Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready

Thursday, May 10, 2012 with 5 comments
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Title:  Shine
Author:  Jeri Smith-Ready
Series:  3rd & final book in the Shade series
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Publication Date:  May 1, 2012
Source:  advance copy from the publisher

In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

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.

I started the Shade series in November of last year, listening to the audio with the incomparable Khristine Hvam narrating.  I was so engrossed in these novels, so consumed by them, that I plowed through them without taking any notes or really any analytical thinking at all on my behalf.  I never even reviewed them, instead choosing to keep all of those feelings bottled up and savoring them.  But Shine NEEDS to be reviewed.  It needs to be discussed.  So, what I shall do here is write a rather general review of the series as a whole detailed character analysis and sprinkle in some feelings from Shine.  If you’ve read the other books in the series, you already know if you want to read Shine.  If you haven’t, this should give you a good idea as to why you should read the series.
First things first:  Aura.  The books are told from her point-of-view, after all.  I love that, in the beginning – okay, in the middle some, too – Aura is a bit unstable.  The thing is, she’s not, though…not when you consider what she’s been through and what she’s discovering about herself and the world surrounding her.  But she survives and develops her inner-strength and becomes quite the force to be reckoned with.  She’s impulsive and big-hearted, both of which land her in hot water quite often.  But Aura is a heroine of the realist sort.  Living through her mistakes as I read along reminded me of similar mistakes in my own life, and her imperfections and indiscretions made me love her that much more.  Aura is at her best in Shine, though, providing further proof that she is awesome and worthy of the no-less-than three boys that fawned over her throughout the series.
Speaking of…Zachary, oh Zachary…why can’t you be real?  This is the guy we want our heroines to fall for.  He is polite and sweet and mild-mannered, almost to a fault.  And he is head-over-heels in love with Aura.  From their very first meeting, there was a spark, and that flame only burned brighter throughout the course of the series.  Zachary will (and does) go to any lengths to protect Aura and keep her safe from those who would do her harm.  If that doesn’t do it for you, he’s got a Scottish accent and a kilt, to boot!  Swooning yet? 
But I haven’t even gotten to the Keeley brothers yet!  When the series starts, Logan is actually Aura’s boyfriend.  He’s in a band with his siblings, and though you might expect him to be one of “those” guys, he’s actually quite sweet and sentimental.  Had it not been for Zachary and his Scottish brogue, Logan would have stolen my heart.  For anyone worried about Logan’s presence in Shine, fear not…he’s very much there in spirit.  (Ha, I’m patting myself on the back for that one.)
Despite delving immediately into characterizing the protagonist and her love interests, please do not read this and assume that there is automatically a love triangle.  The relationships in this series are so much more complicated than that and it wouldn’t do the book or the characters any justice to label them.  I am simply a character-driven reader and felt the need to point out just how amazing the characters crafted by Jeri Smith-Ready truly are.  Even the supporting cast of characters are multi-faceted and fleshed out.  Each serves a purpose and adds something truly special to the books.
Shine is just about the most perfect conclusion to the series that I could have possibly conceived.  There are no lingering questions or doubts, but there were cataclysmic events that led to great discoveries, and I had so much fun on the ride.  The series finale was everything I wanted it to be.  It was sad, courageous, humorous, exciting and about a million other adjectives that all mean pure awesomeness.  In other words, I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED.  I’d always be up for more from JSR and the Shade world, but I’m also perfectly content with the way she left things.  (And if she never writes another word about the Shade world, well, I can always revisit this series, right?  Also, no offense to the original covers, but the new covers are just too pretty not to have their gorgeousness on my shelf.  And again, I can now revisit the series any time I want so that I can swoon over Zachary some more.)  And now I’m reviewing my schedule, trying to figure out where I can fit in JSR’s WVMP Radio series

Rating:  Photobucket

Book-A-Likes:  Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent, Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins


  1. Really great review! I think that this sounds like a really great series. I think I'll have to check it out. :) Thanks for sharing!

    My latest post: From the Review Pile (1)

  2. Awww, Jen. I can't even read a review of Shine w/out crying. Speaking of crying, have you read Bridge? It's a Logan story from Enthralled. I'm talking snotty-nosed, ugly cry.
    Jeri Smith-Ready's books are perfect. And yes, Shine is the perfect finish to the series.
    Awesome review!

  3. I really need to read the second book in the series. I loved Shade.

  4. Great review!

    You should definitely do whatever possible to fit the WVMP Radio series in because it is just as amazing as Shade. Now I'm trying to find time to fit in her other series, Eyes Of Crow. :)

  5. I love this review and I adore your enthusiasm for this series! I definitely want to read these books as soon as I can. I love a female lead who starts out unstable (good times), and Zachary sounds ten kinds of yummy! Thanks for the review, my fabulous little book guru!! <3


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