review: shine by jeri smith-ready

Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Publication Date: 05/01/2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 416
Source: Publisher
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.
Please note there will be minor spoilers for Shift (Shade #2).

With Logan now a ghost, Aura can begin to wrap up the mourning process that began almost a year ago - this time for his ghost. Safe in the knowledge that Zach and his family are on a plane home to the UK, Aura is ready for as normal final year of high school as anyone can be when you're able to see ghosts. Then Aura gets a call that changes everything, unwinding a thread that begins explains Aura being the first and Zach being the last over the course of a harrowing adventure.

I'd been looking forward to Shine ever since I finished Shift, although I have to say there was a bit of trepidation coming into this one. There were some things in Shift that really didn't sit well with me, the biggest being the blas√© outlook toward physicality. I know the whole point of, for example, things that happened between Logan and Aura exist to display the conflict that she's going through, but the few interchanges between Aura and Dylan just rubbed me the wrong way. I was slightly nervous that this book would carry that on and that, perhaps, Logan would never fade.

Thankfully that wasn't the case with Shine, and to be fair, I enjoyed this installment much more without Logan. In fact, my favorite Logan moment in the series appears at the end, which was a rather nice way to tie everything up. Aura definitely had the opportunity to explore herself more, even if it was in the setting of chasing down information. Aura is an enjoyable MC for me as she has that appealing headstrong quality without being overwhelming, but also the sense to merely observe if the matter calls for it. Not to mention that Smith-Ready has Aura's voice down perfectly; a lot of times it's difficult to get into a character, despite how strong of a character they may be, if the right presentation of words isn't there. It's very easy to fall into Aura's head, which makes the progression of the story much swifter.

My favorite thing, though, about the book, is the world building. I know that this is something I discuss quite often (especially with dystopian novels), but this series is a great example of where the premise of the story (Aura's and Zach's history) wonderfully sets the background without beating the reader over the head with it. We know why Aura lives where they do (Maryland), we know even a bit about her lineage (her Italian grandmother lives in Philadelphia) and there are relevant hints back to this as the story unfolds that is a pleasant connection of information. What brought me to this series is the idea of a Shift in the first place and the way it was so seamlessly integrated into a recognisable present-day society. What kept me was that, with this last book, we know why it happened and what, if anything, can be done about it. A well-done tying up of events with an interspersion of characters that take the story and run with it in a good way.

Shine is my favorite installation of the trilogy, and was truly a wonderful way to finish the series. If you're looking to read a paranormal without instashipping, partnered with a well-researched and well-integrated premise and story then you'll definitely enjoy this series. Thanks again to Simon & Schuster, and I'm looking forward to what else Smith-Ready will create in the future.

3 comments on "review: shine by jeri smith-ready"

Jenny wrote: Sun May 27, 03:37:00 PM

Im so excited to get to this one but I have to admit I'm a bit heartbroken that nothing happens with Dylan. ;) I knew it wouldn't but one can hope.

Christy @ TheReaderBee wrote: Mon May 28, 11:05:00 AM

I love this series, and can't wait to read Shine! (It's on my shelf, just waiting for me to start it. lol) Glad to see that this was your favorite in the series. I was wondering if Logan would have a part in this book or not. Looking forward to reading it!

kaye (paper reader) wrote: Wed May 30, 02:14:00 AM

@Jenny: I think the Aura and Dylan dynamic was much better here, or, at least it was in a way that was better for me to understand. But they have some good moments!

@Christy: Ah, I love my bookshelf, but sometimes I'm afraid to put a book there lest it get eaten under the pile! It was definitely a lot of fun, and just a good story overall. And I feel like I made it sound like Logan didn't have a part at all - he does, a really important one! :)

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