Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
May 4, 2010; Simon Pulse


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. (courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

I eagerly picked up Shade after reading tons of rave reviews about it. Unfortunately, it was not for me.

On the bright side, I loved the concept. After the "shift," an obscure date, every person born could see ghosts. Not every dead person becomes a ghost - depends on how they died. Interestingly, the few people who could see ghosts before the "shift" now can no longer see them. Other than this paranormal element, the world is just like modern day. In the Shade world, however, society has radically shifted to adjust to the ghostly presence. The dead can sue to avenge their deaths and hopefully gain some peace. The government is recruiting teenagers to join their ghost squad. Ghosts can be good, but can go evil - become "Shades" who must be eradicated permanently. These bad ghosts can't find peace; they just disappear.

So you see that the ghostly idea is fabulous. Ms. Smith-Ready does a lovely job in creating a ghost paranormal story like no other. But that's the peak of this novel for me.

I liked Aura. She's a normal teenage girl who loves her boyfriend, is close with her aunt (her parents are dead), and likes hanging out with her friend. She's not a wilting daisy, but nor is she a prize fighter. Logan - the boyfriend - is another story. He's an idiot who thinks he's a big shot, because his band's about to go big. He gets drunk and then is stupid enough to mix alcohol with cocaine, because of which he kicks the bucket. Part of me sees why Aura loves Logan. Both as a human and as a ghost, he has a mix of vulnerability and arrogance that is enticing. He's sweet and you can see that he genuinely cares for Aura and his siblings. But he quickly turns into a whiny, angry jerk when he doesn't get his way.

This is one of those love-triangle stories. Our third leg, Zachary, is a new kid from Scotland. I really like him. He's funny, kind, and smart. He has a hint of danger, but he's one of those good dangerous guys. Unlike many lovers of Highland romance, I don't find a Scottish brogue sexy. I find it rather irritating, actually. Give me an Irish or British accent any day. So the Scottish thing was a turn off. But Zachary is definitely the guy I wanted Aura to be with.

My biggest problem with this book was the plot. Early on, Logan dies and returns as a ghost. Aura meets Zachary and struggles between Logan and Zachary. That's all fine and good, but it didn't feel like a story. I kept wondering when a larger element would show up, as you see in most paranormal novels. It does finally appear, but not until 2/3-3/4 of the way through the book. It's an interesting twist, but the book ends before my curiosity is really piqued. I don't like it when I'm forced to turn the pages of almost an entire book wondering why I should care.

I wish I'd liked Shade more. I know many people did, so I wouldn't steer clear of it simply because of my review. Perhaps if I'd liked Logan better, it would have been different. There was some nice, hot romantic scenes in the story, but romance alone is not enough to carry a paranormal novel for me. I wanted a stronger plot and did not have the patience to wait until the second book to see it fully developed.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

23 comments:

  1. Interesting!! I guess you are the first review I read that didn't give this book a glowing Review!!! I was beginning to feel left out, because just like you I read tons of raving reviews. I guess the reason why I haven't picked it up yet was the Ghost story... I am not a big fan of ghosts, the best Ghost book I read was Anna Dressed In Blood.

    Loved your review and you gave me a lot to think about and I still need to decide if I really have to read it!

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  2. Hmm... seems like an interesting story, I might give it a go even though I have my reservations. Thanks for a great review!

    Book Enslaved

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  3. I didn't mind Shade too much. I agree about the accents though. Not that attractive since I keep imagining guys wearing those skirt things too :$

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  4. Agreed.

    I rated itt a tad higher. I liked Aura, but then her whole virginity thing really grated on my nerves. I was disappointed that it didn't quite live up to the hype for me.

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  5. I finally met a person who isn't a fan of Scottish brogue!! lol I was beginning to think I was the only girl on the planet who didn't.

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  6. I'm sorry this one wasn't for you. I'm not sure if this one would be for me either.

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  7. I thought it was ok too. I really hated Logan and couldn't muster up any sympathy for him. I'm still debating on whether or not to pick up book 2.

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  8. Team Kilt because of Zach is kind of legendary, but I haven't been able to get myself to read this series yet. Like you, I kind of get the sense it won't work for me.

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  9. I've been meaning to read this one because I absolutely love ghost stories, but I have seen a lot of mixed opinions and sort of wary of it. Sounds to me like another interesting plot failed by a love triangle gone wrong. haha. Great review dollface! <3

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  10. I can see how this series wouldn't appeal to everyone, but no series does or the reading/blogging/reviewing world would be fairly dull I think. I was an emotional mess reading these books and really loved them, but you make a valid point about the bigger picture not really taking shape until the end. Thanks for your thoughts Alison!

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  11. I read her short story, Bridge, in the Enthralled anthology and I really enjoyed it but it was almost not paranormal enough for me (make sense?). I don't think ghost stories cut it for me b/c I actually think they exist ;)

    Great review! These middle of the road, not-quite-there books are the hardest reviews to write!!!

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  12. I have had this book in my pile for ahwile, now, well I am not sure what to think. I appreciate your careful analysis. The whole concept sounds great, but ugh a love triangle? Probably a nasty cliffhanger as well, my two arch nemesis. Still, perhaps someday I will check this out. Thanks for your honest review Allison.

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  13. I agree with everything you said! I was so sad to see I didn't like Shade as much as everyone did. And Logan was the main cause for me not liking it too much, too. All that ghost/paranormal setting was interesting, but...

    In my case I loved Zachary and didn't care that he was Scottish (Irish, Scottish, British... when you're from Spain you don't really know the difference :( ). He was so sweet!

    The first book also didn't do it for me, but I'm definitely interested in seeing how the second turns out to be :)

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  14. I love this series! And I am so in love with Zach! I can't wait for the next book. Too bad you didn't like it as much as you thought. It happens. Thanks for sharing :)

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  15. I've been leery of this book for a while now, since I just don't usually go for all-out romance novels that pretend to be something else. But, if I like the characters enough, I could like this one, even with all the factors you mentioned didn't work for you.

    Thanks for the honest and helpful review. I won't make this one a very high priority, even as a library loan.

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  16. Aw, hate when that happens. I really enjoyed this series but I can see how it's not for everyone (that is why I love books, after all. Something for everyone--something different for everyone!). Hopefully, the next read will be better!

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  17. Eh, I always hear great things about this one too. And particularly about a cute boy in a kilt. I would still like to try it out for myself... if I can find the time, that is.

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  18. I've heard so many rave reviews of this too but I knew there had to be some people who didn't like it! I really don't know if I should try it but I think I will just to see what all the fuss is about! Also, love triangles, agh!

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  19. Oh too bad! I'm really glad I read your review though, since so many other reviews have been absolutely raving (but without much info). I really like that you mentioned the lack of non-romantic plot and that it takes so long for those plot elements to develop. I like romance to be secondary to plot, so that's a turn off for me. I guess I'll give it a shot and see if I connect with the characters and if I don't, then I'll know I can DNF early on.

    I'm also not a fan of a Scottish accent.

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  20. Finally, somone else who didn't like the book. I actually didn't even finish the book. I loved the idea of it, but couldn't stand Aura.

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  21. Although I really like the premise, I had my suspicions about this book and a love triangle turns me away almost every time. It's too bad that there were pacing issues and that it focused on the wrong things. I think I'll pass.
    Lovely review, Alison! :)

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  22. This book made me cry so hard! But sadly I read it because of all the wonderful things I heard about Zach and ended up hating him with a fiery passion. Just thinking about him gives me a rash. Therefore I won't continue reading. I read Shift and cried my eyes out but won't be reading Shine. It was just way too sad for me to read about Aura losing Logan and Zach not letting her grieve. I mean who starts trying to date again before the ghost of you boyfriend has moved on. Seems ridiculous.

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  23. Sadface-I adore this series and cannot wait for the conclusion despite my general hatred for YA paranormals. I guess I have a high tolerance for stories with cute Scottish boys ;)

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