Rummanah Aasi
  I bit surprised that there are not too many ghost stories or stories dealing with ghosts for young adults much less for adults. It seems as if the vampires, werewolves, were-creatures, and the fey seem to take over the broad term of paranomral creatures. Ghosts are the subject for Jeri Ready-Smith debut YA novel called Shade, which is the first book in a planned trilogy. Interestingly enough, I haven't heard much buzz about the book but I'm sure there is lots of appeal for it.

Description: Aura is the first “post-Shifter," which means that she, like everyone born after her, can see and communicate with ghosts. Aura doesn't think much of her ability until her boyfriend, Logan, suddenly dies and begins to haunt her. As if that wasn't complicated enough, Aura is also trying to find out the secret behind the Shift while growing increasingly attracted to her research partner. Aura is caught in a different love triangle: stay true to someone she can never be with, or move on with her life. What is she going to do and who is she going to choose? 

Review: Ghosts are visible, everyday creatures, that are only perceptible to those born after the Shift. The world shaking event has subtly created a "before" and "after" between generations. What the Shift was and why it occurred are still unknown. For most people, the Shift is just an event that happened, however for Aura, is it very personal. She was the first post-Shifter and she works with her pre-Shift aunt's law firm that specializes in helping ghosts to gain justice for their untimely death and helps them to move on. Aura has always separated her work life from her personal one, but that all changes when her boyfriend dies on his birthday.
  While Aura thought her ability was a hindrance, she can now communicate with Logan's ghost and that brings some comfort. The only drawback to this scenario is that Logan can't touch her or interact with the world the way the living Logan did. Aura tries to distract herself by immersing in her mission to figure out what caused the Shift and how her absent parents were involved. She is partnered with a charming Scottish transfer student, Zachary, who also shares a mysterious bond with Aura. As Aura grows closer to Zachary, she must decide whether to hold on to the past or to let go and move on.
  Shade has some interesting characters. Aura is a self determined girl who has a good head of her shoulders. She is smart, driven, and sassy. She feels strongly about Logan, however, I couldn't help but feel that her relationship was one sided. I didn't feel the emotional connection between Aura and Logan. It almost seemed as if they got together simply because they use to hang out as friends before.
   Logan irritated me. I thought he was immature, impulsive, and selfish rock star wannabe. While his death is sad, I thought he caused it and didn't gain any sympathy from me. Zachary, the Scottish transfer student, is the exact opposite of Logan. He seems to genuinely care for Aura by being an active listener and by being supportive during her mourning process, which as a result made his romance with Aura more passionate and tender. While there is a technical love triangle, it seems more about Aura's decision to let go of the past than of the two love interests.
  My main problem with Shade is that there is too many subplots going on at once. At times I felt like I was reading three novels at the same time. The plot flips back and forth between the emotional impacts of Logan's death with a side introduction to Zachary and Aura's quest of wanting to learn more about her mother. I found myself wanting more of Zachary and Aura's interaction than of Logan's. Since this is the first book in the series, however, I hope these threads become more streamlined in the later books.
  Shade is an enjoyable, quick, paranormal romance read with well developed characters. There is plenty of loose ends and romance left for the next few books. I plan on continuing the series. 

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong language, discussion of sex including a brief scene of self-pleasure, and lots of underage drinking. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: Shift by Jeri Ready-Smith (Book 2 due out May 2011), I Heart You,You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
3 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I've heard lots of good things about this one, but I can definitely see how a bunch of different plotlines would make for a muddied story. Whenever that happens, I always gravitate toward one of the sub plots in particular and find myself glossing over the other ones when the focus shifts. Fantastic review Rummanah!

  2. Daisy Says:

    You're right about there not being much buzz about this one. I have it on my to-read list, but I haven't gotten around to actually getting it yet (to be fair, my to-read list has 701 books on it..)
    It sounds like this book suffers from first-in-series syndrome. Thanks for the review!

  3. Jenny: I felt myself doing the same thing.

    Daisy: I think you summed it up best with "first-in-series syndrome". I look forward to the sequel, but there are other books that I'm dying to read.

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