Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Title: Shade
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date: May 4, 2010
Genre: YA Romance and Supernatural
Main Themes: Ghosts/Spirits, Love, Friendship, Death, Grief
Pages: 320
Description (from Amazon):
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.

Way too often, I overestimate the greatness of Young Adult supernatural reads, but I’m sorry to admit that I underestimated SHADE. I saw it around GoodReads and blogs, but despite its amazing purple cover, I didn’t give it much thought. Don’t overlook Jeri Smith-Ready’s debut YA offering, you’ll sincerely regret it!

Often, ghost stories are pretty similar. I feel like many authors don’t stretch the concepts of ghosts and spirits, they just focus on making the other elements of the novel unique. Smith-Ready has successfully redefined “ghost”… and I was thoroughly impressed. I hope that in SHIFT, the next installment, there will be a greater exploration of the phenomenon of ghosts and shades, as well as the black box technology that is mentioned throughout the novel.

Not only does SHADE have great supernatural elements, it also offers lessons on grief and loss. I never tire of novels where the main character loses someone they love, or even if they are they themselves are the deceased. After reading books of this nature, I find it easier to process and move past grief and loss when confronted in real life. Aura’s grief over the loss of Logan is extremely believable, even with the unbelievable presence of his ghost.

I think that Zachary, the new boy in school who is Scottish and very good looking, deserves his own paragraph of this review. He is most definitely swoon-worthy, not only based on his description, but his actions as well. I really liked that he didn’t force himself on Aura. He was willing to just be her friend and wait until she was ready to move on. That was so refreshing! In addition to the romantic element he brought to the novel, he is also integral to the supernatural plot line… which made me happy because he could be in more scenes throughout the novel.

Grade: A+

Cover Comments:
I definitely approve of the current trend toward purple covers, as it is my favorite color. I think the moment I really fell in love with the cover was after seeing the book trailer, which brought the cover to life. You can watch the trailer below.


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