Book Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

I have read quite a few paranormal romances in the past year, but none that are solely about ghost. In fact, when I began to read Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade, I did not know that it was going to be about ghosts. Even so, from the very start, I was absolutely drawn into the world of this novel. Smith-Ready does an awesome job of creating a world where all teens and children who are post "shift" can see, hear, and interact with ghosts. Those people who are pre "shift" cannot interact with or see ghosts.

Those who teens and children who are post-shift are barraged by hungry, angry, upset, questioning ghosts throughout their days and nights. Everywhere they go, they are followed, taunted, stalked by ghosts who want answers and help to solve the mysteries of their deaths and to reconnect with loved ones. 

The only way to fend off these ghosts is to wear red, to carry obsidian, or to enter into ghost-free zones, which are buildings that have been encased with a material called "Black Box." In addition to these precautions, the international community has formed teams of special agents who search for ghosts that have begun to "shade"--gone bad. These ghosts are a danger to the minds of the living and can cause headaches, vomiting, and even death. For these errant ghosts, there are special Black Boxes that can encase a ghost forever, like a mini casket for an eternal hell.

The oldest post-shift is named Aura. She is about to turn seventeen when the unthinkable happens. Her boyfriend, Logan, dies of a drug overdose. She has a caring aunt, a few close friends, and a deepening relationship with a boy named Zach, who is paying lots of attention to her. But, she feels like she's betraying Logan by moving on with her life, especially when he begins to follow her and spend nights in her bedroom. When Logan's parents decide to press charges on the person who supplied Logan with the fatal drugs that took his life, Aura is ever farther away from parting with Logan. And, to make things worse, Logan has begun to shade. He is now a danger to Aura and everyone he used to love.

This is a great, suspenseful read. I absolutely loved it. I thought that world created by Smith-Ready made sense, even though it was complex and foreign to me. There are so many details and subplots to this book that I was unable to address in my summary; I am sure that they will be revealed in more depth in the next book in this series, which is due for release in May of 2011. I cannot wait to read the next book in this well-written, exciting series.