Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Aura can see and talk to ghosts. But that isn't really that special, since everyone born after the Shift can see and talk to ghosts too. It hasn't been easy for Aura; ghosts bother her all the time and she isn't too pleased with their attention--and neither is most of the US. Blackbox technology helps keeps ghosts away, so they're plastered on every corner of every place that can afford them. Ghosts are also repelled by the color red, so mothers dress their children in red to keep the ghosts at bay. Aura is sick of encountering troublesome ghosts and thoroughly wishes that she was a pre-shifter. That is, until her boyfriend Logan dies.
It was supposed to be the perfect birthday for Logan--scouts from record companies were attending one of the gigs his band had landed and Aura had planned an intimate party for him after the show. But when everything goes wrong after the gig and Logan dies, Aura no longer curses her ability to interact with ghosts.
Aura stays with Logan, staying up late into the night with him when he visits in his ghost form. Aura knows that Logan should move on to avoid the risk of him turning into a Shade (which happens when a ghost is overcome by bitterness or anger), but their relationship is still strong even without physical contact and Aura is having a hard time letting him go.
But seeing Logan in secret at night and not being able to touch him takes a strain on Aura. She eventually meets Zachary in school--a new friend who is very much alive. Zachary comforts Aura and is the friend she needs, but he seems to be harboring secrets of his own. Is Aura's friendship with Zachary more than a chance meeting? Why has trouble begun to lurk in the shadows ever since Logan died and Aura met Zachary? There may be more to the Shift than everyone had originally thought...
I definitely enjoyed reading Shade! It was really interesting to see not only how Aura's relationships with Logan and Zachary progress, but also how the world is responding to the notion that those born after the Shift can see ghosts. Jeri Smith-Ready not only develops the characters in her novel, but also paints a detailed image of what society has become now that interactions with ghosts are possible. It was well-balanced and a well-rounded story that kept me hooked! Although it has the "first book" feel to it (as in, first book of a series where everything is set up) I very much enjoyed Shade.