YA paranormal, I will never quit you no matter how much I may want to. Books like Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready prove YA paranormal to be too legit to quit. By all intents and purposes I shouldn’t have loved Shade as much as I did as it has a love triangle and I hate those. Why did I read it in the first place? Jen at Makeshift Bookmark raved about it and she’s never steered me wrong, so I picked this up and read it in 3 hours during the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon. Smith-Ready’s story captivated me for those 3 hours.
So, it’s Aura’s birthday and she’s just listened to a fantastic concert put on by her boyfriend, Logan’s band and she’s about to get down to business time aka SEXYTIMES with Logan when he up and dies on her after doing something stupid, leaving her a virgin. Instead of Logan’s death ending the story, in the world Smith-Ready has built, all people born after a certain date can see ghosts, so Logan isn’t really gone, but a ghost who has yet to pass on and wants to stay. Yet, as we know ghosts are not flesh and blood and that means sexytimes are physically impossible with a ghost. Enter Aura’s new Scottish friend Zachary, the inspiration behind Team Kilt.
Love, longing, heartbreak, Shade has it all in spades. There’s enough to keep the pages turning without stopping to take a breath. Friends, so much of this book I just FELT for Aura. I can imagine the hurt of losing my boyfriend, only to have him come back as a ghost and to lose the physical part of the relationship. And I have to come out and say this, but that part does matter and is important and vital to the health of a relationship. I mean, poor Aura, she still cares about him and loves him, but never gets to manifest her love physically. She’s definitely caught between the two worlds that Logan and Zachary provide. It just seems like she’s trapped and unable to move on and properly grieve Logan because he won’t pass on to the afterlife and sticks around as a ghost.
There, now I have your attention. I would be remiss if I did not mention the sexytimes. Of course, Smith-Ready knows what she is doing in writing her sexytimes scenes because she writes adult books (FYI this is totally not a slam on YA authors, just that in adult books you encounter a lot more not fade to black sex scenes). Page 280 in the US hardcover edition is the prime time example of this. It is swoonworthy, bittersweet, tender and heartbreaking all at once.
If you are fed up with crap paranormal, read Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready before you toss in the towel on the genre, I promise you it’s an amazing read that won’t let you go.
Disclosure: Won in a contest.