Shift (Shade #2)
by Jeri Smith-Ready
The first book in this series was really entertaining. I liked the concept of a world in which kids born after a certain time period could all see ghosts, as well as the idea of exploring how difficult that reality might be for both the ghosts and the ones they leave behind. Aura’s boyfriend Logan made a stupid mistake and paid for it with his life, leaving her full of guilt and unresolved feelings. In both the previous book and in this one, she has to find a way to help him come to terms with his future as well as coming to terms with her own. Complicating matters is the handsome Zachary and the Department of Metaphysical Purity, both of whom want Logan gone for good.
Warning: spoilers to follow.
With such an interesting set-up, expanding on the story that began in Shade should not have been particularly difficult. But when 75% of this sequel is spent on the ridiculous back and forth relationship of Aura-and-Logan and Aura-and-Zachary and then Aura-and-Dylan, the direction has officially turned from intriguing paranormal series to annoying romance series. I’m one who actually doesn’t mind the dreaded love triangle as long as it’s handled well and it’s not too drawn out, but the events that happen in this book are absolutely ridiculous. And gross. There are more details in my GoodReads status updates if you care to see them, but suffice to say that in the space of a few weeks, Aura nearly sleeps with three different guys and there are two hugely, hugely icky moments (between her and one of her partners and between one of her crushes and another person) that will turn off a lot of women who read this. Or they should, anyway.
I am so disappointed that the author not only chose to spend so much time on the romantic complications in this book, but that she also chose to put in such unforgivable scenarios, all of which could have easily been avoided. I am especially frustrated because there are some nice moments in it involving a brief, bittersweet journal entry that Aura finds as well as some gallant behavior from Dylan. I also think it’s pretty ballsy that the author pushes the boundaries a little as far as the sexual intimacy between teens goes, without going overboard. It’s just too bad that it’s spread around with so many partners in this book, and in such an off-putting way. I really don’t know if I’ll be checking out the next book in the series, but I probably will just to see if it continues on this hideous path. I’m a glutton for punishment that way.
Oh, and by the way? Reading through 36 pages of an unhappy prom (and more pages wasted on talking about it and shopping for it) does not make for good entertainment.
Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars
30-second synopsis: A disappointing follow-up to a series with a great concept, derailed by a main character who yo-yos back and forth between far too many boyfriends.