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shade book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Like all others born after the Shift, 16-year-old Aura, her boyfriend Logan, and most of their friends can see ghosts. No one exactly knows how or why this is, but Aura is determined to find out and put an end to it. Aura’s world shatters on the night of Logan’s birthday, the night that was supposed to be “the best night ever.” Everything starts out perfectly: Logan’s band is offered contracts from two different recording companies and Aura and Logan are finally going to lose their virginity. In one moment of utter stupidity, Logan makes a rash decision that ends his life.

If Logan hadn’t stuck around as a ghost with a violet hue, Aura would have an easier time moving on with her own life. The presence of Logan’s spirit makes it seem as if he’s almost still alive, and conflicting for Aura as she starts to develop feelings for Zachary, a gorgeous exchange student. The longer Logan lingers in Aura’s world, the more likely it is he could transform into a Shade and become trapped between life and death for all eternity. The more time Aura spends with Zachary, the closer she comes to finding the answers to what caused the Shift.

Shade is Jeri Smith-Ready’s teen debut novel, and in both good and bad ways, it shows. Shade is edgy, haunting, and even a tiny bit depressing. All of the teenagers she portrays seem to rely on drugs, alcohol, and sex to have a good time. Aura is an exception to this, mostly hanging out in the background watching her friends make idiotic decisions. I had a difficult time seeing why Aura was so in love with her boyfriend Logan; he had very few good qualities and often put her second to his musical aspirations.

Though I really loved the premise and plot of Shade, I felt some of the situations were just a little too mature for a teen audience. In this respect, Jeri Smith-Ready is sure to gain adult fans with this new urban fantasy series. Parents who like to review what their young adults read before they read it may want to take a close look at Shade before putting it in their hands. Overall, Shade is a very promising start to an intriguing new series and I’m looking forward to reading more; especially if Logan is more of a minor character in future books.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Check out our review of the second book in the series, Shift

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon Pulse. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.