Shade-Jeri Smith Ready
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May, 2010
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.
I have to say I loved Shade for a reason most probably don't: it's set in my beloved hometown. I grew up outside of Baltimore, and worked in the city for ten years. I now live two hours away, unfortunately. In Shade, Baltimore isn't so much a setting, but a character. Without giving too much away, there are jokes about dubious parts of town, the characters go to see the lights at 34th Street, Logan lives in the town where my sister works, a scene took place right where I used to work...I could go on, but I'll stop there. Perhaps I was paying more attention because I'm from there, but the amount of detail to the setting was more than I've seen in a lot of books I've read lately, and it made me able to immerse myself in the story, because I could picture where a lot of the action was taking place.
To get to the nuts & bolts of the story: I loved the world of Shade, that ghosts are just a matter of fact in every day life, that younger people are can see them, and adults rely on them to communicate with them. Aura is a strong protagonist, and I loved her for it. She truly knows herself , and while her relationships are important to her-they don't define who she is. Her relationship with Logan is rocky at times, but everything is coming together for them the night Logan dies. Aura deals with the death of Logan, and his haunting of her, all while dealing with feelings for Zachary, the new boy in school- from Scotland of all places. I had to laugh when Aura had occasional problems understanding Zachary, I had that problem more than once when I visited Scotland!
I am such a sucker for love triangles, and unlike some other books I've read, this one seems real. Aura is conflicted, she loves Logan, but can never have a real relationship with him because he's a ghost, and Zachary is so understanding-that's because he knows more about Aura than she thought. Zachary is so much more than a rebound boy.
If Shade was a TV show, I'd call it a dramatic-comedy. There are some very serious and scary bits, but they are balanced out with a fair amount of humor. I really felt like Aura and her friends were teenagers like the teenager I was- back in the dark ages of course.
So, to wrap up, I give Shade 5/5. It's one of the best books I've read so far this year, and I'll be toting my copy along with me to ALA so I can have Jeri Smith-Ready sign it (hopefully!)