Jeri Smith-Ready’s “Shade” introduces readers to a world where everyone born after the Shift (everyone under eighteen-ish) is able to see and communicate with ghosts.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and speak with the dead. While some people might jump at the chance to have this ability, it only serves to irritate Aura to no end — dead people constantly screaming at her, begging for her attention and understanding… It’s an exhausting life. Especially when Aura has a job translating for the deceased at messy court hearings, allowing the pre-Shifters to hear the victim’s side of the story.
When Aura’s boyfriend Logan makes a dumb choice at his eighteenth birthday party that results in his death, Aura is devastated by his loss. But she decides that she can still continue their relationship — still be his — even though it won’t be quite the same. They no longer have the luxury of touching each other, only able to look at and speak to one another. But Aura thinks it can be enough.
When Aura gets forcibly paired with the new Scottish exchange student for a year-long project, all the time they’re required to spend with each other has Aura reconsidering her options. When it’s discovered that her partner, Zachary, have some scary things in common, the two of them have to dig deeper, uncovering more and more about their past. And when Aura realizes that Zachary was the very last person born before the Shift, and she the very first person born after, it’s shockingly clear that Aura is a much more important person than she ever thought she was.
But as Zach and Aura become more inseparable, Logan begins to get more and more jealous. And a jealous ghost can be a very, very bad thing — jealous, angry ghosts turn Shade. And when a ghost turns Shade, they become devoid of all reason. All that remains is extreme anger. The kind of anger that gets Shades locked up in tiny black boxes for all eternity, denied all freedom.
Aura can’t let Logan be lost to a fate like that. How can she convince him to move on while he still has time? More importantly, does she even want him to move on?
Extremely awesome novel. Sorry, I’m a sucker for the adorable romance in these kind of books. Anyway, it’s a really fast read, and very hard to put down. Full of excitement and action, and definitely not lacking in the romance department — though the term “necrophilia” does come to mind in certain excerpts… Nothing too graphic, I assure you. Don’t let that deter you from reading this super good book. The ending was a major twist, and definitely a total cliffhanger. There had better be a sequel for this book. It’s too good to stop at just one.
This book is currently available at the Wausau Barnes & Noble.