by Jeri Smith-Ready
Published by Simon Pulse on 5/4/10
Genre: YA Paranormal
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.
Set in modern times, the world has experienced the “Shift.” Anyone born after it is able to see and communicate with ghosts that remain in limbo. The Shift is not explained because the cause is unknown. In fact, uncovering the mystery becomes a major part of the series. Ghosts have become so commonplace that there are even lawyers who represent those who seek justice in order to move on. And that is where we meet our protagonist, Aura. Aura works part-time for her aunt and godmother as a translator for ghosts. In fact, it’s quite common for post-Shifters to translate for ghosts during trials. All in the name of justice.
Aura is a pretty interesting young lady. I find her quite compassionate, fair, devoutly loyal to those she loves and extremely patient. Aura is quite in love with her boyfriend, Logan, an Irish youth who is extremely devoted to the punk band he’s formed with his siblings. I’d say he’s pretty self-absorbed and addicted to the idea of fame, however, he doesn’t come across as an asshole. Unfortunately for him, he kicks the bucket near the beginning of the book. It’s quite a devastating moment and I really enjoyed how the author wrote it. It made me gasp! Of course, Aura was born after the Shift, so Logan is still around, in his new violet, ethereal form. Talk about an endless heartbreak. :/
In walks Zachary, in all his hottie Scottish glory, whose father was relocated to town for business. Zach is a pre-Shifter, and cannot see ghosts, but he certainly notices a beautiful, intelligent, passionate young lady when he sees one. He’s assigned to assist Aura in a research project that she’s doing. It’s a project that becomes very integral to the story, and slowly uncovers a connection between Aura and Zach that they never could have imagined.
The love triangle has been beat into the ground, and many of us are yearning for a new spin on romantic tension. This books brings that new spin, and I was pleasantly surprised at the greatness of it. This was my first book by the author. Brooke at Brooke Reviews let me borrow her WVMP books forever ago, and I need to pick them up and read them now. I was quite impressed with the author’s writing style, imagination and ability to tell a good story.
by Jeri Smith-Ready
Published by Simon Pulse on 5/3/11
Genre: YA Paranormal
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.
(minor spoilers for first book)
There is much more emotion in this book. My heart broke for Aura, especially, because of the ugly situation that she’s in. Love triangles are never easy, but Aura’s predicament takes the cake. She is truly stuck between holding on to her first love and desperately trying to move on at the same time. Logan will always remain in her heart, but she can’t deny the ache she feels when Zach is not near. Zach is a passionate, considerate soul who just takes my breath away, really. I’m pretty smitten with him. And the author dropped a pretty rad surprise on us during the prom scene. I love her for that! Ok, back to Aura. As the story progresses, she begins to realize that he has invaded her heart and that their relationship is pretty pure.
Zachary fit me, like the answer to an equation I’d forgotten how to solve.
The pain felt by Aura, Logan’s family and close friends is so poignant, and it alters their relationships. In particular, Logan’s older brother, Mickey, has not dealt with his grief and he’s overcome with depression. His character remains in the background, but being who I am, I couldn’t help but pick up on the struggles he was enduring. I really want to give him a hug and take him to a local therapist. My heart also goes out to Logan’s younger brother, Dylan, who is the only family member that can see Logan. His character matures greatly in this book and he snagged my heart!
Logan is a character that I’m constantly on the fence about. His sincerity felt real, at times, but I was really angry with his character at other times. I felt some of his decisions and actions were selfish as hell. But then he’d have this wow moment, where I’d say to myself “who is this guy and what did you do with Logan?” All his loved ones feel like they can’t move on until Logan does, because even in death, he still demands an audience.
“It’s like we’re back in the neighborhood playing freeze tag, and Logan’s It. Everyone he touches has to stop living, until we’re all frozen.”
There’s some great action near the end of the novel. These books also seems mature for the genre, or maybe I’m viewing Aura as a more mature protagonist. Of course, there is much more to this book than the love triangle. The mystery that surrounds Aura and the Shift is revealed slowly through the books, and I think the end of this novel sets up a nice conclusion. Shine, the final installment, is due out in 2012.
Tomorrow is the LAST DAY to enter my SHADE & SHIFT giveaway. Check out this post to enter. Open to US only.
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