Friday, 7 May 2010

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Technically, I still haven't finished Heist Society and then I have other books I have to read, but as this book is part of a blog tour and there's a time limit on how long I have to read it, I moved it to the top of Mount ToBeRead.

by Jeri Smith-Ready

Summary: 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.

-Summary from Jeri's website.

This book was, well, in a word... fantastic.

I haven't loved a fantasy/supernatural book this much in a while, it totally had me hooked from the very start, it was never boring (and I seriously mean that, I read it after being awake for over 24 hours, normally I'd fall asleep reading if I'm that tired but I didn't with Shade). I honestly loved pretty much everything about it.

The characters were brilliant, from the main three to the minor ones - I particularly liked that they were realistically flawed, especially Logan... if he was written as one of those *perfect boyfriends* that are often found in fiction then that would've just irritated me, I loved that he was flawed and like a normal teenager.

Actually, that played a big part in how much I liked the book too: the teenagers acted like normal teenagers. Jeri didn't censor their words or actions, from swearing to sex to alcohol... that's not to say the book was graphic or anything in those things, it was just realistic.

The story felt so real, the fantasy aspect of it - just the way it was written, it was brilliant in how real and convincing she made the whole ghost part of the story... so much so that it leaves you believing it wouldn't be so far fetched for something like that to happen in real life.

The relationships in the story were heartbreaking, particularly the Logan and Aura one. I was reading the book in a room full of people and literally had to close the book and start singing cheesey 90's pop songs in my head to stop myself from crying in reaction to the pain of the characters.

And then there's Zach... he was just awesome and it's weird, with the kind of strange love triangle in the book I actually didn't find myself liking one character more than the other - they were both so distinctly different in my head that it allowed me to like and care for them both and understand how Aura could have feelings for both of them too.

At risk of sounding too fangirl-y, I'll mention the one thing about the book that bothered me (yes, there is seriously only one thing I can think of)... Zach's Scottishness.

Now, it's not so much the fact that he is Scottish and more about the way a lot of writers write Scottish people (admittedly, Jeri didn't annoy me nearly as much with it as most other authors have).

That particular thing just irritates me because accents being written phonetically or people trying to write Scottish people talking or about things we do just bugs me, it's one of my pet peeves.

Examples; I wanted to scream about the fourth time I read him saying "no'" instead of "not" - yeah, we Scots do neglect our T's sometimes but not ALL the time and there are other words that the accent would have more emphasis on than just "not" (which made it stand out more because it was just that word that was written phonetically).

And then there were silly things like him using slang words that I literally never hear people say even though I'm Scottish (one of them I didn't even know the meaning of), from the same city as his character.

And he calls her "bonnie" at one point, which Scottish people rarely say, especially teenagers/younger people (really, in all my 21 years I've only heard it said in reference to Bonnie being a girls actual name or when really old people say it).

Oh and the thing about eating pizza the British way... I literally haven't met anyone who eats pizza using utensils here, so I don't know what's British about that, that is just plain strange really. And we say "Merry Christmas" while the book said that we say "Happy Christmas" here.

Those are really, really silly things and it's just me being nit picky because like I said, it's one of my pet peeves and I doubt it would bother many other people (especially the ones who aren't Scottish)... and, in spite of that I still really adored the book and definitely recommend it.

I desperately want to read the sequel so badly, it's not even funny, I was tempted to cry when I saw somewhere that Shift won't be out until May 2011.


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