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Book pick: ‘Shade’ a ghostly tale of loving someone you can’t have August 3, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Reviews/summaries.
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Or can you live with and love someone who is dead? Ask Aura. She’s the first  in a new generation who can see and talk to ghosts. It’s not a shocker that anyone 17 and under can see the ghosts who haven’t moved on and the older grownups cannot.

SHADE is the first in a new YA series by Jeri Smith-Ready, who has also written WICKED GAME and BAD TO THE BONE, both part of a vampire series, among other books.

The story is about Aura and Logan, two teens who are in love. He’s the hunky singer in a band that just might get a big break. And the same night of his birthday, after giving a stellar performance in front of recording agents, he and Aura plan to consummate their love. But instead, Logan dies at the after party and Aura is left loving a ghost who can’t move on. She can see him — he gives off a violet color — and hear him, but they cannot touch.

What follows is a fast-paced but hauntingly sad tale of loving someone you can’t have. In a world where ghosts are common, part of society wants to block them out, especially if they turn into a shade, which means they can never move on peacefully and are somewhat nasty and evil beings.

Aura struggles with her grief and continued love for Logan, who comes to visit her each night. But, as she tries to also unravel the mystery of her origin as the first ghost seer in her generation, she meets Zachary — the last of a generation who don’t see ghosts. He was born one minute before her.  There is a connection between them. Aura is attracted to him. And Zachary has almost as many questions and mysteries about his background and family as she does. Her mother died when she was young and she never knew her father. His mother left him. And his father works for a secret organization that “polices” ghosts.  How are they connected? What is his big secret? And why is she attracted to him, while she still loves Logan.

This is a good YA novel that any adult would enjoy. The world Smith-Ready creates is one of intolerance for some of the ghosts. Black boxes of obsidian keep some from coming to certain rooms and buildings. And ghosts — for some reason — don’t like the color red. It repels them. So ghost haters wear lots of red. I’m sure she’s got some deeper societal message going on here. And the idea of pre-Shift and post-Shift people threw me at first. I figure all of that will be more fully explained later. But I liked the story for its creativity and heart-breaking story of an intriguing love triangle that I hope is either deepened or resolved in the next book — SHIFT, due out in May 2011.

You can follow Jeri on Twitter @jsmithready and she’s got a Facebook fan page under her name Jeri Smith-Ready. Also visit  her blog and website HERE.

And now check out her cool book video:

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