Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Reviewed by: Baby Sister Brittany
The Sisters say: Superior. Yeah. That’s right. Just Superior.

I have this regret.

You see… a couple months ago, I was in NYC at the same time as a teen book festival. Unfortunately, I was only there long enough to go to one event, but it was an awesome one! It featured the Young Adult band TIGER BEATS (led by the awesome Libba Bray) along with readings of books that were related to music. Jeri Smith-Ready just happened to be one of the authors reading. I’d seen Shade on the shelves, but I must admit, I was guilty of judging a book by its cover. I’d seen it, but never really felt inclined to pick it up. So when I heard her read at the event, I didn’t have any idea who she was. I vaguely recognized the title, and put it on my very long to-be-read list, and didn’t think of it again. Now, several months later, I finally got around to reading Shade. And after reading it in one sitting (after which I immediately moved on to Shift), all I wanted to do was invent a time machine, go back a few months, punch myself in the face, and say, “What are you thinking? Read this book! Then go meet that awesome author!”

Unfortunately, I can’t go back in time and make myself read Shade and Shift. Here’s what I can do: I can stress to you guys not to make the same mistake as me! J

I’ll be focusing on Shade in this review, but honestly, in some ways, Shift (Book Two) is even better!

Here’s the Goodreads summary:

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
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.

So… I loved the concept of this book. The shift was a single point in time after which every child born had the ability to communicate with the dead. As I read, I just sat there imagining what it must have been like as these post-shift children grew up, and toddlers everywhere were able to see and talk to ghosts. I imagined parents just chalked it up to imaginary friends, but then the friends didn’t go away, and some of them weren’t exactly friendly. I imagined the slow realization of the entire world that surely every kid in the world couldn’t be imagining the same thing, could they? I believe there was a line in the book that said something about how people finally realized that 5 million toddlers couldn’t be telling the same lie.

If the concept isn’t enough to hook you, the characters in this book are so much fun! Aura is a relatable and interesting main character, whose story sucks you in! Logan is every teen girl’s fantasy--  a rockstar that only has eyes for you. And Zachary is every older teen girl’s fantasy (the ones who’ve grown up enough to realize the rockstar is the one you fall for, but not the one you stay with). Did I mention Zachary is Scottish. Even though I can’t hear his accent, I can imagine it, and even in my imagination it makes me swoon.

This book was so good, I practically inhaled it. And while it was a fun, fascinating, easy read, it also had enough complexities that it stuck in my brain even after I was through reading it.

I absolutely, 110% recommend this book. Don’t make the same mistake I did! Read it now! And the great thing is that as soon as you’re done, there’s already a second book waiting!

Just a quick warning: There are some mentions of sexual situations, though nothing graphic. But if that’s a concern for you or your teen, I wanted you to know before going in!