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.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||14 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
You can hear me, can’t you?”
I punched the green print button on the copier to drown out the disembodied voice. Sometimes if I ignored them long enough, they went away—confused, discouraged, and lonelier than ever. Sometimes.
Okay, almost never. Usually they got louder.
No time to deal with it that day. Only one more set of legal briefs to unstaple, copy, and restaple, and then I could go home, trade this straitjacket and stockings for a T-shirt and jeans, and make it to Logan’s before practice. To tell him I’m sorry, that I’ve changed my mind, and this time I mean it. Really.
“I know you can hear me.” The old woman’s voice strengthened as it came closer. “You’re one of them.”
I didn’t flinch as I grabbed the top brief from the stack on the conference room table. I couldn’t see her under the office’s bright fluorescent lights, which made it about one percent easier to pretend she wasn’t there.
Someday, if I had my way, none of them would be there.
“What an intolerably rude child,” she said.
I yanked the staple out of the last brief and let it zing off in an unknown direction, trying to hurry without looking like I was hurrying. If the ghost knew I was getting ready to leave, she’d spit out her story, no invitation. I carefully laid the pages in the sheet feeder and hit print again.
“You can’t be more than sixteen.” The lady’s voice was close, almost at my elbow. “So you were born hearing us.”
I didn’t need her to remind me how ghosts’ ramblings had drowned out my mother’s New Agey lullabies. (According to Aunt Gina, Mom thought the old-fashioned ones were too disturbing—“down will come baby, cradle and all.” But when dead people are bitching and moaning around your crib at all hours, the thought of falling out of a tree is so not a source of angst.)
Worst part was, those lullabies were all I remembered of her.
“Come on,” I nagged the copier under my breath, resisting the urge to kick it.
The piece of crap picked that moment to jam.
“Shit.” I clenched my fist, driving the staple remover tooth into the pad of my thumb. “Ow! Damn it.” I sucked the pinpoint of blood.
“Language.” The ghost sniffed. “When I was your age, young ladies wouldn’t have heard such words, much less murdered the mother tongue with …” Blah blah … kids these days … blah blah … parents’ fault… blah.
I jerked open the front of the copier and searched for the stuck paper, humming a Keeley Brothers song to cover the ghost’s yakking.
“They cut me,” she said quietly.
I stopped humming, then blew out a sigh that fluttered my dark bangs. Sometimes there’s no ignoring these people.
I stood, slamming the copier door. “One condition. I get to see you.”
“Absolutely not,” she huffed.
“Wrong answer.” I rounded the table and headed for the switches by the conference room door.
“Please, you don’t want to do that. The way they left me—”
I flipped off the light and turned on the BlackBox.
“No!” The ghost streaked toward me in a blaze of violet. She stopped two inches from my face and let out a shriek that scraped against all the little bones in my ears.
Cringing? Not an option. I crossed my arms, then calmly and slowly extended my middle finger.
“This is your last warning.” Her voice crackled around the edges as she tried to frighten me. “Turn on the light.”
“You wanted to talk. I don’t talk to ghosts I can’t see.” I touched the BlackBox switch. “Sucks to be trapped, huh? That’s how I feel, listening to you people all day.”
“How dare you?” The woman slapped my face, her fingers curled into claws. Her hand passed through my head without so much as a breeze. “After all I’ve been through. Look at me.”
I tried to check her out, but she was trembling so hard with anger, her violet lines kept shifting into one another. It was like trying to watch TV without my contacts.
“Those shoes are beyond last year,” I said, “but other than that, you look fine.”
The ghost glanced down at herself and froze in astonishment. Her pale hair—gray in life, I assumed—was tied in a bun, and she wore what looked like a ruffle-lapelled suit and low-heeled pumps. Your basic country-club queen. Probably found her own death positively scandalous.
“I haven’t seen myself in the dark.” She spoke with awe. “I assumed I would be …” Her hand passed over her stomach.
I felt my eyes soften. “You were murdered?” With old people it was usually a heart attack or stroke. But it explained her rage.
She scowled at me. “Well, it certainly wasn’t suicide.”
“I know.” My voice turned gentle as I remembered to be patient. Sometimes these poor souls didn’t know what to expect, despite all the public awareness campaigns since the Shift. The least I could do was clarify. “If you’d killed yourself, you wouldn’t be a ghost, because you would’ve been prepared to die. And you’re not all carved up because you get frozen in the happiest moment of your life.”
She examined her clothes with something close to a smile, maybe remembering the day she wore them, then looked up at me with a sudden ferocity. “But why?”
I ditched the patience. “How the hell should I know?” I flapped my arms. “I don’t know why we see you at all. No one knows, okay?”
“Listen to me, young lady.” She pointed her violet finger in my face. “When I was your age—”
“When you were my age, the Shift hadn’t happened yet. Everything’s different now. You should be grateful someone can hear you.”
“I shouldn’t be—this way—at all.” She clearly couldn’t say the word “dead.” “I need someone to make it right.”
“So you want to sue.” One of my aunt Gina’s specialties: wrongful death litigation. Gina believes in “peace through justice.” She thinks it helps people move past ghosthood to whatever’s beyond. Heaven, I guess, or at least someplace better than Baltimore.
Weird thing is, it usually works, though no one knows exactly why. But unfortunately, Gina—my aunt, guardian, and godmother—can’t hear or see ghosts. Neither can anyone else born before the Shift, which happened sixteen and three-quarters years ago. So when Gina’s firm gets one of these cases, guess who gets to translate? All for a file clerk’s paycheck.
“My name is Hazel Cavendish,” the lady said. “I was one of this firm’s most loyal clients.”
Ah, that explained how she got here. Ghosts can only appear in the places they went during their lives. No one knows why that is, either, but it makes things a lot easier on people like me.
She continued without prompting. “I was slaughtered this morning outside my home in—”
“Can you come back Monday?” I checked my watch in ex-Hazel’s violet glow. “I have to be somewhere.”
“But it’s only Thursday. I need to speak to someone now.” Her fingers flitted over the string of pearls around her neck. “Aura, please.”
I stepped back. “How do you know my name?”
“Your aunt talked about you all the time, showed me your picture. Your name is hard to forget.” She moved toward me, her footsteps silent. “So beautiful.”
My head started to swim. Uh-oh.
Vertigo in a post-Shifter like me usually means a ghost is turning shade. They go down that one-way path when they let bitterness warp their souls. It has its advantages—shades are dark, powerful spirits who can hide in the shadows and go anywhere they want.
Anywhere, that is, but out of this world. Unlike ghosts, shades can’t pass on or find peace, as far as we know. And since they can single-handedly debilitate any nearby post-Shifters, “detainment” is the only option.
“I really have to go,” I whispered, like I’d hurt ex-Hazel less if I lowered the volume. “A few days won’t matter.”
“Time always matters.”
“Not for you.” I kept my voice firm but kind. “Not anymore.”
She moved so close, I could see every wrinkle on her violet face.
“Your eyes are old,” she hissed. “You think you’ve seen everything, but you don’t know what it’s like.” She touched my heart with a hand I couldn’t feel. “One day you’ll lose something important, and then you’ll know.”
I ran for the car, my work shoes clunking against the sidewalk and rubbing blisters on my ankles. No time to stop home to change before going to Logan’s. Should’ve brought my clothes with me, but how could I have known there’d be a new case?
I’d wussed out, of course, and let the old woman tell my aunt her nasty death story. The ghost was angry enough that I worried about what she’d do without immediate attention. “Shading” was still pretty rare, especially for a new ghost like ex-Hazel, but it wasn’t worth the risk.
The leafy trees lining the street made it dark enough to see ghosts even an hour before sunset. Half a dozen were loitering outside the day care center in the mansion across the street. Like most of the buildings in the Roland Park area, Little Creatures Kiddie Care was completely BlackBoxed—its walls lined with the same thin layer of charged obsidian that kept ghosts out of sensitive areas. Bathrooms, military base buildings, that sort of thing. I wish Gina and I could afford to live there—Roland Park, I mean, not a military base.
I stopped for a giant Coke Slurpee and guzzled it on my way toward I-83, wincing at the brain freeze. I usually prefer to use the spoon end of the straw, but after ex-Hazel’s intake session, I desperately needed the massive caffeine-sugar infusion that only pure, bottom-of-the-cup Slurpee syrup could provide.
The long shadows of trees cut across the road, and I kept my eyes forward so I wouldn’t see the ghosts on the sidewalks.
Lot of good it did. At the last stoplight before the expressway, a little violet kid waved from the backseat of the car in front of me. His lips were moving, forming words I couldn’t decipher. An older girl next to him clapped her hands over her ears, her blond pigtails wagging back and forth as she shook her head. The parents in the front seats kept talking, oblivious or maybe just unable to deal. They should trade in that car, I thought, while that poor girl still has her sanity.
The on-ramp sloped uphill into the sunshine, and I let out a groan of relief, gnawing the end of my straw.
After almost seventeen years of hearing about grisly murders and gruesome accidents, you’d think I’d be tough, jaded. You’d think that ghosts’ tendency to over-share would eventually annoy instead of sadden me.
And you’d be right. Mostly. By the time I was five, I’d stopped crying. I’d stopped having nightmares. I’d stopped sleeping with the lights on so I wouldn’t see their faces. And I’d stopped talking about it, because by that point the world believed us. Five hundred million toddlers can’t be wrong.
But I never forgot. Their stories are shelved in my mind, neat as a filing system. Probably because I’ve recited many of them on the witness stand.
Courts don’t just take my word for it, or any one person’s. Testimony only counts if two of us post-Shifters agree on a ghost’s statement. Since ghosts apparently can’t lie, they make great witnesses. Last year, me and this terrified freshman translated for the victims of a psycho serial killer. (Remember Tomcat? The one who liked to “play with his food”?)
Welcome to my life. It gets better.
I pulled into Logan’s driveway at 6:40. I loved going to the Keeleys’ house—it sat in a Hunt Valley development that had been farmland only a few years before. Newer neighborhoods had way fewer ghosts, and I’d never seen one at the Keeleys’. At the time, anyway.
I checked my hair in the rearview mirror. Hopelessly well-groomed. I pawed through my bag to find a few funky little silver skull-and-crossbones barrettes, then pinned them into my straight dark brown hair to make it stick out in random places.
“Yeah, you look totally punk in your beige suit and sensible flats.” I made a face at myself in the mirror, then leaned closer.
Were my eyes really that old, like ex-Hazel said? Maybe it was the dark circles underneath. I licked my finger and wiped under my brown eyes to see if the mascara had smeared.
Nope. The gray shadows on my skin came from too little sleep and too much worrying. Too much rehearsing what I would say to Logan.
As I walked up the brick front path, I heard music blasting through the open basement window.
Late. I wanted to hurl my bag across the Keeleys’ lawn in frustration. Once Logan got lost in his guitar, he forgot I existed. And we really needed to talk.
I went in the front door without knocking, the way I had since we were six and the Keeleys lived around the block in a row home like ours. I hurried past the stairs, through the kitchen, and into the family room.
“Hey, Aura,” called Logan’s fifteen-year-old brother Dylan from his usual position, sprawled barefoot and bowlegged on the floor in front of the flat-screen TV. He glanced up from his video game, then did a double-take at the sight of my Slurpee cup. “Bad one?”
“Old lady, stabbed in a mugging. Semi-Shady.”
“Sucks.” He focused on his game, nodding in time to the metal soundtrack. “Protein drinks work better.”
“You bounce back your way, I’ll bounce my way.”
“Whatever.” His voice rose suddenly. “Noooo! Eat it! Eat it!” Dylan slammed his back against the ottoman and jerked the joystick almost hard enough to break it. As his avatar got torched by a flamethrower, he shrieked a stream of curses that told me his parents weren’t home. Mr. and Mrs. Keeley had apparently already left for their second honeymoon.
I opened the basement door, releasing a blast of guitar chords, then slipped off my shoes so I could walk downstairs without noise.
Halfway to the bottom, I peered over the banister into the left side of the unfinished basement. Logan was facing away from me, strumming his new Fender Stratocaster and watching his brother Mickey work out a solo. The motion of his shoulder blades rippled his neon green T-shirt, the one I’d bought him on our last trip to Ocean City.
When he angled his chin to check his fingers on the fret board, I could see his profile. Even with his face set in concentration, his sky blue eyes sparked with joy. Logan could play guitar in a sewer and still have fun.
Logan and Mickey were like yin and yang, inside and out. Logan’s spiky hair was bleached blond with black streaks, while Mickey’s was black with blond streaks. Logan played a black guitar right-handed, and his brother a white one left-handed. They had the same lanky build, and lots of people thought they were twins, but Mickey was eighteen and Logan only seventeen (minus one day).
Their sister, Siobhan—Mickey’s actual twin—was sitting cross-legged on the rug in front of them, her fiddle resting against her left knee as she shared a cigarette with the bassist, her boyfriend, Connor.
My best friend, Megan, sat next to them, knees pulled to her chest. She wove a lock of her long, dark red hair through her fingers as she stared at Mickey.
The only one facing me was Brian, the drummer. He spotted me and promptly missed a beat. I cringed—he was sometimes brilliant, but he could be distracted by a stray dust ball.
Mickey and Logan stopped playing and turned to Brian, who adjusted the backward white baseball cap on his head in embarrassment.
“Jesus,” Mickey said, “is it too much to ask for a fucking backbeat?”
“Sorry.” Brian twirled his stick in his thick hand, then pointed it at me. “She’s here.”
Logan spun around, and I expected a glare for interrupting—not to mention leftover hostility from last night’s fight. Instead his face lit up.
“Aura!” He swept the strap over his head, handed his guitar to Mickey, and leaped to meet me at the bottom of the stairs. “Oh my God, you won’t believe this!” He grabbed me around the waist and hoisted me up. “You will not believe this.”
“I will, I swear.” I wrapped my arms around his neck, grinning so hard it hurt. Clearly he wasn’t mad at me. “What’s up?”
“Hang on.” Logan lowered me to the floor, then spread my arms to examine my suit. “They make you wear this to work?”
“I didn’t have time to change.” I gave him a light punch in the chest for torturing me. “So what won’t I believe?”
“Siobhan, get her some clothes,” he barked.
“Choice,” she said. “Say please or kiss my ass.”
“Please!” Logan held up his hands. “Anything to keep your ass in the safe zone.”
Siobhan gave Connor her cigarette and got to her feet. As she passed me, she squeezed my elbow and said, “Boy thinks he’s a rock god just because some label people are coming to the show tomorrow.”
My mind spun as it absorbed my biggest hope and fear. “Is she kidding?” I asked Logan.
“No,” he growled. “Thanks for blowing the surprise, horse face!” he yelled as she slouched up the stairs, snickering.
I tugged on his shirt. “Who’s coming?”
“Get this.” He gripped my shoulders. “A and R dudes from two different companies. One’s an independent—Lianhan Records—”
“That’s the one we want,” Mickey interjected.
“—and the other is Warrant.”
I gasped. “I’ve heard of Warrant.”
“Because they’re part of a major, major, major humongous label.” Logan’s eyes rolled up in ecstasy, like God himself was handing out record contracts.
“We’ll use Warrant to make Lianhan jealous,” Mickey added. “But we’re not selling out.”
Logan pulled me to the back side of the stairs, where the others couldn’t see us. “This could be it,” he whispered. “Can you believe it? It’d be the most amazing birthday present ever.”
I steadied my breath so I could get the words out. “Hopefully not the best present.”
“You mean the Strat from my folks?”
“Not that, either.” I reached up under the back of his T-shirt and let my fingers graze his warm skin.
“Is it something you—wait.” His eyes widened, making the silver hoop in his brow glint in the overhead light. “Are you saying—”
“Yep.” I stood on tiptoe and kissed him, quick but hard. “I’m ready.”
His gold-tipped lashes flickered, but he angled his chin to look at me sideways. “You said that before.”
“I said a lot of things before. Some of them were stupid.”
“Yeah, they were.” His eyes crinkled, softening his words. “You know I’d never leave you over this, either way. How could you even think that?”
“I don’t know. I’m sorry.”
“Me too.” He traced my jaw with his thumb, which always made me shiver. “I love you.”
He kissed me then, drowning my doubts in one warm, soft moment. Doubts about him, about me, about him and me.
“Here you go!” Siobhan called from the stairs, a moment before a clump of denim and cotton fell on our heads. “Oops,” she said with fake surprise.
I peeled the jeans off Logan’s shoulder and held them up in salute. “Thanks, Siobhan.”
“Back to work!” rang Mickey’s voice from the other side of the basement.
Logan ignored his brother and gazed into my eyes. “So … maybe tomorrow night, at my party?” He hurried to add, “Only if you’re sure. We could wait, if you—”
“No.” I could barely manage a whisper. “No more waiting.”
His lips curved into a smile, which promptly faded. “I better clean my room. There’s like a one-foot path through all the old Guitar Worlds and dirty laundry.”
“I can walk on a one-foot path.”
“Screw that. I want it to be perfect.”
“Hey!” Mickey yelled again, louder. “What part of ‘back to work’ is not in English?”
Logan grimaced. “We’re switching out some of our set list—less covers, more original stuff. Probably be up all night.” He gave me a kiss that was quick but full of promise. “Stay as long as you want.”
He disappeared around the stairs, and immediately Megan replaced him at my side.
“Did you make up? You did, didn’t you?”
“We made up.” I sat on the couch to remove my stockings, checking over my shoulder to make sure the guys were out of sight on the other side of the stairs. “I told him I’m ready.”
Megan slumped next to me and rested her elbow on the back of the sofa. “You don’t think you have to say that to keep him, do you?”
“It’s something I want too. Anyway, who cares, as long as it works?”
“You know what it’s like, going to their gigs.” My whisper turned to a hiss. “Seeing all those girls who’d probably pay to get naked with Mickey or Logan. Or even with Brian or Connor.”
“But the guys aren’t like that—well, maybe Brian is, but he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Mickey loves me. Logan loves you.”
“So?” I slipped on the jeans. “Plenty of rock stars have wives and girlfriends, and they still screw their groupies. It comes with the territory.”
“I find your lack of faith disturbing,” she said in her best Darth Vader impression, forcing a smile out of me.
I unbuttoned my white silk blouse. “What should I wear?”
“Same stuff as always, on the outside. That’s the way he likes you.” Megan snapped the strap of my plain beige bra. “But definitely do better than this underneath.”
“Duh,” was my only response as I slipped Siobhan’s black-and-yellow Distillers T-shirt over my head. I’d made a covert trip to Victoria’s Secret weeks before—the one way up in Owings Mills, where no one would recognize me. The matching black lace bra and underwear were still in the original bag, with their tags on, in the back of my bottom dresser drawer.
“The first time doesn’t have to suck,” she said, “not if you go slow.”
“Okay,” I said quickly, in a deep state of not wanting to talk about it.
Luckily, at that moment Brian tapped his sticks to mark time, and the band launched into one of their original tunes, “The Day I Sailed Away.”
The Keeley Brothers wanted to be the premier Irish-flavored rock band in Baltimore. Maybe one day go national, become the next Pogues, or at least the next Flogging Molly, with a heavy dose of American skate-punk ’tude.
As Logan began to sing, Megan’s face reflected my bliss and awe. With that voice leading the way, the Keeley Brothers didn’t have to be the next anyone.
Two record labels. I closed my eyes, ignoring the way my stomach turned to lead, and savored the sound that Megan and I would soon have to share with the world.
I knew then that everything would change the next night. It was like time had folded in on itself, and I could remember the future.
A future I already hated.
© 2010 Jeri Smith-Ready
Reading Group Guide
READER/DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR Shade Title: Shade Author: Jeri Smith-Ready Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster Date of Publication: May 2010 Ages 14 and up ISBN: 978-1-4169-9406-0 This reader guide may be duplicated for classroom, book club discussion group, or related purposes. About the Book First in a worldwide generation of ghost-seers, Aura’s relationship with the dead changes forever when her boyfriend dies and comes back to haunt her. About the Author The award-winning author of adult and teen novels, Jeri Smith-Ready lives in Maryland with her husband, two cats, and the world’s goofiest greyhound. Jeri’s plan to save the earth was ruined when she realized she was more of a “problem maker” than a problem solver. Like her characters, she loves music, movies, and staying up very, very late. Discussion Questions: 1. How is Shade different from traditional ghost stories? 2. In what ways, besides those mentioned in Shade, would our society adapt to the omnipresence of ghosts? How would it affect religious beliefs? Politics? National security? Everyday institutions such as education, health care, sports, etc.? 3. How would you live your life differently, knowing you might become a ghost someday? 4. If you were a post-Shifter like Aura who could see and talk to ghosts, how do you think you’d cope? How would you feel if someone you loved died and became a ghost? What if someone you loved died and didn’t become a ghost? 5. Choose one or more songs from the Shade soundtrack http://www.jerismithready.com/books/shade/music/ and discuss its role in the story and the characters’ emotional lives. Does the music add to or detract from your reading experience of Shade? Do you often connect certain songs with characters from books and movies? 6. What do you think would have happened to Aura and Logan’s relationship if he had lived? If he had succeeded in becoming a rock star? If he had failed? 7. Why is Aura’s choice between a living boy and a dead one not as simple as it seems? 8. Why do you think Eowyn assigns Aura and Zachary the task of mapping the stars each month? What lessons will it teach them? What do you think she’s preparing for? 9. Think about the use of colors in Shade. Why would a ghost be repelled by the color red? What emotions do you associate with red and violet? (Not for further discussion/reading: Red is also associated with obsidian and with the first “chakra” at the base of the spine; while violet is associated with quartz and the seventh “chakra” atop the head.) 10. If you were in charge of the Department of Metaphysical Purity (DMP), how would you change it? How would you balance the need to protect the world from shades with the need to protect the rights of ghosts? Are there any parallels to the way our own society treats certain humans? 11. What do you think happened at the end of Shade? Why did it happen that night? What do you think will happen next?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In SHADE by Jeri Smith-Ready, Aura was born post-Shift, which means that she can see ghosts and Shades (ghosts who have gotten really mad). She hates being able to do this and would give anything to stop it. Until her boyfriend Logan's birthday comes around, and instead of it being a great day, it turns horrific when he dies. But since she can see ghosts, she can still see Logan. So it's almost like having her boyfriend still there - but not quite. Aura meets a new friend, Zachary, who understands what she is going through and is a big piece to the Shift puzzle. But with both Logan and Zachary in her life, which one will she turn to in the end? I thought this book was so unique. The premise that people born after the Shift can see ghosts is so creative! I was hooked on the story right from the beginning. SHADE brought out a lot of emotions in me. There were times when I was saying "How can she do that when Logan has only been dead for a little while?" and then at the end, I was definitely teary eyed. The book ended on a cliffhanger. I want more! I want to know what happens next! And there are still so many questions that I have. Who are Aura's parents? Why was she the first baby born after the Shift? And a bunch more that I don't want to say so I won't spoil the story. The sequel, SHIFT, comes out in May 2011, and I can't wait to get my hands on it!
This book could have very nearly been a disaster. It could have taken the sour young-adult fantasy route that I'm experiencing more and more these days. It even had the dreaded love triangle. But, I was pleasanlty surprised in the end. This books is about a girl, named Aura (the name made me cringe), who can see ghosts. Which is not unusual because everyone born after the Shift can see the voilet figures of people who once were. The night of his 17th birthday, Aura's boyfriend, Logan, dies. He isn't completely gone though, and haunts her whether she wants him to or not. Then enter Zach: the sexy foreign exchange student who has a secret nearly as big as Aura's own. This book moved quickly and fluently, without just being comprised of action. I was sucked in nearly immediately. I was reading this on my laptop, so I began taking my laptop everywhere. The writing, while not particularly stunning, was fluidly done. The characters were strong. Aura, the main character, was no Mary Sue. Assertive and passionate, she was quick-witted enough to hold her own in the tensest conversations. Logan was perfect in that he wasn't perfect. He had a temper, but was overall very sweet. Even though he was dead for 90% of the novel, he managed to develop through out the story. And then there was Zach. Oh. My. God. I think I'm in love. All foreign exchange students are sexy, but a Scottish one? *melts* Smith-Ready must have dived into the deepest parts of my psyche, because he is a man of my dreams. And the love-triangle was well-done. All the emotions Aura felt were believable, and I think readers will be conflicted as to whom to favor. This was a smart paranormal read. The plot was original without being completely out-there. It was exciting and entertaining, with plenty of unanswered questions left at the end. Once the sequel comes out, I guarantee ya I'll be one of the first in line. Oh, and I thought the cover was ugly, but that besides the point.
i found a preview to this book in a book that i was reading on paper back..i had meant to get it since i heard it came out but always forgot..then i found it on my nook and bought it.. i wish it was a little longer just bc i wanted to keep reading other then that i loved it
Aura was the first child born after the Shift which allowed young people to see ghosts. Ghosts are now a part of everyday life. No one older than Aura can see them, but there's still a government agency devoted to monitoring them (the Department of Metaphysical Purity) and BlackBoxes of charged obsidian keep ghosts out of bathrooms and other places they're not wanted. Aura works for her aunt at a law firm that deals with wrongful death lawsuits from the families of ghosts, where the dead can give their testimonies in court, via a teenage translator. Aside from the talkative over-sharing ghosts that plague every other kid, Aura's life is normal and she's crazy about her boyfriend, Logan, who's about to make it big in the music industry. Then Logan dies and comes back as a ghost, and a new guy comes into Aura's world, Zachary, who just happens to be the last child born before the Shift. Aura has to cope with the pain of losing Logan and the fear that he'll turn into a Shade--a powerful, bad, and irredeemable ghost--while she figures out her special connection to Zachary. Aura seems very strong and capable until we see her with Logan. She's really worried about losing him, either to fame or to another girl, but I didn't think Logan was much to miss. Early on, all I saw him do was be a tremendously talented musician, squabble with his siblings, and assure Aura that she didn't have to sleep with him unless she really wanted to, when it was obvious that she was very nervous and only offering so that she could keep him happy. I need to see a little kindness or self-sacrifice in order to think a fictional boy is special, and I got none of that from Logan. The night he dies, he reveals that he's gotten Aura's name tattooed on his chest, then he consumes three and a half pints of beer, plus an alcoholic mixture of unknown content, plus cocaine. I feel sorry for him, and it hurt to see him die, but he seemed like a little kid in a teen's body, always making the absolute wrong decision. I am impressed with the mythos of the ghost-infused world, and I thought that a lot of important details were revealed unobtrusively in the first few pages. I wanted to high-five the author for doing her job so well, because the factual info was seamlessly introduced and it hooked me and made me want to read on. There's nothing really wrong with the story, it's just that almost the whole book is tied up with comforting and redeeming Logan, who I'm not really interested in. I may pick up the sequel, to see more of Zachary, who is smart, strong, and Scottish (a winning combination) and who seems to be involved in some interesting supernatural developments that will come out in later installments.
In Shade something caused a shift in the world 16 years ago giving everyone born after the shift the ability to see and talk to ghosts. There are ghosts who have unfinished business and can simply be annoying, but then there are ghosts called shades who are angry and hurt the people who can see them. The government is working to trap shades and is recruiting anyone who has the ability to see them. There isn't a specific logic to who will simply pass on after they die and who will ...more In Shade something caused a shift in the world 16 years ago giving everyone born after the shift the ability to see and talk to ghosts. There are ghosts who have unfinished business and can simply be annoying, but then there are ghosts called shades who are angry and hurt the people who can see them. The government is working to trap shades and is recruiting anyone who has the ability to see them. There isn't a specific logic to who will simply pass on after they die and who will turn into a ghost. One way to help ghosts pass on is to file a wrongful death suit and if the lawsuit is won the ghost can move on. Aura the first baby born after the shift tries to ignore ghosts in her everyday life except when she is working at her aunt's law firm translating or speaking for ghosts. Aura's mother died when she was a child but Aura has a feeling that her mother might have known what caused the shift. With her mothers journals as a guide Aura hopes to find out more. Aura's views on ghosts change when Logan, her boyfriend, dies suddenly. Even though she knows that Logan should move on Aura can't help but hold on to him. Aura even feels that she could some how stay his girlfriend. Shortly after Logan's passing she meets Zachary who is pre-shift, so he can't see or talk to ghosts, and he's stunning. Zachary tries to be her friend, but he also shows signs of liking Aura. To make matters worse Logan starts to display signs of turning into a shade and his family is quickly trying to file a wrongful death suit to get him to move on. If either of these things happens Aura will loose Logan for good. Shade is the first teen book by Jeri Smith-Ready. I first heard of Jeri when the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour was announcing authors and then again when the Haiti earthquake happened and she very generously was giving autographed books to people who made a donation to Doctors without Borders and again with the Multiple Sclerosis Society's Walk. I found the story unique and emotional. When Aura lost Logan I was in tears and I found her to be a great lead character. Shade kept my attention the entire time and I kept wondering what would happen next. At the end of the book I couldn't decide between Logan and Zachary. Overall I found this to be a great book and would recommend it to everyone.
Shade is hands down one the best books of the year! From a sexy love triangle between Aura and two utterly charming boys to an action packed plot to an enticing premise were some of the main aspects that make Shade the excellent and heart-racing book that it was destined to be. Aura was a likable character with a compelling voice from the instant I started her story. I really liked how Jeri crafted her character in a way that she never got too mopey and suicidal over the death of her boyfriend, but instead made the best of the situation, even if it did hurt at times. Also, I loved reading her interactions with Logan, her long-time boyfriend and sexy lead singer of the Keeley Brothers', and Zachary, the sweet Irish boy. If I was her, I'd have no clue of who to pick. As mentioned before, the plot in Shade was an action packed story that only gave you one choice. That choice? Rush right through it, of course, because it was just that addicting and amazing! I loved reading about the Shift and am looking forward to seeing more of it and the mystery around it in the sequel coming in '11 titled Shift. Also, I can't go without mentioning in this review how much I enjoyed Jeri Smith-Ready's writing. I can definitely see her being something really big in YA a few years from now. In all, Shade is a book that I not only highly recommend you buy, but insist that you do so; since I assure you that you will definitely not be disappointed in this one! Though, word of warning, you'll be dying to read the sequel as soon as you read the last word like I am now. Grade: A+
Reviewed by Eleni from La Femme Readers Blog Rating: 4.5 Shade was a hauntingly, endearing supernatural novel. I was utterly impressed with the flow of the plot and the unique characters. The world that Jeri created was very original and fresh. In this community, people born after the shift had the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. Pretty cool right? The violet-hued spirits were friendly while the dark "shades" were unpleasant and bitter. Aura was not the biggest fan of her ability. But, when her boyfriend Logan passed away, she was grateful for the chance to see him again. The raw emotions Aura went through was quite depressing. I could not imagine dealing with not only the loss of a loved one but also being surrounded by their ghost. I was saddened when Logan passed away, he was my favorite character. There was something about his demeanor that made me feel comfortable and fuzzy inside. He would of continued to be a great boyfriend to Aura if it wasn't for his stupid mistake. *sighs* Now, throughout the book the suspense slowly developed with the mystery behind the Shift. No one with this ability was aware as to why this phenomenon occurred. Aura, a strong and passionate teen sought out answers behind her power, even though it was forbidden. I admired her determination and understanding that something shady was going on. Meanwhile, another character stood out to me, Zachary, a handsome new student from Scotland who held some interesting secrets. He genuinely cared for Aura and always kept her best interest at heart. The connection between the two was intriguing and I can't wait to see their progressing relationship in this series. Jeri concluded the first book perfectly, I am eagerly anticipating the sequel, Shift which comes out in May 2011. Overall, a great supernatural read which I recommend all YA lovers should read!
***May contain spoilers***Going into this book I had no idea what it was about, all I knew was that it came highly recommended to me and that it, and its sequel, had made quite a splash in the world of YA book blogging. And boy, a splash it did make, especially on myself! Lately I have been reading a whole heck of a lot of books involving ghosts and books involving dystopian societies and I have started to notice quite a few overplayed story lines amongst said genres which does become quite tiring and does almost turn me off from them- however, this book and its plot, in combining both genres, is anything but overplayed- it truly is an entirely original concept, and as such, it really has given me renewed hope for the genres!I am also the sort of person who finds love triangles in YA to be tiring, especially when it is clear who the lead female character will choose (ie. Jace over Simon in Cassie Clare's "Mortal Instruments" series), it almost seems pointless for said love triangle to be included their really isn't much competition (when the story is obviously stacked in one males favour). I much prefer if there is to be a love triangle included in a YA book that the female character (and the reader themselves) have a difficult time choosing between the two male characters (ie. like in "The Hunger Games" trilogy, I, for the life of me, could not choose between Gale and Peeta, or in the "Iron Fey" series I couldn't choose between Ash and Puck) and therefore I was happy to see that that was very much the case for this book.Logan, Aura's dead boyfriend, is full of fiery passion and it is easy to get swept up by said passion, though he does have his a**hat moments that does leave a bad taste in your mouth. Whereas, Zachary was so caring, protective, and honest, but entered into Aura's life at the wrong time- and only for a short period of time- how is a girl to choose? Choose a dead boy who could go up in light at any moment or choose a living boy who could be called back home, across the pond, at any time?All in all, this book is truly a must read- it combines the best elements of various YA genres and Jeri's style of writing makes it easy to slip into this world and truly care for the characters and their outcomes.
This book is what I would call an 'Awkward Reunion'. Its like meeting someone you haven't seen in a really long time and acting really formal and too sweet with them. I mean, I really tried to like this book. Honestly. But there was just something so...fake about the writing. I felt like Jeri Smith-Ready was trying too hard to sound like a mourning teenager in love who wants to do things her way. She tried to emulate how teenagers act and speak and think but the fact is, people don't act like this, at least not so many people. What I'm trying to say is, all the personalities were purely fantasized. Nothing felt realistic about it. And it certainly didn't come out right on paper.Aura is my primary example of a character gone wrong. No matter what she did, I just couldn't understand what she was about. She was a mystery and not in a good way. Too many mood swings and strange statements made her seem all over the place. Yes, of course she would be all over the place from losing her boyfriend but its the things she would say that put me off. She made teenagers look vain, then strong, then angsty, then obsessive, it was too much. I can't like a character if I can't understand her.Then there's Logan. Okay, the part where he died was incredibly sad, I'll give him that but his personality is disgusting. Seriously. How can Aura like a guy whose as whiny, bratty and selfish as him? It makes no sense to me. He claims he loves her and wants to make love to her, then gets drunk and goes to do cocaine in the bathroom. WHAT THE HELL??? I swear, there was nothing redeeming about his personality. Every moment when it seemed as if he would end up caring for Aura or his family or something, boom! He'd throw a hissy fit, get jealous, try throw things around...he seemed more like a two year old to me then a caring boyfriend.There was nothing romantic between them. Once again, I feel as if Smith-Ready forced the romance into the writing. There was either something between Aura and Logan or something between Aura and Zach who by the way is the most random character to ever show up in a book. Seriously, this kid just popped out of nowhere and he's not very realistic either. Honestly, this love triangle thing that writers are obsessed with has got to die. Its getting old, especially when writers can't even it write it correctly.Overall, as you can see by my rant, I did not like this book. I tried really hard. I honestly did. The style was enough to keep me going almost halfway through the book but not to the end. If all the books in the world were to suddenly spontaneously combust and this would be the only book left, I would be hesitant to pick it up again. There were too many issues with this book so it'll be a long time before I so much as look at the cover.Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
The Shade series by JSR is a standout set of novels in a paranormal genre full of vampires, werewolves and angels. This is the first series I've read based solely on ghosts. It is incredibly unique and well-written.The Shift is such an intriguing event. Not too much information is divulged, but the intrigue, mystery and suspense kept me hooked and wanting to find out more.Aura is a wonderful protagonist. First off, I just love her name and think it suits her perfectly. She is extremely well-developed. I felt like I had a clear shot into Aura's head. Her emotions, thoughts, concerns and struggles felt as though they were my own.There is a love triangle in this series. With most, I am easily able to pick a team and stick to it. I did not get off so easily this time around. After becoming so familiar with each love interest, I couldn't decide who to cheer for. Logan is a rock star with a big heart. Zachary is a lovely, endearing, charming and incredibly sexy Scotsman. Ok, from those descriptions it seems I have picked Zachary... Whom I do tend to lean towards more. But each fought for a place in Aura's heart (and mine) throughout the story.Be forewarned, some of the interactions between a certain girl and one of the boys does get a little risque!Shade ended with a total cliffhanger forcing me to pick up Shift and start it right away. Shift didn't give such a forceful push off of the edge, but it did leave me desiring to know what happens next.JSR's passion shines through every page. Her writing draws you in and doesn't let you go. A great paranormal series I recommend to all.
I wasn't very fair to Shade in the beginning. Going into it I was sure that I wouldn't like it and, with that mindset, I found it very easy to nitpick all sorts of things. I wasn't far in when I got to the point where I forced myself to move onto reading something else temporarily. However, that was for the best because on second try, once I finally allowed myself to just enjoy reading it, the book was impossible to put down.Everyone born after the Shift can see ghosts. Aura is among them and her ability is something she barely tolerates. That changes drastically, however, when Logan dies and her ability is the only thing that allows her to see him. That in itself brings on plenty of conflict, though, as she's torn between wanting him around, wanting him to move on and keep from turning Shade, and wanting herself to move on.I didn't think it was possible, but with Shade I found a love triangle I could actually stomach. As a matter of fact, I loved it. Crazy talk, I know, but I found myself absolutely torn between the love interests Logan and Zachary. I did think Aura jumped into feeling for Zachary a bit too quickly, but I later enjoyed the progression between the two: the hesitation, the frustration, the sweetness... Logan had moments when he was absolutely unlikable and selfish, but he also broke my heart. It was clear to see how much he loved Aura, as well as the loyalty he had for his family. It was impossible to choose between the two!You know how most YA novels have those chaste romance scenes? Yeah, not happening here. There's nothing extremely graphic, but Jeri Smith-Ready definitely goes in a different direction from the norm, raising things up a notch. YOWZA. Shade concluded with a bit of a cliffhanger and many unanswered questions about the Shift. I was definitely left wanting more! At this point, I've read the sequel and loved it even more than this first book. The review should be coming shortly.
The author's voice is fantastic and had me wishing I were a tenth as good. *unworthy* I loved the way she moved Aura through the grief of Logan's death while building the relationship with Zachary. I could feel the push and pull of wanting to be with both of them, the longing and the loss, and yet the book doesn't come across as heavy.I could tell this was a 5-star book very early on and was worried the author wouldn't be able to sustain the awesome tempo and character development she established from the get go. My worries were unnecessary, as the book was brilliant through and through. I found myself torn between wanting to devour the pages and wanting to savor them.The ending is a total cliff-hanger, so it's no surprise that I ran out and bought Shift right away. I'd recommend this book for older teens and adults who love YA. You won't be disappointed!
Shade introduces us to a unique and interesting world where sixteen years ago there was what is now known as "the shift" Everyone born after the date of "the shift" are able to see and communicate with ghosts. The heroine, Aura, was born after this shift and spends most of her time trying to avoid ghosts, until her boyfriend Logan becomes one. Aura struggles between her love for the ghost boyfriend and her growing attraction to the Scottish foreign exchange student Zach.I found all of the characters to be fresh and immensely relateable. I felt that Aura's emotional ups and downs and indecision realistically reflected what a teenager in her position would probably be going through in a situation where she is mourning the sudden death of a boyfriend and figuring out what his place is in her life now that he is a ghost. Scottish Zach was a little too understanding sometimes, but his maturity could be due to some of his early losses forcing him to grow up. I hope to read more about him and his story in subsequent novels in this series. Logan was a lovable and emotionally volatile character. There were parts where my heart ached for him and other parts where he annoyed me to no end, exactly how any teenage boy would. I think that this author has a gift for writing believable YA characters and I can't wait to read more of her work. The world that Jeri Smith-Ready created in Shade is a darkly fascinating place, where ghosts can testify in their own murder trials and wrongful death lawsuits, and the sinister "men in black" always in the background, and death doesn't necessarily mean goodbye. I loved all the interractions between human and ghosts and how this world had adjusted to these changes, some even employing ghosts and paying their families. I am eager to read more about this world.The writing itself was simple and engaging. I loved the flow of the dialog between the characters. Each had their own individual ¿voice¿. I was absolutely able to lose myself between the pages, which for me is always the mark of a well written book. While I still have plenty of unanswered questions about some of the plot lines introduced, I was satisfied with the way Shade ended. I will definitely be buying the next in the series as I¿m anxious to find out what happens.
Irish punk rock stars, love, ghosts, and star gazeing. You will fall in love with this book and its characters as they go through love, death, ghostly love and maybejust maybe passing over. Be prepared to fall in love again and again.
Wow. I have heard so much about this series, and it has been on my to-read list since I first heard about it. I was so happy to finally read it, and boy did I like it.Shade follows Aura, a girl born in the first minute after the Shift took place. The Shift is the mysterious event that caused each new child to be born with the ability to see, hear and interact with ghosts. No one knows why the Shift took place, but most people like Aura wish it never did. She is harassed by ghosts in any place that isn't blackboxed (repels ghosts) and doesn't see anything good in her ability. That is until her boyfriend, Logan, dies tragically just minutes after his birthday. Suddenly her ability is the only thing that keeps their connection alive, even though Logan is no longer. Soon Aura finds herself stuck in between the past and present, and worrying about her future. Filled with twists, complications and a fast-paced plot, Shade is the start to a trilogy you don't want to miss.Literally from the first page, this novel grabbed my attention and held it way past the very last page. I loved all the characters, they were each likable, entertaining and different in their own way. Even Logan, who royally pissed me off some times (Team Zachary all the way!), I accepted as a great character. I also really enjoyed the plot. It was paced perfectly: not too fast, but not too slow. It was also different from your run of the mill ghost story. Although there are ghosts in this story, I wouldn't classify it has a traditional "paranormal" novel. I don't know how to truly express what I mean, other than to say it was seemed very realistic and it wasn't a "scary" ghost story. I also appreciated how the author wove in elements about megalith structures (such as Newgrange and Stonehedge) into the fantastical plot. That was something fun, new and surprisingly, pretty educational. I'm not going to spoil anything here, but Oh. My. Ending! Can you say cliffhanger? It was so freaking good. I was dying for the next book, Shift (lucky for me, I already had it on stand by). So here's a word of advice- have Shift handy when you finish Shade because there is no way you will be able to function regularly without the next installment in this trilogy. Needless to say, I would definitely recommend this one!
In One Word ~ OverwhelmingHonestly, one word could never do SHADE justice. It was also: Astonishing, Shattering, Breathtaking, Beautiful, Funny, and Sad. Does that just about cover it? Not a chance.I debated writing this review. In some weird way, I wanted to take SHADE and the emotions it drug through me and just hold them tightly to myself, keep it private. Mine. But then I thought about the massive, and I mean MASSIVE amount of conversation that was started on Twitter with me simply saying that I was starting SHADE. People I "talk" with on a daily basis, occasionally, and never before responded. We all had this happy, hilarious and passionate conversation. It was about the books, the characters, whose Team we were on (I'm still officially on what Jeri calls "Team ShadeBoys", I love them both), kilts, music, kisses, and tears. When a book can inspire that kind of commitment and intensity, you know that you've come across something that sort of transcends... well, it just transcends being simply a book. I realized that SHADE is the type of book that binds people. People who would have never laughed, or squee'd with happiness or even talked to one another have become linked by their love for this series and the author, Jeri Smith-Ready.Oh yeah, this was supposed to be a review. I guess I should be writing reviewer-ish stuff, huh? SHADE is full of everything that makes a fabulous book. Engaging, smart, smartass, beautifully infuriating characters. SHADE has a extremely unique, well-developed plot that involves our world, with a slight tweak that seems entirely possible. Like, I was really looking around for violet-hued figures, lurking in the background.I read SHADE while traveling twelve, count em, twelve hours with my cranky husband and lovable but really whiny kids. I zoomed through this book in about two and a half hours. The tears started leaking as soon as I opened it. I cried the entire time. But don't get me wrong, SHADE is also a super funny book. The dialogue is amazing, so funny and sarcastic, just how I like it.SHADE gave me a really, really good day. Every time I look at this book, I will remember Logan, Aura, and Zach; crying in a car with a box of tissues on my lap; and my brilliant friends who made me feel as if they were reading it for the first time, with me.Favorite Quote ~¿Aura," he whispered, "I wish I could wipe away just one of your tears. Then I'd feel like a person again. Like I'm something more than a bunch of light."
I read this book over a week ago and I couldn¿t write the review until now. It was hard getting the words out that would do this book justice. This was one of those books that held you from the beginning to the end and had you on the edge of your seat wanting to find out what was going to happen next. I was in love with the characters from the beginning, the beginning of the story reminded me of the stupid things you do when you¿re a teen before you realize that there are serious consequences for your actions. The characters were beautifully written and you could completely relate to them. The story was based on The Shift and the people who were born after it who could see the ghost lingering in our world and the people born before who could not. The story starts off tragically with the death of Aura¿s boyfriend Logan. Because she was born post-shift she was able to see his ghost after he died. This is where the heartaches begins, what would you do if you thought you lost a loved one, but then were able to still see them in ghost form. Would you hang on to what¿s left or would you try to help them and yourself move on? Aura¿s mother died when she was young and all she has left of her is a diary with pages torn out.Her mother writes about Stonehenge and she decides that she would study this for her school project. She meets the swoon worthy Zachary who seems to understand everything she is dealing with. Aura struggles with dealing with her love for Logan and her magnetic attraction to Zach. Throughout the book there were tons of musical references and I loved it. I felt Aura¿s anger, pain, suffering and I wept like a little girl. The story was beautifully written and I couldn¿t put it down until I read the last page which was a cliffhanger and then I grabbed my tablet and downloaded Shift.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5!Jeri jumping jacks, this book was awesome!I picked it up in recommendation without knowing what to expect. To be honest, neither the cover nor synopsis really caught my eye. But I just adored it.From the very first page, Shade sucked me into a fascinating world where every child born after the Shift (which occurred sixteen years ago) could see the violet ghosts of those unable to pass on. Every little detail was amazing and believable! Jeri Smith-Ready managed to create one of the most compelling worlds I've read in a while -- and, given the amount of books I read, that's saying something.The love triangle was so much better than I expected it to be, too. It was authentic in every way, and I can honestly say that I was torn between the two incredible guys. Super hot exchange student or (dead) rocker boyfriend? Hardest question of life! I'm so anxious to see who our heroine Aura (another reason why I adore this book) chooses in the sequel.Original, brilliant, and well-written, Shade was a thrilling roller coaster ride that had me grinning like an idiot in some parts and wanting to throw the book across the room in others. Because of the mature content and language (note the warning here!), it's definitely a book I'd recommend to all older teens, if not everybody! :)BUY or BORROW?: Buy it! Even if you're not the biggest fan of the cover (like me), what's inside is definitely worth every penny!
WOW... this was such a good book I don't even know what to say about it besides that I loved it! The way Logan and Aura love each other is just beautiful! I cried at almost every scene with Aura and Logan... Some were good tears and some were sad tears. I love when a book can touch me and this book did just that. I loved how Jeri Smith Ready made Aura and Logan's world seem so real. You have your everyday teen issues in it from sex, drugs, alcohol, music etc. Minus the whole seeing the dead bit of course. This book was written so well and everything just fell right into place. Every chapter something was happening and leaving you wanting more. There was never a boring moment in this book. If you're looking for a book with a strong love story in it I definitely recommend this book. Just thinking about certain parts in the book right now makes me want to cry lol. THIS IS A MUST READ!!!SUCH A GOOD BOOK! :-) Worth re-reading two or three times. I am stopping here before I give away anything in the book. IF YOU HAVEN'T PICKED IT UP YET THEN GO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? lol
After reading countless rave reviews for this book I went out and bought a copy. I'm glad I did, it was definitely worth it.The story is pretty dark. Not only because of some references to drug use and alcohol, but just the nature of the ghosts and the people out to control them. I felt tense and edgy while reading this, you never know what is around the corner but you know it probably isn't going to be good. I love how caught up I was in the story: constantly on the edge of my seat.All the characters are very compelling. Aura is a great main character, she is so confused and torn apart throughout this book. Thanks to the great writing, it is easy to get inside her head and feel the turmoil she is experiencing through her eyes. As her feelings for Logan started getting mixed up in her feelings for Zachary, I honestly felt as mixed up as she did. She really does have to make a lot of hard decisions in the story, and they are made all the more complicated when she finds out some surprising things about herself.I definitely recommend reading this book. I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel!
Aura is a post-shifter, meaning she can see ghosts. She always found ghost annoying, until her boyfriend, Logan, dies. Now she can see and hear her boyfriend, even after death. But now there is this other guy, Zachary, her partner in a school project. Aura is stuck between still having feelings for Logan and the feelings she's starting to have for Zachary. She knows she has to move on one day, but with Logan always being around, it's kind of hard to let go. She goes through all of this while trying to figure out why the shift happened in the first place.I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reading Shade because it is an amazing book! I guess I hadn't read the summary since the book came out last year because I was surprised when Logan died. I like when I do that though, I need to stop reading summaries so often.It was heart wrenching to read about Logan and Aura. I couldn't (and don't want to) imagine what it would be like to have a boyfriend die. You would think it would be easier for Aura since she can still see him, but after finishing the book it seemed much harder. She can't let go and move on because he's still there. She can't fully commit to her feelings for Zachary because she feels guilty when she does and there's still those pesky feelings for Logan.I was really intrigued with the astronomy in the story. I love anything that deals with the stars, so I was excited to read that part of it. Especially since Aura thinks it has something to do with the Shift.I also made the mistake of reading the first few pages of the next book in the series, Shift, because now I'm even more at a cliffhanger than when Shade ended.Overall I really loved Shade and can't wait to go out and get Shift.
Mini-Review: I really wanted to like this one more. I loved the premise and I do want to read more to find out about the shift and why it happened. However I found the story rushed and disjointed. I never really got a feeling for the characters and I didn't buy the love for Aura and Logan, she seemed to get over him quite quickly after he died. I also don't buy the cliff hanger ending, it just doesn't ring true or quite frankly make any sense. Also the description on the back says that Aura is devastated -- yeah she doesn't act like a devastated girl to me. I do think that the teens will like this and I urge you to check out other reviewers opinion on this, since this isn't written for 40 yr old moms. I was just sort of disappointed. I will try some of the authors other works and honestly will probably pick up the next book when it comes out just to find out more about the shift. 3 Dewey's
The last word in this book pretty much sums up exactly how I feel after reading it. WOW!I felt so many emotions while reading this story, happiness, excitement, fear, anger and even some sadness. The end almost made me cry, even though it was happy for the most part. You just feel so much for the characters that you can't help feeling like crying.I'm so glad I read this book. It made me think differently about ghosts. Plus I secretly wish I had Aura's powers... LOL... Read the book and you will feel the same!
Hooked from the first page, Jeri Smith-Ready helped start and fuel my new addiction with her fabulous writing and her even more fabulous subject of story.Ghosts.Aura, who couldn¿t have a more fitting name, doesn¿t expect that her boyfriend Logan¿s birthday will be his last. With great opportunities working to go his way, and a girlfriend ready to take the next step to prove her love to him, Logan dies a tragic death- never truly experiencing either of his two biggest birthday gifts.For most people, getting over loss is grueling enough. Try being born after the Shift when you can¿t get away from ghosts. Aura, who normally despises the fact that ghosts can talk to her and ruin her every moment, isn¿t sure whether seeing her now-dead-boyfriend is a good thing or bad. It makes letting go and moving on near impossible, I could feel it. Even when he is on the brink of becoming a Shade.Cue, Zackary, the handsome Scottish bloke which immediately befriends, self-proclaimed outcast, Aura. With the excuse of a school project, and motives of his own, Zackary is able to form a friendship with Aura confusing her feelings and making her situation even more shady then before. Aura is torn in two pieces, as I was, longing for the love she had and wanted to keep and wishing for the ability to move on to the perfectly understanding, and safe (in several ways) new-to-town-guy. Even more then her love problems she needs to dissect the clues she finds within herself, Logan, Zackary and their pasts to figure out the Shift and what they all had to do with it.Jeri Smith Ready, not only hooked me by page one, she kept me wanting more. This book is fast paced, full of real and relatable raw emotions, and in a far off way a little bit believable (I mean, come on, what are you going to believe more? Ghosts or glittery-vamps?) This isn¿t your run-of-the-mill romance. It holds a little action and mystery too.With a sequel due out in May 2011, the date couldn¿t come fast enough. I know there is more fabulousness to come. This story definitely makes it onto my fab reread list! How couldn¿t it with each page turn there was flutters of my tummy, grins creeping across my face, and my brow furrowed helplessly?
I have had this novel hanging around for months and always read good things about it. The author is on the Crossroads Tour and I've been commenting on her interviews saying I am going to read her book next. Well, I can finally say I read it and I was blown away by it. Why did I wait so long? It's the first ghost story I've read since Ruined by Paula Morris and I have to say it was one of the best this year. It seems like the end of the year is going to go out with a bang as far as what I'm reading.The story begins with an unsure Aura, racing to her boyfriend's house. Why is she unsure? All sixteen year old girls are insecure about their relationships, but Logan, Aura's boyfriend is a huge egomaniac or diva as they call him and musician who gives the audience all they want and more. So, he has groupies and we all know what groupies do. And Aura and Logan have never done that before. But it's his seventeenth birthday and Aura is going to give him the perfect birthday present, herself. The band has a gig where two record execs show up and both want to sign them, but they can't because of Logan being under eighteen. So they head home to the after party at Logan's house where he gets drunk and on top of that drinks something called Liquid Stupid. It's so potent that his finger and toes start to go numb and of course he can't perform. He can't even properly kiss Aura. She yells and gets mad at him so he takes a little packet our of the drawer saying it's a sample of shampoo and he goes to the bathroom to take a cold shower and wake up. Moments later he appears at the foot of the bed, a violet hued ghost. Aura can see ghosts. Anyone born after a certain time can. She is broken hearted and doesn't believe it, She throws her shirt back on inside out and backwards then runs to the bathroom where his brother and sister are performing CPR and his little brother is running to get their father's defibrillator. But it's too late once you're a ghost. And that's when Aura sees the white lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. He used cocaine after all the alcohol. Of course he's dead. But she doesn't understand why he didn't cross over.In the meantime, she's got a sexy Scottish partner for a thesis project that requires them to be alone in the dark. She loves his accent and the further from Logan's death she gets, the more attracted she is to her partner Zach. They each have big secrets they are keeping from each other, though and until they come out they can't really become close. Zach knows she is sleeping with Logan's ghost, but of course they can't do anything. Logan's family are like walking zombies. Only his little brother can see him and Logan is starting to go Shade where a ghost becomes so angry and filled with rage that it becomes black and can hide in the shadows. No one can track it and it can go anywhere it wants, whereas regular ghosts are violet in color and can only visit places they've been before. To top all of that off, Logan's parents are suing the record company that gave Logan the cocaine and Aura will have to testify as to what she was doing in the room with Logan the night he died.Smith-Ready builds likable characters-all of them. Logan, Zach and Aura are the most fully fleshed out but there are a few extras that have minor roles such as Aura's best friend Megan. Every one's motivations are clear. Aura's Aunt Gina wants her to move on because she's been through a similar experience and knows it will only end in heartache. Logan loves her, selfishly, he can't even touch her, he can't protect her, he can't do anything but talk to her. Zach on the other hand can do more and wants to, but he wants her completely, without her still attached to Logan. And Aura, she just wants to help Logan cross over. Whatever it takes. But she's not sure how and she wants to find out what caused the Shift. But it seems like that will all be answered in another book called Shift which I can hardly w