Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi's advice, she decides to cross him over. While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca's sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she's not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories? Find out in Shimmer, the second book in the Riley Bloom series from bestselling author Alyson Noël.
About the Author
Alyson Noël is the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Faking 19, Art Geeks and Prom Queens, Laguna Cove, Fly Me to the Moon, Kiss & Blog, Saving Zoë, Cruel Summer, and The Immortals series including Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame, and Night Star, as well as the Immortals spin-off series beginning with Radiance. With over 2 million copies in print in the US alone, her books have been published in 35 countries and have won awards including the National Reader's Choice Award, NYLA Book of Winter Award, NYPL Stuff for the Teenage, TeenReads Best Books of 2007, and Reviewer's Choice 2007 Top Ten, and have been chosen for the CBS Early Show's "Give the Gift of Reading" segment, and selected for Seventeen Magazine's "Hot List" and Beach Book Club Pick. She lives in Laguna Beach, California.
Read an Excerpt
If you think you know what it’s like to be dead—if you think it’s just an eternity of harp music and cloud lounging—well, think again.
Ever hear the saying, Life goes on?
Long past the point when everyone else thinks it stopped.
Take it from me, I’ve been dead for just over a year, and from the moment I crossed that bridge to the other side—well, that’s when things really got interesting.…
“Go on, Buttercup—go get it boy!”
I cupped my hands around my mouth and squinted into a blanket of gooey, white haze still hours away from being burned off by the sun. Gazing upon a beach that was just the way I liked it—foggy, cold, a tiny bit spooky even. Reminding me of our old family visits to the Oregon Coast—the kind I sometimes tried to re-create on my own.
But despite the infinite manifesting possibilities of the Here & Now, something about it just wasn’t the same. Sure, you could replicate similar sensations, the way the tiny, pebbly grains wedged between your toes, the way the cool ocean spray felt upon your face, but still, it didn’t quite cut it.
Couldn’t quite live up to the real thing.
And clearly Buttercup agreed.
He sprinted after the stick, running headfirst into a dad enjoying an early morning stroll with his son, before emerging on their other side. Causing the kid to stop and stare and gaze all around—sensing the disturbance, the sudden change in atmosphere, the burst of cold air—the usual signs a ghost is present.
The usual signs kids always tune in to, and their parents always miss.
I shut my eyes tightly, concentrating on mingling my energy with my surroundings. Summoning the vibration of the sand—the seashells—even the haze—longing to experience it in the same way I used to, knowing I’d have only a few moments of this before Buttercup returned, dropped the wet, slobbery stick at my feet, and we repeated the sequence again.
He was tireless. True to his breed, he’d happily retrieve for hours on end. A nice, long game of fetch making the list of his top-five favorite things, ranking right up there with dog biscuits, a warm patch of sun, bird chasing, and of course, his newest love—flying.
Nudging my leg with his nose, letting me know he was back, he stared up at me with those big brown eyes, practically begging me to hurl the stick even farther this time.
So I did.
Watching as it soared high into the sky before it pierced the filmy, white veil and was gone. Buttercup dashing behind it, tongue lolling out the side of his mouth, tail wagging crazily from side to side—the furry, yellow tip the last thing I saw before the mist swallowed him whole and he vanished from sight. Leaving only a faint echo of excited barks trailing behind.
I turned my attention to the small flock of seagulls circling overhead, swooping toward the water and filling their beaks with unsuspecting fish, before taking flight again. Vaguely aware of the minutes slipping past with still no sign of Buttercup, I called out his name, then chased it with a spot-on imitation of my dad’s special whistle that never failed to bring Buttercup home. My feet carving into the sand, leaving no trace of footprints, as I pushed through a fog so thick, so viscous, it reminded me of the time I’d flown through a cloud storm for fun, only to realize it was anything but. And I was just about to venture into the freezing-cold water, knowing his fondness for swimming, when I heard a deep, unmistakable growl that immediately set me on edge.
Buttercup rarely growled.
He was far too good-natured for that.
So when he did, it was safe to assume he’d stumbled upon something serious.
Something very, very bad.
I followed the sound of it. That low, gravely rumble growing in intensity the closer I crept. Only to be replaced with something much worse—a horrible snarl, a high-pitched yelp, and a sickening silence that made my gut dance.
“Buttercup?” I called, my voice so shaky, so unsteady I was forced to clear my throat and try again. “Buttercup—where are you? This isn’t funny, you know! You better show yourself now,or you will not be flying home!”
The second the threat was out, I heard him. Paws beating against the hard, wet sand, his quick panting breath getting louder and louder the closer he came.
I sighed with relief and sank down to the ground. Readying myself for the big, slobbery apology hug that soon would be mine, only to watch in absolute horror as the fog split wide open and a large dog jumped out.
A dog that wasn’t Buttercup.
It was—something else entirely.
Big—the size of a pony.
Black—its coat matted and gnarled.
With paws the size of hooves that came hurtling toward me, as I screamed long and loud, desperate to get out of its way.
But it was too late.
No matter how fast I moved—it wasn’t fast enough.
There was no escaping the chains of its sharply barbed collar that clanged ominously.
No escaping the menacing glow of those deep yellow eyes with the laser-hot gaze that burned right into mine, right into my soul.…
I curled into a ball, pressed my nose against my knees, and covered my face as I waited for the impact.
Waited for the push of those paws, the bite of those razor-sharp teeth, the heat of that ominous gaze to sear straight into the heart of me.
But nothing came.
And, really, why would it when there was one major thing saving me from his attack?
One major thing saving me from any attack.
One major thing that I still hadn’t grown used to—or at least not when I was in the middle of being scared witless.
The fact that I was dead.
Dead as a doornail.
Dead and buried.
Dead as … well, pretty much as dead as it gets.
The irony being that while I may have felt more alive than ever, the truth was that my physical body had died just over a year ago. Leaving me with this new, light and filmy, somewhat translucent version that looked an awful lot like the original, gravity-bound version, except for the fact that things could easily pass through me now, whereas they couldn’t before.
Things like oversize hellhounds with matted black fur and deep menacing growls, for instance.
And, as luck would have it, I’d failed to remember any of that until Bodhi had already caught up with me.
Or, rather, make that Bodhi and Buttercup, my sweet yellow Lab, who’s not only known me for almost all of my life, but who died in the car accident right alongside me, which, all things considered, you’d think would result in some serious loyalty.
There were no loyalties where Buttercup was concerned. He was all too eager to sniff and lick the fingers of just about anyone willing to pet him, feed him, or play fetch with him—including my ghost guide Bodhi. And as Bodhi laughed himself silly at the way I cowered on the sand, all coiled up into my own tiny, blond, ghost-girl ball of fear, Buttercup barked and drooled and tail-wagged happily beside him, carrying on in a way that seriously made me rethink my loyalty to him, and pretty much had me hating Bodhi as much as I did the first time we met.
The first time he pushed me (literally!) into that awful room, where I was forced to undergo a super-embarrassing, completely agonizing life review.
A super-embarrassing, completely agonizing life review where I discovered that my whole entire existence, my brief twelve years on the earth plane, had amounted to little more than a joke—and that the joke was on me.
The whole thing had been a wash.
A decade-long exercise in trying to emulate my older sister, Ever, in hopes of being just like her.
Only to result in some seriously ridiculous, seriously bratty, seriously stalkinglike behavior that, in the end, was pretty much impossible to defend.
A super-embarrassing, completely agonizing life review presided over by various members of the Council, who informed me that based on the amount of time I’d lingered on the earth plane—stubbornly refusing to cross the bridge to the Here & Now in order to stay behind and spy on my sister, celebrities, former teachers, and friends (along with anyone else who might prove interesting but was otherwise unsuspecting)—I had a job to fulfill, one where I was expected to “coax and convince” lingering spirits to cross the bridge to their new home, acting as a Soul Catcher, if you will. And even worse, I’d also been assigned a guide/teacher/coach/counselor/boss (or at least that’s how Bodhi likes to describe himself), who I was expected not only to answer to, but maybe even learn from.
Despite the fact that he no longer dressed like the big dork he did then, despite the fact that he’d swapped the nerd wear for some much cooler clothes, despite the fact that he’d let his hair go all shaggy and loose to the point where it curved down into his face in that cool guy, slightly windswept, effortless way, despite the fact that every time I looked into his brilliant blue eyes I was totally reminded of the Zac Efron poster that used to hang on my old bedroom wall, it still didn’t make it okay for him to laugh at me the way he did.
I continued to lie there, every single part of me just wishing he’d stop and move on already. But when it became clear that he wouldn’t, when it became clear that he was trying to calm down just enough, to catch his breath just enough, so that he could make the switch from laughing at me to making fun of me verbally, I jumped to my feet. I straightened my white cotton dress that, in my haste, had gotten all twisted around, tugged on the straps of the pink and turquoise swimsuit I wore underneath, and glared at him as I said, “Yeah, yeah, laugh all you want.” I shook my head and scowled, first at him, then at Buttercup who promptly lowered his head, tucked his tail between his legs, and gazed up at me with those big brown eyes that were impossible to resist. “But I’m telling you, if you’d seen what I’d seen … well…” I shook my head and made my mouth go all tight and grim, forcing the words between gritted teeth, “I know for a fact you would’ve screamed too.”
I was ready for a fight, ready for some more of that not entirely good-natured ribbing, when instead he just placed his hand on my shoulder and peered at me in this highly serious way that he had.
“I did scream.” His gaze locked on mine. “But instead of the stop, drop, and roll action that you just did, I ran like the wind.”
I narrowed my eyes and shrugged myself out from under his grip. Not quite sure what he was getting at, and still not convinced he wasn’t trying to poke a little fun at my expense.
“It was back in England, in Devon, if I remember correctly.” He squinted as though trying to remember the exact date, like it’d been centuries ago or something, when we both knew he’d kicked it just over a decade ago, back in 1999, courtesy of bone cancer, and just days away from the millennium too. Then lifting his shoulders, he added, “Anyway, they’re most often seen in Devon, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex, but still, I—”
“Wait—what do you mean, they?” I asked, aware of Buttercup creeping toward my side, nuzzling my leg in a desperate attempt to ease his way back into my good graces. “You mean there’s more than one?”
“Snarly Yows?” Bodhi tilted his head in a way that caused his bangs to swoop into his eyes. “Yeah, lots more.” He nodded, combing his fingers through his hair and pushing the strands back into place.
“Snarly—what?” My voice squeaked, unable to make sense of the word.
“Snarly Yow, Black Shuck, Phantom Dog, Galleytrot, Shug Monkey, Hateful Thing, Hell Beast…” He shrugged, instantly manifesting a long green straw he started to chew as he looked all around. Face arranged as though he expected to find a whole pack of them storming the sand, but coming away with little more than a heavy shroud of mist, he just looked at me and said, “They go by a lot of different names. And though the legends slightly differ, when you get right down to it, it all amounts to basically the same thing. A big, black, menacing dog with glowing eyes—sometimes one in the middle of his forehead, sometimes where his head would’ve been if it weren’t missing—” He looked at me. “That sort of thing. Though they’re not relegated to just England. Once, while I was on assignment in Egypt, I spotted a really big one, much bigger than the one you just saw. I mean it was fierce. I thought for sure it was some kind of crazed black stallion. You can’t even imagine the size of that thing.” He shook his head at the memory. “Anyway, it was guarding some centuries-old tomb. That’s what they like to do, you know—guard old graves and tombs and such.”
He peered at me from under a thick set of lashes, lashes he probably enhanced in some way in order to make himself appear irresistible. From what I saw at graduation—or whatever they call that day when he first started to glow in that deep greenish shade that was enough to signal to whoever was in charge of these things that he was ready to serve as my guide—from all the catcalls and wolf whistles that followed him right from his seat all the way down to the stage, well, it clearly was working.
Or at least on some less-discerning spirits anyway.
Me, I was pretty much immune to it.
He continued to look at me, practically begging for me to be impressed with his exotic journey. But no way would I give that to him. No way would I give him the satisfaction.
So he’d traveled to Egypt. On assignment. Where he’d faced down some phantom dog that was even bigger than the one I just saw.
In the short amount of time since I’d crossed the bridge to my new home in the Here & Now, I’d already aced an assignment at a pretty impressive castle in the English countryside, had already soared directly above the bustling streets of London, and was at that very moment enjoying a nice little vacay on one of the Virgin Islands—all of that happening within a very short,very brief, amount of time, thankyouverymuch. Which left me with no doubt that there’d be plenty more travel in store for me, what with all the assignments I’d have, and all the lingering souls I’d be expected to cross over.
“Anyway,” he said, still chomping away, that green straw bobbing up and down in his mouth in what was clearly an annoying habit held over from his time on the earth plane, “even though legend says that coming across one is a bad omen—a portent of death—”
“A portent?” I looked at him, my brow rising, convinced he was trying to show off again.
“An omen, a sign, a—”
“I know what it means.” I rolled my eyes and waved it away, waved away his lame attempt to impress me, to lord his oh-so-big vocabulary over me.
“Anyway, the thing is,” he continued, squinting as he gazed up and down the mostly empty beach, “even though the legends all claim that whoever sees a Black Shuck will be dead within a year, that’s obviously something you don’t have to worry about. I mean, seeing as you’re already dead and all…”
“So that’s it, then?” I placed my hands on my hips and stared. “You’re just gonna let this psycho phantom hellhound run amok, and basically terrorize all the people on the beach, and do nothing to stop it?”
He shrugged, obviously not nearly as alarmed by the prospect as I was. “Guess I don’t really see the point,” he said. “I mean, face it, Riley, the only one who seems to be terrorized by the dog is you.”
I searched his face, searched for obvious signs (portents!) of mocking, but came up empty. So then I said, “What about Buttercup, then? What about that yelp that I heard? He sounded scared to death—so to speak.”
But Bodhi just laughed. “Mad maybe, but definitely not scared. That was my bad. I caught his ball in midair and flew with it. He wasn’t too pleased, but you got over it, didn’t you, boy?” His voice grew all soft and mushy as he reached down to give Buttercup a good scratch between the ears. And it was all I could do not to cringe when I saw how quickly my dog abandoned my side in order to scooch back toward Bodhi’s, where he sat, happily gazing at him, all drooly and goo-goo eyed.
“Besides, whatever lingering spirits you find here are to be left alone. No matter what. Just remember, if it’s not assigned by the Council, then it’s none of our business.” His face grew all serious, wanting me to know just how much he meant it. Then assuming his job was done, assuming he’d waged the winning argument, he added, “So come on, what do you say we forget the beast, ditch this fogged-out beach, and go check out the town?”
I placed my hands on my hips and gazed into a mist that seemed as though it wasn’t about to burn off anytime soon. Still, if you knew where to look, you’d find a few patchy bits here and there, and I took them to be a promise that a beautiful day might be in the works.
And even though we were there on vacation, even though this little trip was awarded to us by the Council for a job well done after crossing over some ghosts who’d been haunting a castle for way too long (ghosts that no other Soul Catcher had been able to move on, including Bodhi, until I came along), even though Bodhi was nice enough to let me choose the place and didn’t lodge even a single complaint when I picked St. John (the island my parents had honeymooned on—solely because I’d heard them talk about it so often, and so wistfully—I just had to seize the chance to see it for myself), even though we only had a little time left before we’d have to return to the Here & Now, appear before the Council, and get back to the business of our next assignment—even though I knew all of that—I still looked at him and said, “I’m not going anywhere till I convince that dog to move on.”
Copyright © 2011 by Alyson Noël
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In Alyson Noel's second charmer about 12 year old Riley Bloom, Shimmer, Riley's newly discovered talents are put to the test when she meets Rebecca, the ghost of a plantation owner's daughter. Rebecca's anger is trapping souls in their own angry, painful memories, and Riley and her friends, ghost guide Bhodi and golden retriever Buttercup, must find a way to free the trapped souls, and help Rebecca let go of a horrible event in her past, so she may move on to the Here & Now. I adored Radiance, and Shimmer was just as good. I'm still amazed at Ms. Noel's ability to see through a 12 yr old's eyes and write about themes such as slavery, and the horrid things that happened during that unpleasant time in our history, while always keeping a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Shimmer was a wonderful read and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to reluctant readers. It ends with some unanswered questions that I'm sure will be resolved in the next Riley Bloom adventure, Dreamscape, coming this fall!
I have no idea what the people with negative comments are talking about......its not boring at ALL! When it talks about the fire buring the house and it burning the girls feet, it felt so....real
I really love this book im 10 and bought it at a book fair at my school.Read the first one and was addicted i would recommend this book to people who like reading suspenceful books about the fight of death
I have read the sample of it and in counting I have read it 40x. I highly recamend this book. I am nine years old I only have three books so hopefuly my parents will let me buy the book!
Short Version: So on the rating let me explain if you go in with the thought that you are going to read a middle grade book that gets right to the point and tells a great story you will love this book but if you go in expecting a long drawn out story with romance than you will feel disappointed but trust me this is a really good book! If you have read the Evermore series you will enjoy this but it's not required that you do. You will be lost if you haven't read Radiance the first book in this series. You can find my review of Radiance here. Long Version: (Don't read if you haven't read Radiance) After Riley successfully completed her first mission she was granted time off to go back to the earth plane where she can relax and get to know her guide Bodhi but things never go smoothly for Riley. She comes across a vicious hell dog and while Bodhi warns her not to get involved or have anything to do with it, she does the exact opposite. Riley finds out that the dog belongs to Rebecca, an evil spirit, who traps spirits in their worst fear and feeds off their tortured energy. Only to make matters worse Bodhi and Buttercup get trapped and Riley has to save her guide, dog, and put a stop to Rebecca's evil ways. When Rebecca finds out that Riley want's to stop her, she blocks her out and Riley finds help from a spirit who is tied to Rebecca's past. He sends Riley on a spirit quest to show her the type of person Rebecca used to be when she was alive and what she suffered while living on her father's plantation. Alyson Noel does not tread lightly on the topic of slavery giving us flashbacks to how horrible slaves were tread and I found it to be a great element in the story. In Shimmer we learn more about Bodhi and what his biggest regret was when he was alive. Rebecca also shows Riley the tragic way that she died and why she is so angry, but she is one ghost that is not willing to cross over. Riley has always been one of my favorite characters and while I have so many questions about where the series will go I find Shimmer to be a great book.
I have to agree these books are the readin level for 10 yr olds and thats the age i was when i read them but the fact that all these yrs have past and im still thinking about how great they are goes to show there amazing books and i believe anyone who reads reads them at any age level, will enjoy the adventure with railey
Cant wait to read this.
I got Radiance really cheap at a book fair and loved it! I highly recomend it for ages 10+. I'm going to buy this book when I (hopefuly) get a Barnes&Noble gift card for Christmas!!
Such a good book! Even tho im in the middle i cant wait til i finish reading it! One of the best books i ever read. Even tho i dont like reading!
I totws recomend this series i alsoadvise yall read the immortals by this author oh and the twighlight and Harry Potter books
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.Riley and her guide, Bodhi, are enjoying a vacation after their first mission of leading a soul home in book 1. While playing with her own dog, Buttercup, she comes across a Hellhound and is determined to find it and send it home but what she finds is much more than she expected. She meets the ghost Rebecca, who is very angry for having been murdered during a slave revolt in the early 1700's. She has created a bubble in which she has captured all the other souls who died after her where each one relives there most frightening moment during life over and over. Against Bodhi's wishes, Riley uses her own free will to take on this monumental mission of sending home all the ghosts trapped here by Rebecca, but can she do it without becoming trapped herself?I think I enjoyed this second book in the series even more than the first! A very quick page-turning afternoon's read for me. I really like both Riley and Bodhi as main characters and even though they are at odds much of the time in their teacher/student relationship I find myself agreeing with each one's point of view. When not paying attention to their official relationship they have managed in this book to become somewhat closer to each other as people, not exactly friends yet, but they've seen a side of each other they hadn't known about before and now they must get over there own stubbornness. The story did get a bit gruesome with some of the depictions of the treatment of slaves and there was one source of torture that the author seems to have fixated on and repeatedly mentions; when just the once was plenty barbaric enough to lay uncomfortably in the reader's mind. It is a good ghost story; Rebecca is an evil ghost who is also caught in her own trap without realising it. When we learn the full story of her death it is supposed to redeem her in the reader's eyes but I wasn't going to let her off quite so easily! Lots of fun! Readers of the first book will enjoy this second adventure. My only real complaint is the cliffhanger ending where the characters literally walk through a door. The End. I prefer my books to end with a satisfactory conclusion even when they are parts of a series.
Against Bodhi's wishes, Riley decides that she will help the big, mean old dog she finds on the beach cross-over. In search for the dog though, she meets the it's owner, a sweet, young girl named Rebecca. But looks can be deceiving, for Rebecca harbors so much anger that Riley, Bodhi & even Buttercup get up in the world full anger and desperation that Rebecca has created. While coming to terms that she is trapped in this world, Riley meets a young Prince who explains why Rebecca is so angry and how she has kept so many of his brothers and sisters from crossing over. There's nothing that Riley loves more than a good challenge - and a challenge it will be since she knows she'll have to work through her own nightmares in order to reach the other side.There's just something about Riley that I absolutely love! She's spunky, sassy, funny and even though she's dead, she's so full of life. Rebecca's life as well as that of Prince Kanta and the other slaves were so full of misery and violence. Although Ms. Noel only skims over some of this violence, you do get a feel for what they went through. Rebecca in need of a loving father and her tragic death during a slave revolt. While Prince Kanta and the other slaves were ripped from their homes and taken to far away plantations to work from sun up to sun down. Riley really had her work cut out for her with Rebecca. She had to confront her fears, her past and really work through her emotional issues, but in the end I think she came out a stronger and more mature young lady. I do recommend you read Radiance before you read Shimmer only because you get a lot of information on the Here and Now as well as the friendship/mentorship between her and Bodhi - that is only skimmed upon in Shimmer.Although these books - Radiance, Shimmer and Dreamland (releases September 2011) - are mid-grade books, they can easily be enjoyed by adults as well. Riley shines! She is a superstar! I'm intrigued by the thought of the Here & Now and I can't help but want to see what adventure Riley will find herself in next.
Now that Riley & Bodhi solved the case of the Radiant Boy, they are hoping for some R & R. But soon they come across a young girl name Rebecca. She is not happy at all with having been murdered. She aims to take her revenge anyway she can.I was introduced to Riley first in Radiance, but it wasn't till reading Evermore that I started to really like her. She is sweet and cute, well when she wants to be... but loves making mischief and looks up to her sister. For me she turned into a pretty lovable character.Shimmer is a fast, fun and intriguing read. An excellent installment in the series. I found the history behind ghost girl Rebecca interesting. She is one angry girl. Ultimately Riley's act of freewill is dangerous for everyone involved and when it comes to the council the consequences could be even worse. I look forward to see how things turn out in the next book
I adore Alyson Noel¿s books based on the Riley Bloom. Radiance and Shimmer tell the story of 12 year old Riley who met her demise, in her opinion, way too early. Now she has to learn to accept her new ¿life¿ in the Here & Now and her position as a Soul Catcher. Having successfully completed her last task, Riley, her dog Buttercup and guide Bodhi were sent on vacation to a tropical island. Riley comes across more than sandy beaches in this lively journey. Riley meets Rebecca, a young ghost, who at first glance appears radiant and innocent. Looks are not always what they seem, Riley learns as she is thrust into a haunting world. Can Riley escape the nightmares before they consume her?I thoroughly enjoy reading Alyson Noel¿s books. She is an extraordinary story teller who has the ability to immerse you within the pages of each well written chapter. I recommend this book for adolescent to YA readers. Having said that, I don¿t fit in either category, but I love The Riley Bloom Books. I¿ve followed Allyson¿s Immortal Series and really like that she branched off and created something different. She took a character from the background and made them the star in their own series and has allowed her readers the opportunity to follow along with a familiar character from a totally different perspective. My favorite aspect of these books is the way that Alyson Noel deals with the afterlife. She makes it seem believable and realistic. I love how everyone fulfills their destiny in a unique and fitting way that¿s personal to them.After reading the teaser for Dreamland, I¿m already anticipating its release. Alyson Noel has captured my mind with her delightful and imaginative writing.
Shimmer was so much better than Radiance. I was a bit skeptical coming into it because Radiance disappointed me so much. All in all though, it turned out to be a good read with underlying messages and lessons that younger readers can take with them.Fortunately, Shimmer was much more adventurous and I enjoyed that Riley was working on her judgmental attitude, but eventually figured it was going to be harder that she anticipated. I found that Riley was easier to relate to in this novel!Riley is still very spontaneous and when she comes across a mean and ginormous black dog, she decides she¿s going to get him to cross over the bridge into the Here & Now. Riley and Bodhi, along with her dog, Buttercup, are thrown into a dangerous situation and its up to Riley and her new appreciation for positive thinking to get everyone out of trouble.There were a couple new characters introduced to us in Shimmer. First we meet Rebecca who was mudered in 1733 during a slave revolt. As a result, she¿s extremely angry and has been dedicated to trapping souls of the slaves involved. We also meet Prince Kanta, who was brought to Rebecca¿s father¿s plantation. The prince has come from royalty to slavery and meets Riley, who is of course willing to help.Overall, I enjoyed this sequel. I think it is a fantastic read for the younger audiences and much more adventurous than the first!
I quickly noticed a difference in my tolerance of Riley. She was definitely less whiny and a bit more spunky. I was still not enamored with her or the story, but I definitely enjoyed it more than Radiance. What I enjoyed mostly about this installment were the issues alluded to in the story. The author brings up tough issues, such as bullying and suicide. She writes these issues in a way that her young readers can easily connect to and be affected by.Trauma is a major theme in these books, as these stuck souls are severely disturbed by their deaths. Trauma is very subjective. What is traumatic to one person may seem pretty laughable to another, and as Rebecca¿s situation shows us, it can stick with your forever. Once again, Riley gets sucked into the soul¿s hellish existence, and I really enjoyed Riley¿s POV of Rebecca¿s life. Riley comes to the rescue with her unique form of therapy and through this, I saw much growth in her character. Forgiveness is another theme, and the author does a fantastic job of showing us how hard it is to forgive, but how much stress, anger and depression it lifts off your shoulders.We get a little more insight into Riley and Bodhi¿s characters, as well as some more Buttercup love. Again, this is a great series for those young people who are just starting out with paranormal books
Riley Bloom is at it again! I can't help but love this girl. She is so much like her sister. She ignores the rules and gets in a lot of trouble. But of course there is always a guy just waiting to bail her out. What I like most about this book is the forgiveness sought out. Riley knew Rebecca was caught up in her own anger. You can't move own if you can't forgive. I love how Riley uses her own experiences to help Rebecca move on. She spoke to her carefully and lovingly. Bodhi, I felt, did not give Riley enough credit. Even though she proved herself in the first book, he still treated her like a child. Riley grew up fast. She knew what she had to do and Bodhi held her back. Still Riley proved him wrong once again, but of course not without the consequences.I like Rebecca. Her character had so much anger that you felt it. Rebecca just wanted the world to stop. She wanted everyone to feel her pain, to see what she been through. I could relate to her because I felt that type of anger before. It's unfair and its just hurts.Once again, Ms. Noel wrote a fab book. It was a quick, fun read with great characters and real emotions. The book was easy to relate to and easy to feel. Her characters, her writing, and the plot were all good.
Shimmer is the sequel to Radiance, where we follow the afterlife adventures of Riley Bloom. While I enjoyed exploring the world of the first book and learning about Riley’s afterlife, I liked Shimmer just a bit better than the first one; it has much more focus and instead of spending a lot of time describing the afterlife and what happens there, it features Riley facing off with a discontent, malevolent spirit who has trapped up so much anger inside of her that she traps other spirits in it as well. This book deals with deeper issues than the first; death, of course, is quite a deep issue, but the first book was fairly innocuous, with the occasional haunting and Riley wanting to learn how to fly and have fun. Shimmer, instead, focuses on the aftermath of a slave revolt–all that led to it and all that came after. I really enjoyed having subject matter that is filled with complexities, and watching Riley struggle with understanding and showing compassion for both the slaves’ plights and the plight of the master’s little girl made her a much more likeable and relatable character, in my eyes. The characters all struggled with the concept of guilt, compassion, and forgiveness, and I liked being able to see this situations and come to terms with my own emotions and thoughts about it. This would be a great book to have a book club or classroom discussion on. Like the previous book, it’s a quick read, and I found it to be very much worthwhile. I’m looking forward to the sequel to see where Riley’s afterlife takes her next!
A started reading this book and I have it but it wasn't that good. I only read a little bit though. maybe I'll try it again soon. All I remember was that this book was a little confusing to me.
I wish i could understand it better but this story really makes you think and wonder. Obviously the author put a lot of thought into this book and is great at !! Great book