Author: Jeri-Smith Ready
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Teen/YA, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Shift seperates everything in life these days – before and after. Those born before the Shift were normal. But everyone born after – everyone sixteen and under – can see ghosts. No one knows why it happened.
Aura is a sixteen year old girl who is happy and in love. Her boyfriend, Logan, is about to get a record deal for his band, and what’s more, she knows he’s completely in love with her. Though she’s haunted by the death of her mother and mysterious circumstances surrounding it, nothing can dampen her enthusiasm. But when things go horribly wrong and Logan is killed, Aura begins to question everything around her in an effort to cope with his death.
When I was at BEA, I stopped by the Simon & Schuster YA stand in order to talk to a publicist about the great books they had coming out over the next few months. The publicist asked if I enjoyed paranormal YA, and I said that I hadn’t been reading as much of it lately, but I did like it. She said she’d send me Shade by Jeri-Smith Ready. I thanked her and promptly forgot about it until Shade arrived at my house a week or two after BEA.
After reading Shade, I completely understand why the publicist thought I’d enjoy it. It’s a creative novel that really sets itself apart from other YA paranormals that I’ve read. I liked getting to know Aura. She was strong, smart and resourceful. Of course her teen angst over her relationship with Logan and their true love made me roll my eyes as it always does, but I thought her desperate efforts to hold onto him were believable.
The other strain of the novel, where Aura explores her past and her mother, were what really captured my interest in Shade. Smith-Ready has clearly laid out the groundwork for a complex and puzzling mystery. Why did the Shift happen, and what did Aura’s mom have to do with it? This aspect of the novel kept me engaged and reading, wanting to know more.
I really enjoyed Shade and will definitely be picking up its sequel. It was simple and easy to read, yet Smith-Ready has set the stage for an explosive second novel. If you enjoy paranormal YA, yet are sick of the vampires, werewolves, and angels, give this book a try and see if you find it as refreshing as I did.