Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Book Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready (Shade #1)

I'm so happy! I finally figured out all that html stuff for my blog! Now the links in the sidebar work properly and all that! So I read this book during my week-long camp, if you remember my wifi-less disappearance. Fortunately, it was a writing camp, so my camp chums helped me through this book, because.... you'll see.

Title: Shade (Shade #1)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Genre: Fantasy...Scifi? Sort of?
Publication date (yay new feature): May 4th 2010 (yeah it's old)
Warnings (also new): Some suggestive content (I guess, they almost had sex) but it's all pretty censored so it's fine. I'd say PG 13. To be safe.


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.


Okay. So I actually drafted my review at camp, together with a vague summary of the plot for my friends so they could understand my agony and the reason why I was banging my head on the desk. Minus the astounding number of vulgarities, I basically summed up the plot as follow:

1. Girl has amazing life and wonderful boyfriend.
2. Boyfriend dies.
3. Boyfriend comes back as ghost
4. She is literally the oldest person alive who can see ghosts
5. The other (super hot!) guy she just made friends with is the last person born who cannot see ghosts
6. Her ghost boyfriend turns evil-ish
7. She becomes obsessed
8. Shit goes down.

Basically. The plot in a nutshell. I didn't really help that I guessed the ending from the moment I read the summary. Sigh. But I guess the book was better read without reading the summary, which I actually what I did for a large part of the book. But I still guessed the ending really early on. Not a good sign. 

I didn't like the beginning. Just being honest. Smith-Ready did a great job of trying to make Logan a realistic person, making him an amazing boyfriend, but making up for it by having him get drunk and party and ruin stuff. (Basically drunk Simon Lewis or any other super nice guy who tries really hard.) 

Aura. Let's have a lovely discussion about Aura. Such discussions happen when I am at a loss on how to describe this character. 

Her name: Aura. Let's sound it out, shall we? AAAAUURRRRAAAA. What a lovely, unique, one-of-a-kind name! Now let me quote urban dictionary's definition of "Mary Sue": "They often possess ridiculously fancy and pretentious first names." While I'm not judging yet, because unusual names can usually just be a surface sign of a Mary Sue, it's the first sign. 

Second sign of Mary Sue: She is cool and unique in some way that is extraordinarily relevant to the universe that she exists in. That being true, since *spoiler* she is literally the first person to be born with the ability to see ghosts. Everyone born after her can see them too. And so she's employed by a mysterious government agency to get rid of ghosts who've turned "shade" (or evil but thats just the fancy word for it I guess). That part was pretty poorly explained, and so was a majority of the society that this book exists in. 

Third sign of Mary Sue (seriously this all but confirms it): All the guys fall in love with her. I guess this isn't as glaringly obvious as, for example, Zoe Redbird from House of Night, but seriously. Mysterious hot guy appears, offers to work with her, and boom he's in love with her. Seriously. 

So I'm done with my dissection of our main character. Let's talk about the plot. The whole ghost thing really wasn't explained well. I guess there are more books in the series to explain it further (but I really don't feel like reading them after this book). The whole plot centered around trying to help Logan find peace, which I think was an important message abut letting go of the past and moving on. I guess. But Aura was really really annoying there (and I'm usually pretty lenient with the word annoying) and refusing to listen to good advice and acting stupid while at times she can act really responsible and grounded...her personality was erratic, to the point of almost being unrealistic. So no. 

This review has seriously gone on for too long. So I like the underlying theme, and the story wasn't too bad, I guess, but the characterisation, writing and stuff were 

Grade: B- I didn't like it that much. Redeemable, perhaps.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you want my opinion on anything, or want to share your opinion on anything I've said, comment below!