Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Review - Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready (4.5/5 stars)

I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program.  The sequel to this book, Shift, is due out May of 2011.  I have been wanting to read something by Jeri Smith-Ready and am happy I got to.  I was worried this would be just another teen love triangle with some supernatural stuff thrown in.  It is that kind of but Smith-Ready has done some really interesting and creative things with this world...so in the end it was more than just another paranormal teen romance.  I really enjoyed it.

Sixteen years ago the kids being born to the world were different, they started being able to see things that the adults couldn't...they could see ghosts.  Now the society is torn into two groups those who are over sixteen and can't see ghosts, the pre-shifers, and those who can see ghosts.  Aura was the first one to be born after the Shift, she is like all the other kids post-Shift and sees a ton of ghosts.  Not a huge deal...until her boyfriend dies.  Now Aura is stuck in a legal battle where her boyfriend is testifying as a ghost; how can you not be supportive to your boyfriend even if he is dead?  While at school she has been put on a research project with the hunky Irish Zachary.  Zachary has the knowledge to help Aura with her research to determine exactly how the Shift happened, but she is also strangely drawn to him.  Can Aura stay faithful to her dead boyfriend?  Should she? I mean he is dead after all.  To complicate matters Aura's ghostly boyfriend Logan is kind of on the edge of turning into a rampaging Shade and that's definitely a bad thing...

This was a great book.  Smith-Ready creates a complex and believable world and tackles all the social nuances that it would create wonderfully.  She does a very good job of not getting bogged down in the teenage love triangle but instead makes it a wonderful part of a larger story.

Aura is a great character, she is believable and intelligent.  Towards the end of the book there were some parts where I thought she was getting a bit obsessive about Logan, but I thought for the most part they were called-for.  Many of the other characters are also very interesting and complex.  I absolutely adored Zachary and can't wait to read more about him.

Smith-Ready's writing style is incredible readable and has a special something to it that just makes it better than a lot of other teen books out there.  She's got the dialogue down perfect, she weaves in a bit of humor here and there, and does an excellent job describing things.  The world she has created is very cool.

Overall I was very impressed with this book.  It wraps up most of the plot but does end with one huge cliffhanger.  I usually hate that, but in this book I kind of liked it and it really worked with the story.  I am eager to read the sequel to this book, Shift.  I am also happy that I have the first couple WVMP Radio urban fantasy books by her, I really want to read them now!

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- The Young Adult Reading Challenge
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
- Summer Romance Reading Challenge