Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Series: Shade #3
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal YA
Reviewed by: Abigail
Near Perfect – Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.
In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.
Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.
As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves…even if that means betraying her own heart.
From the beginning, the Shade series has had a strong sense of direction, a clear endgame that has allowed readers to fully immerse themselves in Aura’s ghost filled world. In a word, Jeri Smith-Ready established trust between herself and her readers, and in SHINE, she rewards that trust with a completely emotionally and intellectually fulfilling conclusion. I loved every single moment.
One of the many things that makes the Shade series so fantastic is the very honest and occasionally messy portrayal of teen characters. So often in YA fiction, issues get sanitized or glossed over. Neither SHINE nor the preceding books in this series shy away from the raw and emotional scenes that give these characters breath and life. There is nothing gratuitous about anything in this book, but when characters screw up, we see it. When they have to face the unpleasant consequences of their actions, we see it. Likewise when new experiences occur, we don’t get the everything-is-perfect-right-away scene. We get the pain, the awkwardness, the shyness, which makes the whole thing more tender, more sweet.
How good is a book when you’re already bemoaning the fact that it’s the last one by the end of the first page? Expect emotions to run wild while reading SHINE. Outrage at the increasingly totalitarian actions taken by the DMP, exhilaration when Aura and Zach are finally reunited, grief filled heartache at last moments and remembered memories of Logan, bittersweet goodbyes, tragic losses, and hope so bright and shiny you can almost taste it. SHINE is everything I wanted it to be and more. I only wish it didn’t have to end.
Very few YA series earn readers love so completely with a debut, fewer still take that love and fan it into a blaze of emotion so intense that it burns a permanent place in your heart. The Shade series does that. Every page is better than the last and SHINE is the almost painfully perfect ending to one of my all time favorite YA series. Make plans to hit the bookstore on May 1st. You won’t regret it.