Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SHADE Trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready

"For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Shine (Shade, #3)Shade (Shade, #1)Shift (Shade, #2)

This is the summary on the back of SHADE (Book 1) (via Goodreads)

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.

I am so glad these books were finished when I chose to read them because I don't think my heart could've handled the wait otherwise. (not joking) *clutches chest*

I don't normally like to read books that are considered creepy and my ghost experience has been limited to Haley Joel Osment whispering to Bruce Willis, "I see dead people" and that ghost hunting show on cable whose host has spiky hair and tats. I just don't "do" ghosts. Or owls, clowns or spiders. Shh, does not want to discuss the ghost that appears to be living in my house. 0_0  (Clearly, I would make a very disgruntled "Pre-Shifter".)

However, this series is NOT your average ghost story!  It's hauntingly beautiful, heart-achingly romantic *sighs* and only slightly creepy at times. It was unputdownable! <-- I don't even know if that is a legit word but what-evs. I laughed, I cried, I clutched my chest and I choked sobbed a few times too. I *spider swear* that I only saw one ghost during the reading of these books. It was in my peripheral vision so it probably wasn't real and therefore doesn't count, right?  Unless it was Logan, then it totally counts. Wait...what was I talking about?  Oh right, how awesome these books are... (Sorry, I get distracted easily, especially by hotsauce ghosts shrouded in violet.) 

The writing is fantastic and I loved the witty banter between the characters. The love triangle that emerges is so unique and is more about getting over a first love and all the feels that go into that and less about choosing the perfect boy. (Both book boys would be perfect choices in my opinion but we'll get to them in a minute.) 

The most fun (for me) was discovering that Jeri Smith-Ready lives in MD, because I DO TOO!  With the story set in Baltimore, it means I've been to ALL OF THE PLACES that these characters have!  *earns bonus fan points*  Now, the next time I go to the Inner Harbor, Ocean City or College Park (Fear the turtle!), I will think of Aura, Logan and Zachary. PLUS, my Dad's family is from Ireland so I've not only rocked a kilt but been to Dublin AND Glascow, Scotland. *high fives self*

Moving's what I LOVED about this series and it's characters (especially the boys - LOVED.THEM.SO.HARD!)  I've tried not to be spoilery but honestly, you should just READ IT. LOVE IT. YOUR WELCOME.

Aura - She's a strong female MC with a great sense of humor and sass. She's a sassy lassie. ;) She isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in or to fight for those she loves.  She also comes to the defense of the underdog or maybe I should say, "underghost?" Aura is loyal, loving and readily looks past a person's shortcomings to see the light that shines within them. She is fanfreakingtastic.

Logan Keeley - *sighs*  He's Aura's boyfriend and the lead singer of the Keeley Brothers, a kick ars Irish punk rock band. He's super cute, funny, possesses the perfect amount of snark and his musical talent is beyond compare.  He feels most at home onstage with guitar in hand and is destined to be a rock star. (Not gonna lie, I would be front and center with the rest of the groupies sportin' my KBB tee and screaming, "I LOVE YOU LOGAN KEELEY!") He doesn't always make the best choices and unfortunately, his recklessness ends up costing him his life, shattering both Aura's heart and mine. *cries*  But Logan Keeley was meant to leave his mark and he does; just not in the way he planned or in his lifetime. 

Zachary Moore - OhMyZach! *fans face* (Excuse me while I recover from my Zach-attack) He's the uber hot transfer student whose striking green eyes and velvety accent brings all the lasses to the yard and I'm no' talking about Scotland Yard either. *swoons*  He's sweet, hilarious and has the patience of a saint and when he and Aura are paired up for a school project, she's left breathless and seeing stars. (No really, she does see stars because their project has to do with astronomy.) Zach might not be a OO7 but he is definitely an International Man of Mystery and while others will try, Aura might be the only one who can figure him out.

Megan - She's Aura's long time BFF, knows her better than anyone and always has her back no.matter.what.  *fist bumps*

Mickey, Siobhan, Conner (Siobhan's boyfriend) and Dylan aka "The Keeley Clan"  - They.are.made.of.awesome and I would like them to adopt me. (I have no musical talent but I can bake a mean Keeley Brothers band cupcake!)  They're a highly entertaining sarcastic bunch of talented musicians who have a fierce love of family, all things Irish and a special affinity for their brother, Logan. 

Martin - He's Zachary's best "mate" and an all 'round loveable lad. He can be a little hard to understand at times (Gaelic is a beautiful language but makes no sense t'all.) but Martin's the kind of guy you want on your team if you ever find yourself in a dark alley or a pub. 

Death is never easy but this series presents an interesting view of both sides of it. You have the Post-Shifters who can see the ghosts (people who've died yet failed to pass on) and the ghosts themselves who are able to communicate with the living. There's the battle of good versus evil and for some of these characters, that battle is fought within themselves. (selfishness vs. selflessness, bitterness vs. forgiveness).

To me, this story really isn't about ghosts. It's about love and friendship, focusing on the important things and learning when to let go. I liked the idea that by not "passing-on" right away there's a window of opportunity to tie up loose ends, say what you didn't say or make amends but in real life, we don't get that second chance. All we have is the here and now and it too will be gone one day. The only thing that ever truly lasts is love. 

There is a TON of coolsauce on Jeri's website, like bonus scenes and playlists (which I'm a sucker for). The lyrics to Logan's song, FOREVER are there too. *CLUTCHES CHEST* (Keep the tissues close because I totes choke sobbed while reading those).

Click the links below to find Jeri and the guys on twitter and don't forget to show your love for #TeamKilt and the SHADE Boys on tumblr! Aye, boys in plaid skirts are hawt. *wink*

Twitter:  @jsmithready
Logan:    @keeley_logan
Zach:      @moore_zachary
               ShadeBoys on tumblr

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