by Jeri Smith-Ready
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Aura can see ghosts. Born after the Shift, a little-understood event that enabled younger generations to communicate with the dead, Aura is relentlessly pursued by these violet-hued spirits. They need help to pass out of this world and into the next. And some are so angry they are on the verge of becoming Shades, dark vortexes of energy. But Aura just wants the ghosts to leave her alone so she can spend time with her boyfriend, Logan.
When Aura is paired with a new foreign-exchange student to research the Shift for a class project, she is determined to ignore her partner’s sexy Scottish accent and discover the cause of the Shift so she can reverse it.
Then Logan dies a most untimely death. Forced to reconsider her relationship with the living and the dead, Aura is caught in a love triangle with her violet-hued boyfriend and her hot research partner... one of whom may hold the key to reversing the Shift.
Shade was filled with intricate characters, a fun paranormal element and a story-line that kept me glued to the pages. Yet this book solidified my distaste for a particular trope, since it’s done in a way I can’t handle. I know many people enjoy love triangles and I can too sometimes, yet I loathe when a heroine flips back and forth between liking the guys. I become devastated when I see the boy I fell for get his heart crushed again and again. But if you adore multiple love interests, where you don’t mind who the heroine ends up with, then you may just fall in love with this story.
A hole opened up inside me, so raw I had to curl up on my side away from his light, pulling my good knee to my chest to ease the ache. The hole gaped so big it seemed like I could crawl inside, let the darkness swallow all thoughts of the future that once stretched before us. We had lost forever.
Everyone born after the Shift can see and talk to ghosts who have a violet hue, and Aura is one of them. She’s always been a little irritated by it, especially since she helps be their translator in court cases with her Aunt. Aura and other kids her age and younger have to be translators because those born before the Shift can’t see or talk to ghosts. Yet this ability won’t be a hindrance to Aura much longer because her boyfriend, Logan, is about to become one of them. He dies within the first few chapters of Shade and even though I knew it was coming, I was still devastated when it happened.
I couldn’t help it. I wanted Logan back, even in violet.
See….doesn’t this sound like a lot of fun? A paranormal element that has become the norm in society, a boyfriend and girlfriend whose love doesn’t diminish just because he has died? Oh I loved all of this! And I especially loved Logan. He is the singer of a band and even though he can be a little obsessed about being in the public eye, his heart is always set on Aura. Logan loves Aura with his whole heart, and even death can’t change that. He will do anything he can to make her happy, to show her how much he loves her and all of those moments……..oh they were beautiful. Yet I didn’t always get those same feelings from her.
All I know is that I was ecstatically, painfully in love with him, waiting for him to slip away, leaving me with my palms singed from clutching a blue-hot star. No matter how many times his eyes found mine, or how brilliantly he smiled at me, I could still taste the bitterness on the sides of my tongue. Because he loved the crowd more than he loved any one person, even me. He always would.
Aura has huge doubt monsters in her head (in case that excerpt above isn’t obvious enough!). Will her boyfriend love her less when he signs the deal with the record label, will he leave her for groupies? This girl constantly doubted so much in her life. And even though Logan proves himself over and over again even in death, it just never truly sinks in for her. So when Zachary, a foreign exchange student, enters the picture after Logan has died and is still around….well let’s just say I didn’t get the warm and fuzziness for him. Even though Zachary is sexy, nice and tries to help Aura with her grief, I just could never warm up to him. If you’re like me, then that’s going to be a huge problem. Because Zachary has a lot of mystery surrounding who he is and he becomes an integral part of this book and to Aura.
“Aura,” he whispered, “I wish I could wipe away just one of your tears. Then I’d feel like a person again. Like I’m something more than a bunch of light.”
“You can.” I reached into the space between our bodies. “Just follow me.”
When Aura was leading on and then pausing with both boys time after time, that’s when I stopped liking her. I couldn’t handle seeing my sweet Logan become devastated and have his heart ripped out so many times. So to be honest, I was curious what path this series would take. I was undecided whether I should stop or continue. Luckily a friend lent me this trilogy so I skimmed a few parts in the second book and after what I saw in the second then I went right to the end of the third book. I have NEVER done this before! But I’m so glad I did because I would have struggled with how this series progressed.
So ultimately, I think it’s all up to how you handle love triangles. If you’re like me and get attached to the first and become depressed when another is brought in and refuse to like them, then definitely avoid! But if you have an open heart and have no problem caring for both of the boys then definitely give this trilogy a try. It was a lot of fun. And I didn’t even get to talk about how Aura is trying to find a way to stop the Shift from continually happening to those that are born. So yeah, lots of fun but so not the right trilogy for me!