Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever.


It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.

I 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 wait for!  It comes out in early May of next year according to Amazon.  I read this novel in a few hours, alternating between tears and laughter and feeling Aura's pain.  I even felt some of Logan's pain but my favorite character was Zach because he told her he was patient, but "no' a saint.'  I love that accent.  I also loved that Logan was Irish and Zach was Scottish.  That rivalry might come up, later, too.  You will not be disappointed with this novel.  Descriptions are crisp, people are likable and the plot thickens as you go along.  It's up there with Paranormalcy, The Duff, Torment and Tyger, Tyger as this years top favorites.  Oh, and Speak.  But I think that one should be in a class by itself.

Heather in Sandwich


  1. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one! I've heard mixed reviews about it, so I was worried I wouldn't like it...I'll definitely try it now :)

  2. Really fantastic review Heather! I'm really excited for Shift to see how this story continues, and I'm with you on the Irish/Scottish aspect, I'm a sucker for those accents every time:)

  3. This book sounds like a lot of fun. Great review!

  4. I've read several reviews of this book - all of them good.

  5. I'd never heard of this one, but it sounds great! Putting it on my list...


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