Jeri Smith-Ready’s first young adult novel, Shade, was quite a nice surprise. Not typically a fan of ghost stories, or haunted love stories, this novel was a refreshingly creative in how it approached the genre. The plot revolves around a young girl named Aura Salvatore who lives in a world where humans who are born after a certain date (“the Shift”) have the ability to see the ghosts who have not passed on. Her boyfriend Logan was born prior to the shift and so doesn’t see the ghosts as she does. In fact, she is the very first person born after the Shift. She meets a boy, Zachary, who shares the same birthday but was born before the Shift. Meeting him is not a coincidence, and while much of the tale involves her developing relationship with Zachary, it’s her unusual connection with him that leads to more questions – hopefully to be resolved in the sequel coming out in May 2011.
Aura’s character, as with many YA novels is gutsy and likable. And, although the author does create a love triangle, she doesn’t make you choose teams. Both love interests are equally worthy and makes Aura’s decision that much more heartbreaking.
Shade is a quick read, with an engaging storyline. Although there may be no real surprises, the characters are believable and readers will connect with them. It is a story that will be enjoyable for tweens, teens, on up. It’s well worth the $9.99 ebook price or the $12.23 hardcover price set by Amazon. Definitely looking forward to the sequel.
The Shade book trailer: