Shine

Shine

4.8 37
by Jeri Smith-Ready
     
 

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In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost,

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Overview

In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves…even if that means betraying her own heart.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kaitlyn Conners
In the dramatic conclusion to Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade trilogy, Aura is moving on from the tragic loss of her rock-star boyfriend, Logan, as she begins to fall deeper for Zachary. Zachary and Aura share an undeniable bond as both seek to discover the connection to the Shift, the event that allows post-shifters to see ghosts. Something changes, though, when the Department of Metaphysical Purity detains Zachary following a deadly plane crash that Zachary fails to board at the last minute. Aura must fight to uncover the true power of her birth, save her boyfriend, and complete her senior year of high school. Shine offers readers an exciting adventure and mystery story. Details and events from the first two novels are covered, allowing the book to possibly stand by itself; however, at times, complex details and minutia are confusing and can leave the reader feeling like he or she is solving a mystery along with the characters. Aura's voice is completely believable as a teenager, with authentic emotion and thoughts. The love story between Aura and Zachary is trying and passionate with whirlwind, fantastic elements that are both heart breaking and warming. Fans of the series will enjoy the conclusion, but the trilogy may be a difficult sell to teens not already interested in paranormal romances. Reviewer: Kaitlyn Conners

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442439450
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

My phone glowed bright in the dusk-drenched cemetery. But the words on its screen filled me with a dark, heavy dread.

FLIGHT 346: NO STATUS.

I reloaded the web page for my boyfriend Zachary’s flight, then forced myself to look away. Calm down, Aura. But the black-on-white words left an afterimage floating in my vision.

NO STATUS. Blink. NO STATUS. Blink. NO STATUS.

To obliterate the image, I focused on Logan’s headstone beside me. His birth and death dates were etched in granite, seventeen years and one day apart. But the stone would never mark the date and time most important to me and to everyone Logan had haunted.

June 22, nine p.m., when he’d passed on for good. Five minutes ago. After eight months as a ghost, Logan had finally found peace.

A feeling I wouldn’t share until this stupid airline’s flight-status page started making sense.

The silence was getting to me. On this hot, still evening, no breeze stirred the trees. The two violet-hued ghosts wandering among nearby graves didn’t speak to me, maybe mired in memories of their own lost loved ones.

I plugged my earbuds into my phone, which automatically started the music player. It shuffled to a Snow Patrol song Logan and I had always adored: “Make This Go On Forever.” For the year Logan was my boyfriend, and for the last three months when we were just friends, Snow Patrol was always our band.

“The final word in the final sentence you ever uttered to me was ‘love.’ ”

My throat lumped as I realized that lyric was true.

“Don’t forget me, okay?” Logan’s golden-white glow expanded, erasing the violet from his ghostly form.

I laughed, because it was ridiculous. “I’ll never forget you. I’ll never forget your voice or your face or your dumb jokes. And I’ll never forget your love.”

He’d hushed me then. I’d thought it was because I’d gotten too cheesy, but now I realized it was because this song lyric had come to life.

Logan filled the silence with one last “I love you, Aura.” Amid a final ethereal embrace, his light faded, then winked out.

It already seemed like hours ago. Fear was replacing the peace Logan had left behind. Staring at the phone screen that gave me no answers, I felt more alone than ever.

The bouquet of white roses I’d brought seemed to glow against his dark gray headstone. I pulled out a single bloom to keep for myself. A stray thorn scraped my palm, leaving a thin red stripe but no blood.

The song’s last, quiet chord seemed to call to the handful of stars appearing above. They were a pitiful showing compared to the silver-studded sky blanket Zachary and I had lain under last night.

Hmm. Our star-gazing field was only a half hour from this cemetery north of Baltimore. I longed to return to the field, to feel close to Zachary. But first I wanted to be sure his flight had taken off.

My voice mail alert bleeped. I sighed at Aunt Gina’s half-hour-old message. Why couldn’t she nag me via text like everyone else’s mom did?

The music stopped while her message played:

“Aura, it’s eight thirty. Don’t forget we’re getting up at five a.m. for your DMP interview, and we still need to go over what you’re going to tell them about Logan’s concert. I don’t want to be rehearsing in the car on the way to headquarters.”

“Fine.” I deleted the message and returned to the browser, which I refreshed again.

This time nothing happened. The status page for Zachary’s flight was now blank.

“Damn it!” My outburst drew the attention of the nearest ghost, a boy near my age wearing an old-fashioned high-school football uniform, the kind with leather helmets. Since ghosts are captured in the happiest moment of their lives, this guy could’ve been older than his apparent seventeen when he died. I imagined his “best day ever”—winning the state championship while his favorite cheerleader shook her pom-poms just for him.

The song switched to the swelling opening strains of Arcade Fire’s “Ready to Start.” The drums slapped my brain and the guitar crunched my nerves.

Propelled by the music, my longing took on an edge. Zachary had been unofficially deported for causing trouble for the Department of Metaphysical Purity. We’d sworn to meet up in Ireland for our birthdays in December, in defiance of every obstacle. But I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever see him again.

Hell, I didn’t even know if his freaking plane had taken off. All I knew was that in the airport, he and Logan had met for the first and last time.

In a fresh browser window, I brought up the airline’s home page again, then thumbed in 346, Zachary’s flight connecting through London on his way to Glasgow, Scotland.

The site paused, searching, searching, searching. . . .

My grip on the phone grew slippery with sweat. I fidgeted with the seam of one of my worn black Skechers.

What was I worried about? Was I creeped out by the headstones’ lengthening shadows and the slow pacing of the ghosts? Like everyone in the world born after me, I’d lived with ghosts my whole life. They never scared me, unless they turned into the bitter, toxic versions of themselves known as shades, which were still pretty rare.

In the corner of my eye, something moved, dark and gray. I yelped and spun around, yanking out my earbuds. A squirrel skittered away to watch me from the top of a low-set headstone.

“I gotta get out of here,” I muttered. “This place is making me crazy.” Clearly, since I was now talking out loud to myself.

My phone buzzed, making my heart leap. Maybe it was Zachary with news about his flight.

But then it warbled the ring tone assigned to my best friend Megan. The screen said TIFFANY. I’d replaced my contact names with code versions after the DMP had confiscated my phone last week. Last night Zachary and I’d bought new phones, both red, to communicate solely with each other.

“Hey!” I answered. “Guess who I saw at the cemetery?” Everyone, including me, had thought Logan had passed on at his farewell concert two nights ago.

“Are you still there?” she blurted.

“I was about to leave. Gina’s bugging me to—”

“But you’re not driving now?”

“No,” I said impatiently. “Aren’t you gonna guess who I saw?”

“Aura . . . you don’t know, do you?”

“Know about what?” My laugh was nervous, even though Megan was known to go Maximum Drama over celebrity breakups and cafeteria gossip. “What happened?”

“You’re sure you’re not driving.”

“Megan! What?”

She paused for the length of a shaky breath. “What was Zachary’s flight number?”

The world stopped. Even the nearby ghosts seemed to halt in their tracks.

“Why?” I whispered with what felt like my last exhale.

“It just came on the news. A London flight out of BWI. It took off at eight thirty and—it went down. Flight 346.”

My body went numb. My eyes fixed on a stranger’s grave across the lane. A pensive angel stared back from her perch on a rose-marble headstone.

“Aura? Are you there? Was that his flight?”

I could barely feel my lips part. “Uh-huh.”

“Oh my God.” The last word was a squeak.

I swallowed, ready to topple. “Did they—were there any—” The word “survivors” wouldn’t come.

“They’re saying there was an explosion. It came down in—” Her voice broke. “Aura, I’m sorry. It came down in pieces.”

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Meet the Author

Jeri Smith-Ready is the author of the Shade trilogy for teens, and her adult novels include the WVMP Radio series for Pocket and the Aspect of Crow trilogy for Luna. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two cats, and a retired racing greyhound. Visit her at JeriSmithReady.com or on Twitter at @JSmithReady.

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