November 6, 2013

REVIEW: Shine (Shade #3)

Shine (Shade #3), by Jeri Smith-Ready
Published May 1, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: audiobook, purchased from Audible
Genre:  young adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating:  5 STARS

(From Goodreads) 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 just can't even begin to tell you how much I adore Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade series. I'm talking total and complete squealie fan-girl LOVE. It's a rare and wonderful thing when you discover a series that you can't help but bestow 5 huge bedazzled stars on each and every book. Once I reached the end of Shine, I knew that this was one of those times.

Shine starts off with a big, emotional bang when Aura has to send Zachary off at the airport since he's essentially been deported back to Scotland with his parents. She soon learns that his travel plans didn't go off like they were supposed to, and now they both are in some serious trouble as the DMP and other interest groups have their sights set on preventing them from learning more about the Shift.

Shine was different from Shade and Shift. Aura and Zachary have been through so much by this time, both individually and together as a couple. Not much of the story is set in their high school for a change, although much of the story spans Aura's senior year. The school parts are glossed over in favor of focusing on the drama surrounding Zachary's attempted return home and his and Aura's attempts to try and figure out her mom's motives for going to Ireland originally in the hopes that it could lead to them ending the Shift.

Shine is definitely the heaviest book in the trilogy. That much is apparent from the very beginning when a major tragedy occurs that rocks Aura and her whole community (the entire country, actually) to the core. Aura and Zachary are faced with some serious challenges to their relationship too, and not just whether or not Aura may still be in love with Logan. This time around they have to battle thousands of miles of distance, government agencies threatening their freedoms and lives, and friendships and relationships crumbling around them.

The best part about Shine is that despite all the craziness going on around them, Aura and Zachary have finally - at LONG last - come to a good place in their relationship, and it's the shiny happy good thing that the reader has to hold on to as we get through all the bad stuff. Zachary is at his absolute best. Please tell me that guys like him really exist out there. Because, he is so utterly amazing. He's protective of Aura and supportive and so so in love with her. He's still awkward at times, doesn't always say and do the right things. But, when it really counts, you just know he will do what needs to be done.

And Aura - I have to tell you. She bugged the crap out of me in Shade. Her back and forth between Logan and Zachary drove me up a wall. She was unsure of herself and kinda mean at times and I hated that about her. Finally in Shine she has found her place and stays there. It's certainly not easy - hell, it's downright dangerous at times. But, she never wavers, and that absolutely rocks.

Shine was dangerous and exciting and frustrating and heartbreakingly romantic. Aura and Zachary are one of my favorite bookish couples of all time. They are sweet and funny and completely solid. Jeri Smith-Ready's knowledge of Irish and Scottish mythology, dialects and customs once again is so apparent, and it adds so much richness to the story. She's an amazing writer, and definitely one of my favorites.

Once again, I listened to the audio version of Shine, even though I own a signed hard copy, mainly because Kristine Hvam does an absolutely OUTSTANDING job narrating. If you've never tried audiobooks before, the Shade series is a great one to start with. Hell - even if you have, just please. Go out and read this series. It is so incredible. 

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