Released: May 4th 2010
My Rating: 4 starts out of 5
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. (from Goodreads)
Aura is a post-Shifter and has always thought that her ability to see and speak to ghosts has been nothing more than an inconvenience. But after the death of her boyfriend Logan, Aura has to re-evaluate the connection she has with the dead and must deal with the consequences of losing someone you love.
There a few reasons why this book didn't score the full five stars from me, but I'll get to that later. Let's start with the good stuff.
Aura, to me, is a very real character and it's easy to relate to her and empathise with the struggles she has trying to deal with Logan's death. Due to the fact she was born after "The Shift", an unexplained event which causes those born after it to be able to communicate with the dead, Aura still interacts with the violet ghost of Logan. But she can't touch him or feel him, and no matter how hard they both pretend, things can never be like they were before. Aura begins to realise this and throughout the book she tries to avoid coming to terms with the fact that continuing her relationship with Logan means she'd be giving up her future. She's upset, she's angry, and she's confused, and we as readers are all these things with her. Smith-Ready does a great job of portraying Aura's feelings without just stating the obvious.
In comes Zachary, the hot, Scottish guy Aura has to work with on her astronomy thesis. Ahhh, Zach. He made this book for me. Really. There’s a bit of mystery surrounding him which we find out about later on in the book. But Zach! He’s sweet and flirty and funny and the banter between him and Aura is hilarious! I found myself smiling at every page that involved them both; I loved reading about them. Zach helps Aura deal with her problems, he understands her and listens to her and makes her laugh, and with him, Aura can almost forget about all her troubles. I like how Smith-Ready reveals the relationship between Zach and his dad too, and we really understand why Zach has to keep so many secrets. I think Zach and Aura make a very good pairing, and I can’t what to see what happens next between them.
And here is where we reach the problem. Logan. Logan, Logan, Logan. I tried to like him, I really did. I mean he just died, right? Cut the guy some slack. But I couldn’t. I really couldn’t. There are things he does in the book are very sweet and he seems like a nice and caring boyfriend, not unwilling to talk about his feelings…but I just feel frustrated by him. It seems like every time Aura is making progress and moving on, he’s there to drag her back down. Maybe I’m being unsympathetic (probably :P), but I don’t like Logan as much as I should. I feel sorry for his family because of the circumstances of his death, but Logan himself can sometimes be pretty selfish in my opinion, and I find it hard to sympathise with him (though I do feel bad for him towards the end). I don’t want his constant presence to mess up Aura’s life, because obviously there is no future with a ghost. I feel like Logan could be more of an interesting, likeable character, instead of just someone who seems obsessed with his band and becoming famous (maybe that's how he's supposed to be, I don’t know, or maybe I just missed his better side). He does seem to love Aura but if you really loved someone that much, wouldn’t you let them go after you died? Would you really expect them to be with you and forgo all the normal things they could have? Logan in the end does redeem himself a little bit and I do like him slightly more. I do also appreciate the difficulty Aura has trying to move on from Logan, because she’s been with him a long time and loves him. It’s hard to get over that in a hurry, or even after years and years, as anyone who has lost someone close to them will know. But I just feel that we as readers aren’t having such a hard time doing so because we don’t really get to see a lot of Logan’s good side. I’m hoping this will get explored more in the second book, Shift, which is due out May 2011.
In conclusion, I really liked Shade and I think Smith-Ready has created an interesting world for her characters. I recommend this book to any supernatural/fantasy over the age of 13 (there are some scenes that I would say are only suitable for more mature teen readers).
Special thanks to The Book Smugglers and Simon & Schuster UK.