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We are two girls who are dedicated to the worlds in which authors create for us. We are extremely enthusiastic about both YA and adult paranormal fiction. This is a place that we can share our thoughts on the books that we read. We love feed back and you can e-mail us at any time bookjunkies@hotmail.com


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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Review: SHADE

320 Pages, 5.5 x 8.25 x 1.12 in
May 4, 2010
Simon Pulse: A division of Simon &Schuster Children's Publishing
List Price: $15.19 CAD, $12.23 US, $12.95 US, $12.72 US
Rating: 5/5

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.

Heartwrenching. That is the only word that remotely expresses how I feel about Jeri Smith-Ready's debut Young Adult novel. The world that exists in Shade is much like the one we know except that there exists two types of people: pre-Shift and post-Shift.When the Shift occurred it gave every child born after this time the ability to see ghosts and to converse with them. Aura is a post-Shifter and the narrator of Shade. She's edgy, passionate, and her taste in music is bitchin'. Music. It's one of the things that I love most about this book because it plays such an important role in it. The relationships in the book, like that of the Keeley siblings or the one between Aura and Logan, are all impacted by music. I for one loved when The Keeley Brothers played one of my favourite songs at their gig: Blink 182's 'Dammit'. From beginning to end readers will find how much music influences the mood of the book and will be able to hear each and every note.   

The time right before Logan's death is one of those moments where you as the reader know that something bad is going to happen and that there is no way to warn the characters. Before you or the characters even realize, Logan is dead and his ghost is shining bright violet. Every ounce of grief that Aura feels from that moment on is written so beautifully that you will feel as though you are suffocating with her every emotion. Rarely does a book make me cry but with Shade it was hard not to. There are times when the heartache felt by the characters is so real and so raw that one can't help but feel the loss. When Logan's ghost continues to linger on earth it becomes so bittersweet that at times it is difficult to bear. Logan and Aura's time together is so precious and so fragile that you will want to re-read the pages where his violet ghost is the only light in Aura's bedroom.

One of my favourite excerpts is from the moment when Logan dies. It's horribly sad, but most of what I loved about this book is sad...

I tried to say Logan's name. Nothing came out but a squeak, and then the tears flooded my eyes, blurring his image so that he looked like any other ghost. 
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I did something stupid."
"No!" I ran through the mirage. Had to find the real Logan.
The door was locked. My cold, sweaty fingers slipped over the slick brass switch. 
"It's too late," he said behind me.
I unlocked the door and jerked it open.
In the hallway outside the bathroom, Mickey was screaming at someone lying on the floor.

As much as I love Logan, I am torn between him and Zachary. Zachary was born pre-Shift, but just barely, and he befriends Aura when he is new to her school. When Aura is with Logan, ghost or not, I want her to be with him. However when she isn't I think that she would be better suited with Zachary. Usually it is quite easy for me to decide on a leading man and I gravitate smoothly to one over the other, but when it comes to Logan and Zachary the choice is not quite that easy. Logan is a rock star, but more than that he is artistic and he is committed to his relationship with Aura despite being a ghost. He can be stubborn and a little diva-ish, but that is what makes Logan Logan. Then there's Zachary. At first, like Aura, I thought I was attracted to him because of his Scottish accent. When you get to know him better though you soon realize that he is patient, kind, and that he wants the best for Aura. I am so undecided, but more times than not I do lean towards Logan. Force of my bad boy lusting habit.

There are an abundance of other characters in the book that I am excited to continue reading about in the future; Logan's siblings are in this bunch. Mickey, Siobhan and Dylan all offer an interesting perspective on how the loss of a loved one impacts a family. The interesting twist is that while Dylan was born post-Shift and can see Logan's ghost, twins Mickey and Siobhan were born pre-Shift and cannot. The pain that the twins feel is so different from Dylan's that it is hard to know who has it worse. There are moments where I believe that Dylan wants to trade places with the twins, and the twins with Dylan. Another character that I appreciate is Aura's best friend Megan, who is also Mickey's girlfriend. Megan is really fun, and she is a good friend to Aura throughout her entire ordeal. She struggles with her post-Shift abilities just like Aura did but she is more inclined to tell it like it is. All of these characters offer insight into the minds of youth not to mention the accurate teenage dialogue that Smith-Ready has written so well. 

Shade is exactly what P.C. Cast says: "Hauntingly good". The idea of the post-Shift is unique, and it is even more unique because of the comparison with those born pre-Shift. As a ghost story it really is very different and I can't wait to meet Jeri Smith-Ready when she tours here on the Smart Chicks Tour! I suspect she is just as unique as her wonderful book.

This book will be difficult to put down, but first you have to pick it up. So do that, and let me know whether you want Aura with Logan or Zachary. The follow-up, Shift, will be out May 2011. That seems like a lifetime away so I suppose I will have to re-read Shade a million times over.


P.S. Check out Jeri Smith-Ready's official website here.
P.S.S. Check out this wonderful review of Shade by Tynga here. The excerpt she loves is one of my favourites too!


  1. I have this one on my TBR. Hopefully some day I'll get around to reading it. I'm glad you liked it.

  2. I really liked this book too. I'm super excited for Shift!

  3. Glad you enjoyed it =) And thanks for the shout-out ^^
    I really can't wait for Shift!

  4. Thanks for the comments guys! Yes, Shift will be insanity! I hope it doesn`t make me cry as much, lol.

  5. Sounds like a great book! I've been thinking about reading it, and now I guess I must!


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