by Jeri Smith-Ready
Published by Simon Pulse
May 1, 2012
Source: bought from independent bookstore
Series report: Can you read it without reviewing books one and two? Yes.
NO SPOILERS AHEAD!
Quick series recap: In the beginning of book one, Aura is devastated by the sudden death of her musician boyfriend, Logan. But Aura, like every child born after the Shift, can see ghosts. She's comforted by Logan's ghostly presence, but worried that Logan, who blames himself for his death, will turn into an angry shade. Aura meets Zachary and they discover they have a mysterious connection: she was born one minute after the Shift, and he one minute before.
In book two, Zachary and Aura are still researching the Shift and their part in it. Aura's also trying to help Logan find peace -- and drawing closer and closer to Zach. But all the time she's spending with Logan makes Zach jealous.
My take: I've always been a huge fan of this series. Jeri Smith-Ready blends Celtic folklore and mythology with ghosts in a way that's fresh and original. Aura is a fantastic character -- strong and realistic. The series also incorporates music -- Logan was part of a band, the Keeley Brothers.
Shine begins very dramatically. Very! Then Aura is alone -- meaning without either Zach or Logan -- for about two-thirds of the book, which encapsulates a period of many months. I had mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, this made Shine more about Aura and less about the guys, which I liked. On the other hand, I kept wondering what would have happened if Jeri Smith-Ready had started the story a bit later in time, and shortened this limbo period a bit. There is a LOT of plot and emotional resolution that has to play out in those last 150 pages.
That said, the emotional stuff was great. I admire the way this series addresses death and mourning in a very moving and realistic way. YA authors often blithely kill characters off (parents, especially) without really exploring the repercussions. Aura spends all three books coming to terms with Logan's death, and I found this process both realistic and poignant.
Ah, Logan. I'll have to admit, Zachary isn't 100% my cup of tea -- or shot of Glenfiddich. But I really like Aura as a character, and I want her to be (fictionally) happy.
Again, without spoilers, I'll just say that I thought Jeri Smith-Ready did a wonderful job resolving this trilogy. Shine features some beautifully written, very touching scenes that I think fans of this series will love.
If you haven't read this series, try the first book out!
If you have read it, you'll want to get your hands on Shine.
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