May 4, 2011

Book Review: Shift

Title: Shift
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Series: Shade Trilogy
Length: 367 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (an imprint of Simon & Schuster)
On-Sale Date: May 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover

This review contains SHADE spoilers.

Logan has loved Aura since he can remember, and Aura loved him back.  Unfortunately, their relationship ended abruptly when Logan mixed alcohol with cocaine.
As someone born after the Shift, Aura can see spirits.  Logan, unable to pass on, stays in a somewhat convoluted relationship with the girl he can’t let go.
Zachary, the new Scotsman in school, is very much alive and attracted to Aura.
During the first book, Shade, Aura was unable to let go of Logan or deny her feelings for Zachary.
When Logan attempted to pass on, he couldn’t because he was tainted.  Instead, he turned into an angry spirit unable to find peace, a shade.
Shift begins with Aura calling for Logan.  She couldn't let him go, and wouldn’t believe he was gone.
She may be ready to help Logan do whatever needs to be done for him to pass on.  She might even be ready to have a new beginning with Zachary.  However, nothing is easy when it comes to Logan (or Aura or Zachary).
While Aura might be ready to sort out her love life, she is not prepared for the changes that are bound to come.  Aura desperately needs to know what happened to her mother a year before she was born.  Why was Zachary the Last person born before the Shift, and why was Aura the First?  Why can everyone born after Aura see spirits?

Shift left me feeling content.
For the first time, I cried out of happiness.
Time is always the issue.  Either the timing was off or there was never enough time.  Sometimes there was even too much time.  Frankly, you just wanted the timing to be perfect for once.
A reader could really connect with the characters’ right from the start of the series, so during this second installment the reader was nothing less than attached.  The emotions of every character were reflected in my own emotions.  This book and its characters made me emotional, because I could empathize.
The vulnerability of every character was astounding.  They kept working through their fears, but their actions were like anyone else, not like fictional characters.  They failed and were scared and wanted to give up.  Sometimes they did give up, but that didn’t last.  These characters were not meant for failure.  Usually curiosity got the better of them making them unable to surrender.
All of these characters had such heart.
Of course the entire plot encompassed an unorthodox love triangle (it might be accurate to say love square or love pentagon, but that’s besides the point).  Logan, although dead, had a presence that was very much alive.  Any reader couldn’t deny that he loved Aura very much.  So much that it mildly bordered on obsessive and possessive.  Zachary was the healthier choice for Aura, because his heart was still beating.  Zach wasn’t a better man than Logan.  Zach was kind and compassionate while Logan was sweet and captivating.  Both boys were a friend to Aura, and she needed them both.
It was a little heartbreaking to read Aura’s narration.
Although Aura was frustrating she made the right decisions.  There were times that I shook the novel, because I wanted to get through to her.  Aura made mistakes, and denied certain inevidabilities.
Jeri Smith-Ready had seemed to take her stories in a direction I never would have expected.
There was always more conflict hidden away and waiting to pounce.  Many mysteries were uncovered in Shift, but too many were created or left unanswered.  I remain unsure how this story will tie up with the last part of the trilogy, but I definitely look forward to finding out.
There was always something more to Shift.  There was something underlying that I could not put my finger on.

I’m not ready to leave Aura, Zachary, or Logan.  Actually, I’m not prepared for them to leave me.

Premise: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Disclosure: I received a finished copy in advance from the publisher. Receiving this book early did not influence my review in any way.

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't a huge fan of the 1st book, but your review has encouraged me to give the 2nd book a shot - nicely written