counting) 25 books, maybe more, and there are 3 or 4 out next week I really want too! But when you can, you should def get this one.