Friday, 29 October 2010

Book Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready.


Product details:
Publisher: Simon Pulse.
Hardcover, 309 pages.
Release date: May 4th 2010.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Ages: 14+

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.


Shade, the first instalment in Jeri Smith-Ready’s new Young Adult series is a book with a lot of promise and some big ideas, but I have to say that it didn’t really wow me. I’ve seen a lot of five starred reviews of this book, but overall, while I thought it was a good start to what I think has the potential to be a great series, this one fell a little flat for me on a number of levels.

First off I have to say that I love Smith-Ready’s writing style. Her language and descriptions kept me interested even when the storyline dragged a little for me. I also loved the premise of this one. It’s so fresh and unique, and like nothing I’ve ever read before. Smith-Ready creates a world in which everyone born after ‘The Shift’ sixteen years previously can see and hear ghosts. The Shift itself intrigued me, and I really wanted to know more about what it was and why it happened, but even for a first in a series book where the emphasis is on world and character building, I thought explanations were a little lacking here. There were just too many questions left unanswered in Shade on a lot of counts. I’m all for a little mystery and intrigue, but give me something! That said, everything is set up nicely for book two, and if we get those answers in the second instalment of that series, that’s going to be one great book! There’s so much I wanted to know here, but although the book ends on a nice twist, I just felt that everything in the lead up to that fell flat.

Now, I have to discuss the boys. The boys in this book just did not appeal to me. Shocker! As anybody who knows me will already know, I have lots of book crushes, and I had heard all good things about the boys in Shade, and yet, they just didn’t work for me. Also, I’m a fan of a hot love triangle, but since I had zero interest in the boys that aspect of the book just didn’t work for me. I found both Logan and Zach to be just a little too clichéd for my liking. Logan is an Irish-American who is into The Pogues and likes to drink a lot, and Zach is a patriotic Scotsman. There is also a heavy emphasis on Zach’s Scottish accent in this book, and maybe it’s because I’m Irish, and a Scottish accent is nothing new or exotic to me, but I felt that it was overdone. At times I felt that Aura was attracted to Zach solely because of his accent. As for Logan, well, I love a bad boy, but this guy just struck me as being a little lame. So, these two won’t be joining my literary crush list. I will say that Zach has potential, but he is a little cocky at times, and he needs to get that under control.

With a lot of questions left unanswered in this one including the mysterious connection between Aura and Zach, a professor with a lot of secrets and the mystery of Aura’s mother, I can’t say that it’s amongst my favourite reads of the year. Overall I think that once we get more explanations and more of the back story to The Shift and Aura and Zach’s part in it, this series will really take off for me. It has elements of everything I love in Young Adult fiction, and it had a great ending, which despite my reservations definitely left me wanting more! Book two in the series Shift releases May 2011.

7 comments :

  1. Well it's still great to hear that the ending is great and that you will continue reading this series. :) Great review.

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  2. Thanks for the honest review! I think it sounds like a one time read.

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  3. I've read a lot of those 5-star reviews so it was really fun and interesting to read your thoughts as well. I like reading everyone's reactions to the same book. I'm a fan of the Scottish accent myself, so I'm thinking I'll be able to relate to Aura's fascination with it;) Thanks so much for your honesty!

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  4. It's funny how I've also read a lot of great reviews for this one, so to read your review was very refreshing. As you know I'm also a fan of bad boys, so for you to be disappointed with the boy potential in the novel probably says that I may end up feeling the same. Still, I do think I'll give this a go because the premise of the novel sounds incredibly interesting and I am someone who loves to discover new and never done before fictional world-building. That shift certainly sounds very interesting. Great review Leanna :)

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  5. Great review! I have a signed copy of this one sitting on my shelf, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I think I'll read a few others before this one since we tend to share the same book interests. Thanks for the honest review! BTW, did you sign up for NaNoWriMo? Let me know. I'm pretty much scared/nervous/anxious about the whole thing! ha!

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  6. @Christina - I've been away this week and NaNo totally slipped my mind. Eeek! I don't really have any ideas. This could be a problem! ha!

    Thanks for the comments, guys! :)

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  7. Seems like an okay book, I'll probably read it at some point. Thanks for the epic review. =D

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