Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: Shade, #1
Release Date: May 4th, 2010
Pages: 320 (Paperback)
Aura can see ghosts. Born after the Shift, a little-understood event that enabled younger generations to communicate with the dead, Aura is relentlessly pursued by these violet-hued spirits. They need help to pass out of this world and into the next. And some are so angry they are on the verge of becoming Shades, dark vortexes of energy. But Aura just wants the ghosts to leave her alone so she can spend time with her boyfriend, Logan. When Aura is paired with a new foreign-exchange student to research the Shift for a class project, she is determined to ignore her partner’s sexy Scottish accent and discover the cause of the Shift so she can reverse it. Then Logan dies a most untimely death. Forced to reconsider her relationship with the living and the dead, Aura is caught in a love triangle with her violet-hued boyfriend and her hot research partner... one of whom may hold the key to reversing the Shift.
Thoughts: Finally, a book that's hyped for a reason. Kind of.
Going into this book, I didn't expect to be that impressed. The reviews were pretty mixed and it just didn't seem all that interesting. But, I always give into hype and I consider this series to be one of the most hyped YA series' out there, so I gave it a shot. It turned out to be a very entertaining read.
In the world of this book, something happened several years ago called the Shift, and it causes everyone who was born after that event to be able to see violet-hued ghosts, and also Shades, the evil and darker kind of these ghosts. Aura was the very first girl born after the Shift. She's annoyed by the ghosts constantly wanting help from her, and she just wants to spend time with her boyfriend Logan.
But on the night of his birthday, just when Aura thought the night was going to be perfect, Logan unexpectedly dies. Aura's still able to talk to him and see him—albeit as a violet-hued spirit—but it just doesn't feel the same anymore because they can't touch. Meanwhile Aura is paired with Zachary, a new foreign exchange-student from Scotland to research the Shift for a class project, and Aura can't deny her growing attraction to him and his sexy Scottish accent. Yet she still can't let go of her love for Logan.
I thought the whole Shift concept was pretty unique. Basically people that are sixteen or under are able to see ghosts. The ghosts in this book are violet-hued, but there are also the Shades, the evil and powerful ones that are built on rage. Regular ghosts can turn into Shades if they stay in the living world for too long and don't pass on. I did like the supernatural aspect a lot in this book, and how ghosts were a very common and unusual thing.
The characters were also very likable. Especially Logan. God, he was so awesome. That's why I was so pissed when Aura showed signs of moving on from him so quickly. She was already extremely hot for Zachary, the new guy who's painfully hot and has a Scottish accent. Out of all the characters in the book, I would say Aura was the least likable, just due to the fact that I can't believe Aura would be hot for another guy so quickly, because Logan was amazing.
Okay yes, maybe you shouldn't spend forever just being sad if your boyfriend dies and obsess and cry over him til you die yourself. But I was bothered by how she was so quick to be wanting to be all over Zach. If she really loved Logan she wouldn't be constantly daydreaming about some other extremely hot guy just a few days after his death. Scottish accent or not.
But I will say that Aura and Zach's romance could've been a lot worse. At least they never actually officially dated in the book. They kissed, yeah, and it kinda bothered me how heated it was. If they weren't interrupted they probably would've been jumping each others' bones already. But I do admit that Aura still cared about Logan and still thought of him a lot. Even towards the end, surprisingly.
But during the second half of the book, Aura was just way too hot for Zachary, and I wasn't having it. Zachary himself was an okay character, I guess. I was too in love with Logan to even care about him, to be honest. I still think their romance moved a little too fast for my taste, mainly during the middle parts of the book. I was glad that it slowed down again nearing the end, though, and that saved me from giving the book a three star rating.
Anyways, now let's talk about the ending, which I don't even want to call an "ending" because I had to double check if the last few pages weren't ripped out or something. I mean, what the fuck kind of ending was THAT? It's not even a cliffhanger, it's like the writing was cut off or something. That was just cruel of the author to do that. Luckily I own the second book already and just started it. If I'd read this book when the sequel still wasn't out, I would've been pissed the hell off.
In short, I thought this book was very enjoyable with a pretty cool concept and likable characters, but the protagonist and the romance bothered me and made me unable to give the book a five star rating, I'll definitely continue the series though. After an ending like that, I'd be surprised if anyone didn't want to get the sequel straight away.