|Shade (Shade, Book 1)|
Shade introduces us to a unique and interesting world where sixteen years ago there was what is now known as "the shift" Everyone born after the date of "the shift" are able to see and communicate with ghosts. The heroine, Aura, was born after this shift and spends most of her time trying to avoid ghosts, until her boyfriend Logan becomes one. Aura struggles between her love for the ghost boyfriend and her growing attraction to the Scottish foreign exchange student Zach.
I found all of the characters to be fresh and immensely relateable. I felt that Aura's emotional ups and downs and indecision realistically reflected what a teenager in her position would probably be going through in a situation where she is mourning the sudden death of a boyfriend and figuring out what his place is in her life now that he is a ghost. Scottish Zach was a little too understanding sometimes, but his maturity could be due to some of his early losses forcing him to grow up. I hope to read more about him and his story in subsequent novels in this series. Logan was a lovable and emotionally volatile character. There were parts where my heart ached for him and other parts where he annoyed me to no end, exactly how any teenage boy would. I think that this author has a gift for writing believable YA characters and I can't wait to read more of her work.
The world that Jeri Smith-Ready created in Shade is a darkly fascinating place, where ghosts can testify in their own murder trials and wrongful death lawsuits, and the sinister "men in black" always in the background, and death doesn't necessarily mean goodbye. I loved all the interractions between human and ghosts and how this world had adjusted to these changes, some even employing ghosts and paying their families. I am eager to read more about this world.
The writing itself was simple and engaging. I loved the flow of the dialog between the characters. Each had their own individual “voice”. I was absolutely able to lose myself between the pages, which for me is always the mark of a well written book. While I still have plenty of unanswered questions about some of the plot lines introduced, I was satisfied with the way Shade ended. I will definitely be buying the next in the series as I’m anxious to find out what happens.