Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Series Review: Shade Series by Jeri Smith-Ready

Shade (Shade #1) 
Author:  Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher:  Simon Pulse, 320 pages
Publication Date:  May 4, 2010

From Goodreads:
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.

I really enjoyed this book.  Such a unique world the author has created, where there was a Shift over sixteen years ago and now everyone who was born after the Shift can see ghosts who have not moved on.  Ghosts who don't move on are people who have died suddenly when they're not ready to accept their death.  Aura, the MC, was born after the shift.  When her boyfriend Logan suddenly dies, things become complicated, to say the least.  Although Aura can talk to Logan, they can't touch, and this in-between relationship makes it impossible for her to move on.  During this time she starts getting to know (and like) Zachary, a new guy in her school from Scotland.  An unconventional love triangle to say the least.

I loved the premise of this book, with the world changing because of the Shift.  For instance, ghosts can only go where they've been in their lives, but there's technology that tags a ghost and allows him to go somewhere he hasn't been before.  Specifically, they have trials where ghosts testify (about their deaths if they were murdered) and children act as translators so people born before the Shift can hear.  Red apparently makes ghosts feel sick so they avoid people who wear red.  People blackbox certain areas of their home, like bathrooms, so ghosts can't go there and if you have a lot of money, you blackbox your whole house.  There's the DMP, which is a government group that polices the ghosts.  If a ghost turns into a shade, that means the ghost is now dangerous, although it's not explained how a shade is dangerous and a regular ghost is not.  Shades are angry and when they're around they make people born after the Shift feel sick, but that didn't seem to be all of it.  Anyway, the DMP can detect when a ghost is on the edge and then can blackbox the ghost (apparently they can't do that to a shade), which means he lives out eternity in a black box.  I found all of this to be fascinating.

The main plot revolves around Aura dealing with Logan's death and trying to get him to let go and not become a shade.  She's also trying to figure out why the Shift happened, and she thinks her mom, who died when she was three, may have answers so she's investigating her mom's past (her mom died of cancer so she's not a ghost).

Such a great cast of characters.  I really liked Aura and felt so bad for her.  She's just in a horrible position, loving Logan and knowing he's dead, but at the same time he's around, she can talk to him. And Logan.  Oh Logan, my heart broke for him.  How could he be so stupid?  It's just so sad.  And Zachary, I really liked him too and I fear that no matter what happens, it's going to be heartbreaking.  There's no clear winner here.  

The book ends in a cliffhanger but the series is complete so I can now start reading the next book.  Yay!  Definitely recommend!

Shift (Shade #2)
Publisher:  Simon Pulse, 367 pages
Publication Date:  May 3, 2011

From Goodreads:
Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.
Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.
As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

This series just gets better and better.  In this book we get to know Logan, Zachary, and Aura a lot better, which is why, even though I complain about series, I love them.  These characters completely make this book. Logan...what can I say about Logan?  He's wonderful, he's selfish.  He grows up a lot in this book.  Zachary is charming and amazing (that accent!) and then makes mistakes that just made me so mad (and sad).  I really wanted to hit him at times.  Aura also makes her own mistakes (sometimes I felt like just banging my head against a table) but I felt so bad for her and this situation that I couldn't hold it against her.  The author does a fantastic job of making you feel all of their guilt, sorrow, and happiness.  

It becomes clear who Aura's choice is, so there's not really a love triangle, but there are still complications in the romance department.  A lot of times in YA books there are misunderstandings because the guy and girl don't communicate and you're usually like, "Just talk to each other!" but in this case most of the problems are because Aura is painfully honest.  When she tells Zachary everything about the scene with Logan in the beginning, and I mean everything, I was like...what are you doing??  But you have to admire her for being honest and not hiding anything.  There is one voicemail she really should have listened to that would have saved a lot of heartache, but other than that, everyone knows what's going on and it's a rocky road. 

Aura learns more about her mom, her dad, the Shift, and how she and Zachary fit into all of this.  So that part of the plot progresses.  We learn a little more and there's one big revelation that left Aura reeling.  The ending is bittersweet, but it had to happen.  Now on to the last book!

Shine (Shade #3)
Publisher:  Simon Pulse, 399 pages
Publication Date:  May 1, 2012

From Goodreads:
Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves...even if that means betraying her own heart.

A fantastic finish to this wonderful trilogy, there's more action, romance, and mystery.  Aura and Zachary are separated from each other in the beginning of the book, and my heart ached for Aura.  She has grown and matured throughout this series, and it really shows in this book.  And Zachary...if you didn't love him before, you will definitely love him now.  The scenes between he and Anna are so tender and romantic and it makes you realize that they are just meant to be.  No question.  Satisfying ending, it completely wraps up all aspects of this story.  Loved it.

Posted by:  Pam


  1. This series sounds awesome! And I can binge read it! I hate waiting. Lol. Adding to my TBR. Great reviews!

    1. I was so glad to find a great series that was actually complete. No waiting! ~Pam

  2. Umm AWESOME! I was going to say "I've never heard of this series. HOW have I not heard of this series?" but then when I looked it up, I had it on my TBR list. So thanks for the reminder :)

    1. The world was so unique and I just loved the characters. Hope you end up enjoying it! ~Pam

  3. I had a lot of trouble with the second book in this series. It was like a LOVE PENTAGRAM. Seriously, Logan-Dylan-Aura-Zach-Becca. WHAT? However, I LOVED LOVED the final book and for that it's one of my favorite series. If I forget about the triangle early on. I never really liked Logan. Zach and Aura forever. Glad you enjoyed this!

    1. I didn't mind the second book and I did end up liking Logan. He was obviously selfish but he also had his wonderful moments too. But yes, Zach and Aura forever! I think I first heard of this series from your blog so thanks! ~Pam

  4. I haven't even heard of this series before now! Gotta add this one too! Glad you loved it so much. It sounds really great and well-written.

    1. It was a great different and I loved that all three books are out so I could binge and not have to do that horrible year wait. Hope you enjoy them if you end up reading them! ~Pam