Shade (Shade #1)

ShadeBy Jeri Smith-Ready

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Publisher

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.

Goodreads Summary

It was the best night of Logan Keeley’s life – a perfect performance from his band, two offers from record companies and finally, his relationship with his girlfriend Aura was going to go all the way.  Instead, too much to drink plus a little something slipped to him by one of the record scouts left him dead.

Aura is a Post-Shifter.  Something happened sixteen years ago and everyone born after that day can see and communicate with ghosts before they pass on and it’s not a gift that’s welcome anymore.  Post-Shifters have found that ghosts don’t like colors, so they wear red.  They can’t materialize around obsidian, so they put it in rooms that they call Black Boxes.  Aura makes limited use of her gift though, working as an interpreter for the dead in her aunt’s law firm, helping them get a form of legal justice that helps them move on.  She doesn’t hide from the ghosts the way most of the other Post-Shifters do, she just sort of works her days around them.

When Logan dies and comes back to her as a ghost, she knows the right thing to do is to help him pass, but what she wants is to keep him with her for just a while, especially since he doesn’t seem able to let go of her either.  Aura’s also been spending a lot of time with Zachary, a Pre-Shifter from school that’s working on a project with her, one that she hopes will bring her closer to finding out what caused the Shift.  The more time she spends with Zach, the more she knows she needs to move on from Logan – but the more she slips away from him, the more Logan threatens to go Shade, a dark ghost that’s condemned to always stay trapped on earth in the shadows, unseen by anyone.

I know the first thing that’ll come to mind – not another love triangle with a ghost.  Seriously, this one is different and I’ve read enough of the blasted things lately that I really should know.  Aura knows Logan isn’t coming back and while she loves him, it’s a love for what should have been.  He’s still comforting to be with and even though it’s selfish of her, when he doesn’t seem ready to go, she doesn’t push him to.  She knows when it’s time for him to stop being her “boyfriend” though, but does Logan?  She’s terrified of him becoming Shade, but she deserves a life now that he’s gone.

Logan is everything you’d expect someone who died on the best night of his life to be.  He’s full of guilt for the pain he’s caused his family and Aura, anger for missing out on the rest of his life and shame because he killed himself with his stupidity.  He’s left so many things unfinished with Aura and he can’t figure out how to fix it.  It was easier to like him than I thought it would be – he had so much regret because he lived so much differently than he felt and now that he was dead, all he wanted to do was say it all.  He knew it was wrong to stay around Aura’s neck like a millstone though, but how much of his own burden could he unload?

Zachary was the mystery ingredient.  He appeared at school seemingly out of nowhere and suddenly was assigned to help Aura on her project that was a cover for her investigation into what caused the Shift.  She was instantly charmed and attracted to him, but each time they got close, something Logan did would come between them and he’d pull back.

On paper, all three of these characters sound fairly annoying, but in the story they’re all amazing and rich and I was tearing through the book to read about them.  There’s so much going on in the story it would take me forever to even begin to write any kind of detailed synopsis for it – Logan’s family is a huge part of the story and every member is unique and plays a different, important role.  Aura’s aunt is the same – she’s a key piece in the relationship between Logan, Aura and Zach.  There are villains who are after the same information about the origins of the Shift that Aura is and villains who are trying to lock up any ghosts that Shade.  The relationships between Logan and Aura and Zach and Aura are all sweet and painful and never fall into that, “who will she choose?” love triangle garbage.

My Summary: This isn’t the paranormal ghostly love triangle story you might be expecting.  I loved every single character, the whole concept of the story and was left speechless by the ending.  The only thing that saved my cuticles from being chewed was that I happened to have the next book, Shift, ready to read right away.

My Rating: A



  1. Interesting review and outstanding cover!

  2. Thank you, Julia! I love the cover, too – I ought to be able to cover my walls with these like a teenager since I've turned into such a cover freak lately. 🙂

  3. Great review!! Love this book!!

  4. Thank you, Megan – I'm so glad I decided to read Shade (I had Shift and was debating if I wanted to). I can't imagine having missed it!

  5. I've heard so many good things about this book! I might just have to break down and read it. And bonus that the second one is out! I skipped over that review though, but I'll come back after I've read Shade.

  6. Buy it, buy it, buy it…er, not that I think you should buy it or anything. I'm really not into the whole boyfriend ghost stories and this was good even for me. It's really emotional without being chain-yanky and I love the way it made you want to get to the next book without making you feel manipulated to get there, if that made any sense.Now I feel this immense pressure because if you don't like it, you'll never go for any of my recommendations again, lol.

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