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I held my breath as it began, the last verse of the last song. Logan’s last playlist.
He’d left behind four years’ worth of musical messages. Like the ballad mix, Missing the Shit out of You, the punk/hip-hop compilation, Songs for Breaking Stuff, and the geek-rock study aid, How to Not Hate Calculus.
Some lived in the CDs stacked on my bookshelf, blue plastic jewel cases perfectly aligned. Others lived in the MP3 player crooning softly on my nightstand.
The one Logan created after he died, Sucks to Be a Ghost (Sometimes), was ending now, with a hushed acoustic tune. One voice, one guitar, the way he’d played for me so many times. The song was a bonus track—an afterthought for the artist, but a thread of hope for us.
I’d played all of Logan’s mixes, one each night for the last ten weeks. Waiting here at my open window, I’d listened to every note. Called his name. Watched my breath turn to steam in the bitter winter air.
They said he’d never come back. Once a soul transforms from a bright violet ghost—with all the thoughts and hopes of a living person—into a dark, raging shade, it’s over.
No hanging out with humans, except to make them sick and dizzy.
No settling scores or righting wrongs.
No passing on and finding peace. Ever.
Shading is a one-way trip to hell.
But what “they” didn’t know was this: Logan had already made that round-trip—from ghost to shade and back to ghost—right there in my front yard.
If he’d done it once, he could do it again. I just had to believe. And wait.
It was easy at first, when he’d been gone a day, a week, a month. I held on to the memories of his ghostly light: Logan in the confession booth, telling me how it felt to die. Logan on the witness stand, saying all he’d ever wanted was me. Logan in my bed, his violet glow illuminating my bare skin.
But as the icy winter slouched toward a slushy spring, the nightmarish memories took over. Logan sulking over my friendship with Zachary. Logan raving when I broke up with him. Logan turning shade when he tried to pass on to eternal peace.
My chest ached even now, remembering that night in the Green Derby pub. He’d said good-bye to those he loved—first with words, and then with music, singing “The Parting Glass” while his brother and sister played guitar and fiddle. The perfect finale before leaving this world forever.
But just as the golden-white light of peace pulsed within him, something went wrong. Darkness devoured Logan’s form, turning him into a shade before our eyes. He fled in shame and sorrow. No one had seen him since.
I tightened my grip on the windowsill as the singer whispered his last plea, striking a final soft chord. The silence was filled by the sounds of Baltimore at midnight—the hiss of a flickering streetlight, the rustle of a breeze in the trees, the wail of a distant siren.
I had no more music to lure him. Only words.
“Logan, where are you?” I ran my thumb over the spot under the sill where he’d carved our initials. It gave me the strength to steady my voice. “I know you don’t want to be like this. I know you want to come back. So please come back.”
Doubt and fear began to choke me. What if he didn’t want to come back, not even for me? I had to know for sure, no matter how much it hurt.
“Are you happy this way? Do you want to stay a shade? If you want me to give up on you, just say so. Show me a sign.” I closed my eyes, ready to wait one last time.
A soul-shredding shriek filled my brain. I wanted to cover my ears, but couldn’t pull my hands off the windowsill. I needed an anchor to keep from falling, keep my body and mind from flying apart in the face of Logan’s desperate wrath.
He surged through my window—surged through me—in a burst of black energy that stole my strength. I collapsed on the floor, quaking and retching.
“AURA!! I TOLD YOU NOT TO WAIT!!”
“I don’t—listen—to shades.” I forced out the words while I could still remember how to speak.
He screamed again, turning my world into a runaway roller coaster hurtling off its tracks. I clung to the edge of my bedroom rug, fighting to stay conscious.
As Logan keened, my mind seized on an image of him as he was five months ago, performing with his band hours before he died: his bleached-blond hair glowing in the stage lights, his sky blue eyes full of fire. My shooting star.
“You can’t fool me,” I spat through gritted teeth. “You burn too bright for this.”
Silence fell, as if a shroud had been dropped over the entire world.
He was gone.
I squeezed my eyes shut tighter, dreading the sight of my empty room. The whirl of vertigo and the weight of sorrow pinned me to the floor. I wanted to stay there forever.
But then a glow appeared, so bright I could see it through my lids. I gasped and opened my eyes.
Logan’s soft whisper halted my heart. I looked up, past his high-top Vans, gleaming violet in the dark.
Up past his shirt, hanging open like on the night he died.
Up into his astonished face.
“Aura, it worked!” Logan examined his violet arm like he’d never seen it before, then looked down at me. “Oh my God, are you okay?” He dropped to his knees, then reached for me the way he had a hundred times, in and after life. “Did I hurt you? Did you hit your head? Should I get help?”
I shook my head and sat up, fighting the fading dizziness. My mouth opened, but tears thickened my throat so that I couldn’t say his name.
“Hey, hey, don’t do that.” Logan caressed my cheek with a hand only my heart could feel. “You know I hate to see you cry.”
My eyes raked his ghostly form. He was back the way I remembered him—the voice, the smile, the shimmer that seemed brighter than any other ghost’s.
It was really, really Logan.
My breath burst out, mixing a sob with a laugh. “I thought I’d never see you again.”
“You didn’t think that for a second. You believed in me.” He spoke in a soft, awed whisper. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.” I wiped the tears soaking my face, even as new ones flowed.
“I can’t believe I’m here. Let me look at you.” Logan’s hands shook as they carved out the space around me, as if making sure I was here, too. When his gaze returned to my face, his forehead crinkled in concern. “Aura, have you been sleeping enough?”
I rubbed my eyes, aware of the dark circles underneath. “I’ve been so worried.” I whispered so I wouldn’t wake Aunt Gina in the next room. “What happened to you?”
He let out a groan and dragged his palms over his temples. “I don’t even know where to start. My head still feels like a hurricane.”
“Take your time.” I patted the floor, for some reason fearing that if he didn’t stay put, he’d disappear again. “Start at the beginning. Why did you turn shade?”
He sat cross-legged in front of me, shoulders sagging as if from exhaustion. “I was going to pass on that night after the trial. That was the whole point of it, right?”
“Supposedly.” My aunt’s law firm specializes in wrongful death cases, on the “peace through justice” theory that winning a lawsuit helps a ghost leave this world, content and satisfied.
“I felt phenomenal after we won.” Logan smoothed the legs of his cargo shorts. “At peace, you know? Like I’d said everything I needed to say.” He clenched the pocket seams. “But by the time we were at the Green Derby for our farewell concert, I wasn’t so sure.”
“Dylan told me you felt tainted.” I cringed at the memory of the guilt on Logan’s younger brother’s face. “He blames himself for letting you try to pass on.”
“No! It was my fault. I was tainted, from that other time I shaded, even though it was just for a few seconds. And from all the crazy shit I was still feeling—about dying, about my family’s court case putting you through all that pain.” He looked away. “About losing you.”
I twisted a lock of my dark, wavy hair around my finger, fighting that familiar guilt. “But you seemed so happy when we said good-bye.”
“I wanted to be happy. I wanted to let go of you and my whole life here. I guess I wasn’t ready.”
It hurt that he had been able to share his doubts with Dylan and not with me. Logan must have known how much I wanted to move on myself.
“If you weren’t ready, why not wait?”
“I couldn’t let everyone down. That huge crowd had come out to watch me find peace. And my family—I’d hurt them so bad by dying. Passing on was the only way to make it better.” He put his face in his hands, fingertips creasing his cheeks. “Instead I made it worse.”
I felt sick watching him relive those moments. But I had to know. “What happened?”
Logan dropped his hands and seared me with his mournful gaze. “I was almost there, Aura. I could see heaven. The door was open, the light was on, there was music so gorgeous you’d die just to hear it. And then—bam!” He punched a soundless fist into his palm. “The door slammed in my face. Having that light ripped away from me was like dying a hundred times in one second.” He ran both hands through his hair, gripping the pale spikes. “I freaked. Ricocheted into shading, I guess. I’m so sorry.”
“You’re a ghost again now, that’s all that matters.” I fidgeted with the bottom button of my purple silk nightshirt, longing to soothe his agony with a touch. But that was still impossible. “What happened after you turned shade? Where were you all this time?”
“All what time?” He jerked his head to look around my room. “What day is it?”
“March twentieth.” I checked the clock on my nightstand, which glowed 12:08 in pale blue digits. “March twenty-first.”
“Holy shit, almost three months.” He took a moment to absorb this. “I couldn’t see day or night. All I knew was I had to stay away from the living.” He pulled his bare knees to his chest, folding in on himself. “I didn’t want to cause any more pain.”
Logan had shown more restraint than most shades. The mere presence of those bitter spirits can debilitate anyone who sees ghosts, which includes me and everyone younger.
Even though shades were still rare—I’d seen four in my life, including Logan—they were becoming more common. And after three kids died a few years ago from a shade-induced fall from a balcony, the Department of Metaphysical Purity created a special forces unit—the Obsidian Corps. While the rest of the DMP focuses on research and technology (supposedly), the Obsidians have one mission: eradicating shades.
But since shades can’t be captured or contained, the Obsidians try to prevent them by detaining “at-risk” ghosts who seem on the verge of shading. Unfortunately, detainment involves a one-way trip inside a little black box lined with obsidian to prevent the ghost’s escape. A lot of innocent ghosts get captured in the process—ghosts who need help, not punishment. Not a fate I wanted for Logan.
“How did you turn back into a ghost?”
“You called me, I came,” he said as if it were obvious. “You made it happen, Aura.”
I squinted at him, confused. “But I’ve been calling you every night since you shaded.”
“I couldn’t hear you until a few minutes ago. There was so much noise.” He put his hands to his ears. “It sounded like feedback from a million amps.”
“God, it must have been torture.”
“It was.” His voice shook. “Hell is real, Aura. I was there, and I’m never going back.”
“I won’t let you.” I swept my hand through his, wishing again that I could hold him close and keep him with me in this world. But he couldn’t stay forever. “Can you pass on now?”
“I don’t think so, not yet.” He massaged the hollow of his throat. “Too many shady vibes. I’ve gotta make some changes. I spent my whole two and a half months as a ghost either feeling sorry for myself or trying to get attention.”
“News flash—all ghosts are like that. And no wonder. You can’t go anywhere you never went when you were alive. You can’t even see other dead people.” The extreme suckage of being a ghost is why most of them pass on right away, unless they have something—or someone—to stick around for. “So what else could you do?”
“I can do lots of things. Get this.” Logan dropped his knees into a cross-legged position again, scooting closer in excitement. “When I was a shade, I held on to three hopes to keep my soul from ripping apart.” He extended his thumb. “Number one. Remember when I said I wanted to make a difference? I can make the hugest difference, now that I’ve turned from a shade back to a ghost. This has never happened before, right?”
“As far as people know.”
“Tons of witnesses saw me shade out at the Green Derby that night. If the world finds out it’s not permanent, maybe the Obsidians will stop locking up shady ghosts and find some way to help them.” He gestured between us with his thumb. “Maybe together we can figure out how.”
“Sure.” My stomach fluttered at the thought of another media circus. But it was time to stop forgetting the world—and time to start changing it. “By the way, they don’t call them ‘shady’ ghosts anymore. They call them at-risk ghosts. ARGs for short.”
“Since you. The press totally skewered those Obsidian agents who tried to capture you.”
“Good. Especially after the way they roughed up you and Dylan. Were you hurt?”
“Just some bruises.” I rubbed my wrist, which had already been sprained before I’d hurled myself at the agent.
Logan cocked his head. “So I’m famous now?”
He looked way too pleased with himself, so I changed the subject. “What was your second hope?”
Logan’s face lit up, literally glowing brighter. “I want to make music again.”
“But Mickey and Siobhan are too old to hear ghosts.” His brother and sister were eighteen—twins, in fact—born before the Shift.
“I’ll sing with post-Shifters. It’ll be easier to rehearse if I can communicate with my bandmates.”
“What about the audience?”
“You’ll hear me, and so will everyone younger than you.” He grinned. “Prime market, right? We’ll be the first band that was made for you guys. The labels’ll be lining up to sign us.”
I stared at him in disbelief. The promise of a recording label contract was what got Logan killed in the first place. To woo him into signing, the A and R rep from Warrant Records had given him cocaine, which, mixed with copious amounts of alcohol, had stopped his heart forever.
The old Logan was back, and only a little wiser. I hoped a little was enough.
“I’ve been writing more songs in my head,” he said, “about being a ghost and a shade.” His face turned smooth and solemn. “How I’d die all over again just to touch you.”
He swept his ethereal hand over my solid one, and I thought I felt the motion of air against my skin. But it was just my imagination, juiced up by wishful thinking.
“Aura, you were my third reason. The only one that matters.”
My lungs tightened. Logan had come back for me, but was I still in the same place? The night he shaded, I’d pressed the pause button on my life.
But with the spring thaw, I’d lurched into slow-mo: a night out clubbing with my best friend, Megan, a shopping trip with Aunt Gina. An afternoon at Zachary’s intramural soccer game (I hated watching soccer, but I liked watching him, more than I wanted to admit).
Now that Logan was here again, I could hit the play button, move at the speed of life. But in which direction?
“I don’t know if I can do this.”
“Do what?” He kept smiling, but his voice cracked a little.
“Be with you that way.” The words seemed to shred my throat on their way out. “Like before.”
His smile vanished. His lips parted, then closed, then parted again. “Aura, I—” Logan stood up fast, radiating nervous energy. “I came back for you.”
“Not just for me. You had to save yourself.”
“You saved me.” He pointed at me. “You had the power.”
“We don’t know that. Besides, you told me not to wait for you, remember?”
“Well—yeah. But that was when I was a shade. And now I’m not.”
“We said good-bye before you ever shaded.”
“And all this time you’ve been trying to get me back.” He lifted his palms. “Doesn’t that mean something?”
“I didn’t call for you so you could be my boyfriend. I did it because you were suffering. I did it because I love you.”
“But if you love me—” He took a step back, then another. “Is there someone else now? Are you with that Scottish guy?”
“I’m not with anyone. But yeah, I care about Zachary.” I noticed I looked away when I said his name, just as I had once been unable to meet Zachary’s eyes when I spoke the word “Logan.”
“‘Care about’? You care about music, you care about football, you care about freaking awesome cookies.” Logan quieted. “What does that mean when it comes to him?”
“We’re friends.” A cold breeze swept my bare arms. My window was still open.
“And we’re going out tomorrow night.” I rose on shaky legs and went to the window. “There’s an ancient-astronomy exhibit opening at the Maryland Science Center.”
“So it’s for school,” he said with relief. “That paper you’re doing?”
“Our adviser got us into this special preview reception. It’s kind of a big deal.” I slid the window shut, my fingers almost slipping. “We’re going out to dinner first.”
“With your adviser.”
I fastened the latch. “No.”
Behind me, Logan fell so silent, I would’ve thought he’d disappeared if it weren’t for his violet reflection in the window.
“Who’s taking you to the prom?” he said finally.
“No one’s asked.” No one I liked, at least.
“I asked you the day after Homecoming, remember?” He came to stand beside me. “Let’s go together.”
The idea should’ve made me laugh, but instead I wanted to cry at the memory of Homecoming. We thought we had all the time in the world together. Less than a week later, he was dead.
“Ghosts can’t get into my school.” I turned to face him. “Ridgewood is totally BlackBoxed.”
“Then we’ll dance together outside. It’ll be warm enough by May. Everyone’ll join us, and it’ll be a big—”
“Logan, you’re dead.”
He jerked back as if I’d slapped him. Then his face twisted into jagged lines. “You didn’t mind before. You didn’t mind me lying in your bed every night. You didn’t mind me whispering in your ear while you touched yourself.”
My breath froze in my lungs. Logan slowly covered his mouth, his eyes turning round and wide.
He staggered back. “Oh God. Aura, I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I said that.”
I covered my burning face with my hands. The old Logan would’ve never been so harsh. What had shading done to him? “That was as much for you as it was for me.”
“I know, and I loved it. I loved you. I still love you so much.” He stepped forward, his glow shining through the cracks between my fingers. “I know we can’t have the future we wanted, but we can have now, right?”
“I can’t do this anymore.” My hands muffled my words. “Promise me we’ll just be friends, or leave me forever.”
“Fine. Friends. Whatever you want.” His voice shook with fear. “You know I mean it. Ghosts can’t lie. Aura, look at me.”
I lowered my hands. Logan was leaning over, eyes level with mine. With his shirt fallen open, I could see the planes of his violet chest—and my name tattooed over his heart. It would be there forever.
“Promise me,” I said.
“Better yet.” He lifted his left hand, palm down, fingers spread. “Spider-swear.”
I finally laughed. We’d invented the secret handshake, as serious as a blood oath, when we were six years old. Spider-swear had never been broken.
I spread my own fingers and slid them between his. We folded our palms down, extended our thumbs for the spider’s antennas, and wiggled our fingers for the eight legs.
“Spider-swear,” we said together, eyes locked, as solemnly as when we were kids.
A sudden heat gripped my hand. I ripped my gaze from his face, to the place where we had joined.
Logan’s whisper cut the shocked silence. “Whoa.”
My mouth opened but no sound came out. Impossible.
I could feel him.
A warm palm pressed against mine, the webbing of our fingers locked together. It couldn’t be real.
“Don’t move,” he breathed, softer than ever. Logan slowly wrapped his fingers around my hand.
Tears spilled down my cheeks as I realized it had to be a dream. Logan hadn’t come back to me. He was still a shade, roaming the world alone, poisoning post-Shifters with his bitterness.
He was still in hell.
I closed my eyes. “I don’t want to wake up. Please, God, don’t make me wake up.”
A gentle hand touched my face. I flinched away, expecting Aunt Gina, who would shake me out of sleep and offer comfort food.
The hand touched my cheek again. It wasn’t soft and cool like Gina’s. It was warm, with calloused fingertips like those of. . .
. . . a guitar player.
“Aura,” Logan whispered, “it’s not a dream.”
I opened my eyes. He was touching my face.
My other hand brushed aside the edge of his soft cotton shirt and met the smooth flesh of his chest. Flesh that was no longer violet, but instead looked as it had when he was alive.
My heart pounded when its counterpart thumped beneath his skin. “How?”
“I don’t care,” he said, and kissed me.
© 2011 Jeri Smith-Ready
Posted May 24, 2011
I finished it! It was really good, but I can tell you this, it was great, I mean, Logan came back to life! For a little while at least.... this book is amazing! Zach and Logan fight over her! That's what I love about it. I think it's a great book! I cried to when I found out what Logan did. I don't want to give much away beside that its a great book. Once you read the first one, you'll want more and more and more! Right when I got done with the first book, I jumped to the second. If your a young person, this probally isn't the best book for you. It does have some sexual things in it. But it's a great love story! I mean, who wounldn't love a story where the girl has to choose between her futuer and her past. So she could move on, or stay behind in the past? Which would you choose, and which do you think is best for Aura?
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Posted November 27, 2013
Note that this series review might contain slight spoilers for people who haven't read the first two books.
The Shift is an incomprehensible and strange phenomenon that appeared exactly sixteen years ago. Since then it's been controlling the lives of everyone born after it, giving them the ability to see ghosts. The SHADE series introduces ghosts as a matter of course. They are a part of modern-day life after the Shift instead of some paranormal happening to fear. No people are being haunted. Everyone knows about them and they aren’t the scary spirits we know from other books, which got me interested to read SHADE in the first place. This series presents us with a not at all ordinary ghost story paired with scientific and cultish elements involving a lot of research about what's behind the Shift.
Aura has an exceptional job, as a kind of ghost whisperer. She's supposed to hear out ghosts and work together with her lawyer aunt. Which teen wouldn't want such a job? In the beginning of SHADE she's together with her boyfriend Logan, a hot musician. And everything seems to be just cut out of a contemporary romance novel. He's celebrating his birthday, they're having a good time and are about to take the next step in their relationship, when.. yeah, when he's being a jerk and dies. His death had been announced in the summary, but I was shocked at the stupidity behind it. Now thanks to the Shift it is possible that he's coming back, even so for a larger part of the story. And with Logan, comes the music. You'll get to be a groupie and just enjoy the show with all the musical aspects Jeri Smith-Ready put into her story!
In case you might be wondering - it is always one of the questions I am asking first - there is also a love triangle. Aura, Logan and Zachary. Those three have a lot of issues to sort out thoughout the entire series. As opponents, as lovers, friends and even variations in between.
I often feel the need to choose between the boys who are fighting for the girl. In the SHADE series I was drawn to both of them, could equally understand their motifs and feelings for Aura. Logan's been there from the beginning and I so badly wanted him to find a happy ending, even as a ghost. Then there's Zach, the super nice and supportive Scottish beau who stole my heart with no effort. He just walked into the story and became an inseparable part of it. It's as simple as that!
Aura & Logan as Aura & Zach have their sweet and sexy moments. Their relationships are steadily emerging, updating, changing. And I really liked the way their relationships and Aura's feelings took from the first to the last book. It always seemed like she was on a journey and in the end she's finally found her way home.
Aura and Zach's fate - for various reasons - being so closely intertwined, adds a pretty nice touch to the story. Zach is the sweetest and it can't be summarised all that he’s doing for Aura. Their research and connection to the Shift makes up a large part of the story. There is much to discover! But their interest also turns them into targets. And soon they find themselves hunted down by a bunch of bad guys, which adds a kind of really good spy-action-thrill to the books.
Whereas SHIFT didn't convince me at all, SHADE poses as a great start into this series. The second book was the most unappealing out of the three books, because the story and Aura don't seem to pick up speed, but take three steps backward, meaning her getting involved with even more boys. Please no!
The Irish influences were pure joy to my heart. I've never even been there, but this country sure has something mysterious and compelling about it. Every time I see pictures or read about it, it feels like it's calling to me with its ancient history and culture.
Aura and Zach travel the Irish landscape, explore the myths behind Newgrange and hopefully return with what they've come to find. Jeri Smith-Ready fitted their journey with a massive original and authentic atmosphere.
4/5 **** SHADE series - Purple ghosts, seeking love and mysteries in the heart of Ireland. This trilogy is very rock star!
This is an entirely different kind of ghost story. It's funky, offers cultish references and a huge amount of musical support. There are governmental conspiracies and a bunch of really bad guys that are after Aura and Zach. Romance and action both guaranteed! Especially the last book in this series left me hoping to see a new book by Jeri Smith-Ready on my shelf very soon!
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Posted October 25, 2013
You know how some middle series books slow down as they set the stage for the final one? Yeeeeah... That's so not the case with Shift. I mean, yes - it IS the middle book. And, yes, it did certainly set the stage for the final book. But, the slowing down part? Not. Even. Close.
Aura is sad and lonely after Logan turned into a Shade. Until she calls to him on the Spring Equinox and she is able to turn him back to a ghost. Then, a solid person again. Temporarily, anyway. While she doesn't know what this means, she soon realizes the repercussions it could have on her budding relationship with Zachary. While they try and work it all out, the DMP is now going to drastic measures to keep both Aura, Zach and Logan under their thumbs.
I felt so much for Aura in Shift. I can imagine that it's tough to get over the death of a loved one when you can see and talk to their ghost pretty much whenever you want to. The lines get blurred even more when you can feel them and hug them and kiss them for 17 minutes each quarter. How do you ever move on from something like that? And, yet, Aura tries - not without a small measure of confusion, though. And, how could you blame her?
Zachary is one of the best male characters I've ever read about in YA fiction. He's kind of a geek. He's awkward and shy at times. Yet, when he needs it, he draws this manly bravery out from his depths and uses it to help those he loves. And, make no mistake - this boy loves Aura. How many times have book boyfriends recited these eloquent swoony speeches to the girls they love, and you sit there and think, "Huh. That sounds like an author wrote that."? Not so here. Zach doesn't always have the right words. He totally makes crap decisions (over and over and OVER again in Shift). And, he is one of the most perfect male YA characters ever. BECAUSE of those things.
Believe it or not, the most growth seen in this book comes from Logan. He moves from party boy who thinks about himself to a quasi-adult who starts thinking about everyone else around him and how his presence affects them. I loved seeing his character grow and change. I'm glad Jeri Smith-Ready didn't make it easy for him, either. He still loves Aura and doesn't want her with anyone else. Yet, Logan also recognizes that his hanging on causes her to stall too. And, how could he love her if he didn't let her go? But, he positively agonizes over it, and it takes him a long time to reach a mature place.
One of the best things about this series is that the paranormal elements are steeped in reality. There's a lot of Irish and Celtic mythology in play here with real places and legends not only referenced, but taking a major role in the post-Shift world that Jeri Smith-Ready has created. The author has done her homework and then some. The reality is intertwined so seamlessly with the make-believe that the make-believe seems totally real. Jeri has done her job well.
The action is plentiful. The frustration for the reader is completely ridiculous. And, by ridiculous, I mean AWESOME. Both Aura and Zach do colossally stupid things in Shift that made me yell and rage. And, somehow, they manage to find common ground and get over all the mistakes and regrets. And, in the end, I found myself bawling over the steering wheel in my car. The ending was amazing and set things up so well for the final book.
A word about the audio version of Shift - Kristine Hvam is now on my list of Favorite Audiobook Narrators. She did an incredible job with the dialects and the male/female inflections. I loved it.
Even if ghost stories aren't really your thing (they aren't really my thing), know that the Shade series isn't just a "ghost series." It's about love and loss and defining what freedom really is in all manners of the term.
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Posted January 13, 2015
Posted July 6, 2014
I'm going to start this review with a confession. I LOVE Jeri Smith-Ready. She is one of those authors that brings out the fan-girl-with-stalker-tendencies in me. (I am mostly kidding here.) Her writing is magical and touches the same part of me that made me drop everything and obsess over Edward Cullen. It's THAT good.
It is difficult to write a review for a second book in a series without mentioning an event or two that occurred in the first book. There may be some spoilers from book one in this review, so please continue at your own risk. I've tried very hard to be as spoiler-free as possible.
SHIFT starts off where SHADE ended. Literally. The transition between the books is seamless and there is no awkward retelling of book one events in the first few chapters as can be the case in some series.
The thing that excites me most about this book is the character development of the two main male characters in the series. Logan is almost unrecognizable from who he was before his death in SHADE. To simply say he matures is really doing an injustice to his growth and the events that are a catalyst to his maturity.
And Zachary. Where to begin? Well, there are some heartbreaking moments with Zachary in this installment. But here's the thing: They needed to happen. A boy can only be so patient with a girl that is being pretty darn wishy-washy in this whole love triangle business. Aura kinda gets her just deserts. In addition to Aura's indecisive heart, Zachary has to consider the ramifications their relationship will have on the WHOLE WORLD! That's a tough call, kids. Even with the heartbreak felt in SHIFT, Zachary is very, very close to becoming my favorite fictional boyfriend of all time.
Aura is still Aura. I've always really liked her and I think her maturity level is enviable. Not sure how she's able to practice such self control with a naked Zachary, but like I said, her maturity level is enviable. I'm pretty sure I don't have that level of maturity at double her age. ;)
Many secrets were learned in SHIFT and I feel like the love triangle has been resolved after finishing this book. Which makes me wonder what SHINE is going to bring us. (Surely many chapters will be dedicated to a castle getaway.) There is a hint of a new love triangle forming for Aura so maybe that plot line will be more developed? And I am anxious to learn more about the mysterious Shine event, too. Or....maybe it will be a 500 page love story that accidentally turns into an adult book? Either way, I'm anxiously awaiting Jeri Smith-Ready's next masterpiece.
Posted March 28, 2013
Posted August 18, 2012
Posted June 22, 2012
Posted November 6, 2011
I've read the first two books in the Shift series and I could not hold back my tears both times! I am not a 'girly girl', I am not usually emotional enough to cry over a book. But these books managed to melt me. I abosulutely love the characters, the themes of learning to love and letting go and the suspenseful fantasy/paranormal backdrop. Smith-Ready is truly talented.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 15, 2011
Posted September 28, 2011
I really enjoyed Shift and can't wait for Shine. This trilogy has thus far blown me out of the water. I'm so glad I won it and read it!!
All the characters I fell in love with are back, and they are still amazing. I do have to say that both Zachary and Logan pulled some things that made me angry and want to hit them, but I think that it worked out okay enough in the end.
Some of my questions (and Aura's) were answered, but there is still a lot that I want to know and can't wait to find out how the answers come to her.
Posted September 13, 2011
I ADORED this book!! Everything about this book is written simply perfectly. I loved the way that the story progressed from the first novel. There was so much heart and emotion written into this one.
I liked how Aura had matured from the first book. She is so much more confident and sure about what she wanted in this book, although that doesn't mean that there weren't issues with Aura's lingering feelings for Logan, because there definitely were. My heart broke for her in this one. She knows that she wants Zach, but Logan is still a presence in her life which means that he maintains a corner of her heart. It's a no win situation for her, but I loved that she did maintain her honesty about those feelings with Zach at all times. I really respected her character for that. It would have been so easy to mislead and misrepresent her feelings so that she could have Zach, but she didn't do that.
In the same way, Zach had so much more to his personality in this one. His patience has been stretched to the absolute limit. He wants Aura, but doesn't know how to fight for her anymore. It's so hard to compete against a ghost, but he honestly does it brilliantly in this book. Almost everything that he did in this book made him capture one more piece of my heart as the reader. Add to that, the incredible mystery of the Shift. It's obvious that both Zach & Aura are significant to its occurring and Zach is worried that their actions might affect the outcome of the world. That's a lot of weight to shoulder.
Then there's Logan. It was wonderful to see him finally show some maturity. He reacts so brilliantly to almost all of his trials in this book. I can finally look at him as truly a good guy (which I had issues with in the first book.) I even fell a little bit in love with Dylan (Logan's younger brother) in this book. I think that I could have been convinced after the prom...
Everything is good about this one. The characters. The story line. The suspense. There is still heartbreak, but it adds so much depth and dimension to the book. I am dying to know more about how Zach & Aura fit into the whole Shift story and cannot wait for book #3, Shine.
Posted August 28, 2011
I must say this series took me by suprise! I had heard of these books from a site where there was a pick you favorite YA males and I had read a lot about Zachary so I figured I would give the books a try. I really enjoyed them both! I really like that they are different (not another vampire or shape shifter story....not that I don't love those also). The story line is addicting, I didn't want to put it down. It is a little risky on some of the love scenes for a YA novel but realistic as far as the struggles teens have with the I want to but I'm not ready feelings. The love triangle is very touching you really do struggle with Aura as she tries to move on from Logan even though she still loves him. Shift even throws another twist in the love story that I wish would've gone a little further with Dylan. I love love love Zachary....even though he can be a little hard headed about things sometimes. I think its just a rule that you have to love a man with an accent!!! I think I will die from anticipation waiting for Shine to come out....summer 2012 is too far away!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 20, 2011
Posted August 16, 2011
Posted July 10, 2011
In most cases the Sequel just kind of falls short, rest assured though that this is not the case! This book was so wonderfully done that I was in tears by the end! Truly, not only are these books out-of-the-box and should be admired for being so, but the characters are so easily to get attached to. A fantastic romance with some thrills and witty comedy in between! An absolute must read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 25, 2011
I was eager to read this book after finally reading Shade. This did not disappoint me at all. It's an excellent 2nd book in the series (something I don't get to say very often).
I was not surprised by the events that happen immediately after Logan reappears in Aura's life. As much as she would like to be fully over Logan, his death, and the events afterwards, she isn't. But, I was happy to see her realize that a life with Logan as a ghost really isn't a life. It's more like a constant reminder of what should have been. I can't imagine how hard it would be to get over someone who gone but not really gone. At the same time I really admired her for her determination to do all she could to help Logan fully move on. I think it was a way to help herself move forward and to maybe get a better grasp of what really happened with the Shift. I think she was also really wanting to help Shades/ghosts get the proper treatment they deserved from those who can't see them.
I was a little surprised at both Logan and Zachary's actions for part of this book. Logan seems to be stuck in the way he was when he died, almost like he's never gone to be capable of learning from his mistakes. Sometimes, he entirely too selfish. He says the he came back for Aura, but I think that's connected to his own reasoning. I also felt that Zachary was a little hard on Aura. I know he's been patient with her and letting her move on at her own pace. I expected more from him though. I also thought he was a typical a**hole during the whole prom scene and the weeks afterwards. I did forgive him a little when he divulged his own reasoning for not wanting to compete with Logan. And he completely redeemed himself in the end.
I enjoyed the chain of events outside of the relationship drama. I liked learning about the personal connections and events that happened that winter solstice so long ago. I feel like things are finally coming to light even if they don't make complete sense at this point. I'm curious as to how it all plays out in the end. Way to long to wait for the final book in this series!
*There was one little tidbit with dates that really bugged me. I'm sure no one else noticed and wondering if it was fixed in the final copy. I only noticed because my daughter was born on the winter solstice. The dates don't work for Aura to be conceived on the spring solstice and born prematurely on the winter solstice.
Posted June 17, 2011
Posted June 6, 2011
I Also Recommend:
Shift is the second book in the Shade Trilogy and it does not fall into that sophomore slump category by any means. Shift is everything that Shade was, then 9938832x more. It has action still, - DMP agents do not seem like nice people - emotional turmoil, - ghosts=death=sadness - and it has romance - I cannot tell you how much I love Zachary. And even Logan. And I loved seeing more of Dylan.
When Shade left off, Logan just returned from shading, something that's not supposed to be possible. In Shift, he goes on to become solid again. Also, not supposed to happen. Aura feelings become more and more conflicted because she loves Logan, but she has really strong feelings for Zach. The girl is torn and screwed up and definitely flawed in her actions. But that's why I love her. She's the farthest thing from perfect, letting her emotions get the best of her and doing things she shouldn't do. And she knows it.
Aura's love life is far from the main issue here though. Logan's reappearance and his appearance in solid form are not normal, even for ghost standards. Aura and Zach continue their research into Megaliths and how they, particularly the one at Newgrange where both Aura's mother and Zach's father traveled before they were born, tie into the Shift. More questions are brought up than answers and I'm dying to read the closing book.
Jeri Smith-Ready is a goddess at writing dark, yet fun, interesting, and sexy as hell stories. Shade hooked me, Shift destroyed me (in a good way), and I'm drooling for Shine. Shift made me run the gamut of emotions. One minute I was happy for the characters, the next I was sad and nearly in tears, two pages later I would be ready to throw the book across the room. All because of Smith-Ready's spectacular emotional hold on me as a reader. If I had Shine in my hands right now, nothing else would matter because I am that eager to figure out how it ends; and you should be too.
Posted June 3, 2011
Shift is a sequel...a true sequel from what I can tell of Shade. As in, it starts from where the previous book left off. I had not had the opportunity to read Shade prior to Shift and with a short deadline knew I wouldn't. Therefore, for the first time ever I read the sequel first. All I can say is it motivated me to go get Shift now too.
Aura is a dynamic but believable character, facing all the normal difficulties a teenage girl faces like Algebra, while also dealing with ghosts. One ghost in particular is Logan, her ex-boyfriend she still loves. Throw in Zachary a young man who she is literally destined for and you have yourself a love triangle of paranormal proportions creating a suspenseful fun read.
Those that read this blog know I am a character-oriented person and Shift delivered. The cast of secondaries were great. However, I think I would have loved them more if I had read Shade first. Therefore, while Shift is amazing, it's even better with Shade.