22 July 2012

The Shade Series: Music playlist

While the series is over, and I'm about a month late on this fact- and, to be honest, a few years late to the whole thing- I'm still obsessed.

In the first book, Logan's first farewell concert ends with "The Parting Glass": The Keeley Brothers edition. Well that doesn't exist yet, officially or by fans as far as I know (though I'm new to the whole fandom)... Here's my favorite version that I've heard so far:

I have this on a playlist I'm currently compiling. Most of it is Flyleaf, which I have this huge obsession with. I intend to listen to Jeri Smith-Ready's playlist(s) she's released and add my favorites from that, but mostly this is a fan centered playlist. So if you're reading this, and you have some songs that remind you of this series, please feel free to comment. :)

If you're interested in Jeri Smith-Ready's playlist(s), feel free to go here and look around. :)

Willow Reads: Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready

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.

Spoiler Alert
Title: Shine (Shade #3)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Page Count: 399
Book website: http://www.jerismithready.com
Published: May 1, 2012
Source: Obsession

This is the last book of the three-book Shade Trilogy. Previously, Zach and Aura temporarily parted ways with plans to meet up in December; Aura would go to Scotland for the couples' 18th birthday and they would spend that time together. Shortly after Zach leaves, Logan passes over at his grave- with Aura as the single witness. 

Then start this book a few hours later. Aura is at the cemetery when she gets a phone call from Megan. The flight Zach was on crashed, and it wasn't likely that there were any survivors. We find out later that this crash was caused by a sort of co-company to SecuriLab, who make BlackBox. They blame this 14 year old kid, whose bag they had shoved a bomb into once it was on the plane. 

Aura understandably breaks down. She can't help it, it seems like the universe doesn't want her to have a boyfriend. But then Dylan calls in the middle of all this, and comes right away. She checks her Zach cell phone- the red one that he gave her before he was supposed to leave for Scotland. 

Well, here's what happened in a shortened version: 

The DMP wrongfully forced the Moore family to their offices. They really had no right, seeing as they were going to deport them anyway. Then, they DID deport Mr. and Mrs. Moore back to Scotland, but not Zachary. They sent Zach to Area 3A, which is where they were going to take Aura and Zach before Logan's last concert. For two months, Zach was in isolation from his parents, Aura, and everyone he knew and loved. This causes some post traumatic stress for him, so upon returning to Scotland MI-X gives him a counselor to talk to. 

Over the months before Aura is able to go to Scotland, she connects with one of Zach's friends and he tells her the truth- it literally made my heart go out to the poor boy. Zach is having nightmares, he won't sleep... Every night before he retires to his room, he has to make sure everyone's where they're supposed to be and even then he worries. He follows everyone he cares about like a lost puppy, and it's not how Zach used to be before America. 

Well, then Aura comes. 
We find out what really happened after a few days of them being together... And some other... steamy events. :) 

Overall you should know that this final book in the trilogy will be pleasing to those who ship Aura/Zach. You can't exactly ship Logan/Aura anymore, because Logan passed over. Don't even dare to ship Dylan/Aura. That's Megan territory by the end of the book. ;)

The ending was good, but it... I want more. Aura goes to university in Scotland, and she probably lives there her entire life. After the first Scotland trip, she says that the United States doesn't feel like home anymore. Her other half is in Scotland. So, unless Zach comes back to America, she won't be back either. I'm almost 100% sure of it. 

I might even break into writing fanfiction for this one if we don't get news of a spin off series. xD I want stuff to happen. I haven't written fanfiction since I wanted a new Harry Potter to come faster than it could be written. xD

It's been an absolute joy to read this trilogy this month- Jeri Smith-Ready is now one of my absolute favorite authors-, and I just marked a whole bunch of goodreads suggestions similar to this series' contents for my own reading pleasure. 

That's it for now, and here is my every once in a while reminder to feel free to comment on any of the posts. Bye! :)

19 July 2012

Willow Reads: Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.
Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.
As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

Spoiler Alert

Title: Shift (Shade #2)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Page Count: 367
Book website: http://www.jerismithready.com/
Published: May 3, 2011
Source: Complete obsession. Thank you, Erica. (-_-")

Ok, I tried. I tried hard to move on from this book onto another loan from Erica. I'm sure I'll love the others but... I couldn't move onto another without knowing what happened next. #Confessionsofabooknerd

ANYWHO. Enough downing myself for not having strength to m ove past Aura and Logan and Zachary and the Keeleys... Yes, I'm obsessed. xD I don't want to read the third book for it to all be over as soon as it started, but I know I can't hold out much longer. I just finished this book like two hours ago.

Book two of the Shade series... In the beginning, Logan is still a shade. If you don't remember from the last part of book 1, he turned complete shade at his farewell concert he held himself. In hopes of him coming back so she can try to transform him back into an ordinary ghost, Aura listens to all of Logan's play lists and waits by her open window for weeks. When the final track finishes, she returns to her window and calls for him... But this time, he comes. And eventually he turns into a ghost again.

Throughout the book, Aura has an internal struggle. Logan's dead, but still there, and then there's Zachary. Zach is an amazing fit for her, but she still feels guilty for having feelings for someone else. A huge portion of this book is about Aura's romantic interests. At one point, it's even transferred from a love triangle to a love square- adding, of all people, Logan's younger brother Dylan into the mix. That surprised me.

Another surprise was that Aura almost slept with all three of her love interests in the book. Not all at the same time, of course, but at various times. Yes, even Logan. On the solstice, Logan solidifies and appears to have an actual body- able to be touched- for about seventeen minutes. In that time, they almost go all the way. More deets wanted? Read the book. -smiles innocently-

Then, when Zach un-invites Aura to the prom, she goes with Dylan. Well, that night makes the two come closer in a way... When Zachary's evil date calls Aura's phone and allows her to listen to him near having sex with her, she's brokenhearted. A few days later, Dylan and Aura are in his new bedroom at the new house, and it gets close there.

Finally, after they kiss and make up, Zachary and Aura are running around solving clues Eowyn gives them. Little do they know that they're being followed by the DMP. So they get caught and they're taken against their will to a place they don't know. They escape and eventually find out where they escaped to. They get back to civilization, where Logan is having a concert on the solstice. He plans to gain his human form back for the concert, then pass over.

Eventually he does pass over, but not that night. :)
Read the book for more information.
You're welcome. xD

13 July 2012

Willow Reads: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. "Almost."
It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.
Spoiler Warning!
Title: Shade (Shade #1)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Page Count: 309
Book Website: http://www.jerismithready.com/
Published: May 4, 2010
Source: Friend loan

This book was one I had hardly heard of before a few nights ago. While over at a friend's house for the night, we began to talk a little about books (not related to studying for our driver's temps test) and she offered to let me borrow some of her newer reads that she had gotten her hands on lately. Her favorite was this book called Shade, and she was scared to read the ending because she wanted to know how it turned out but she didn't want her hopes/dreams crushed. She told me she wasn't sure if it was a series or not, so I told her I'd do some research. Turns out the book is a trilogy, and I cannot WAIT to get my hands on the next one.

In the beginning of the book, we're introduced to our storyteller- her name is Aura. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her Aunt Gina; she's the average sixteen-nearly-seventeen year old girl with a talented, pretty boy boyfriend and a decent best friend. Everything's normal except that, seconds before she was born, a shift happened. This shift made it so every newly born child afterword would live to see the dead (meaning ghosts), separating them from their parents, aunts, uncles, and whoever else they passed on the street who happened to be older.

For Aura, this is an annoying aspect of her life. She does everything to pretend she doesn't see these ghosts, even though she finally breaks and is forced into talking to them.

Well, suddenly one night that changes.

Logan, who is Aura's boyfriend, belongs to a band mostly composed of his siblings. One night at rehearsal, he reveals that they might be signed to a record contract on the night of his birthday. On Logan's birthday, The Keeley Brothers were set to give a concert, and if the odds were in the bands' favor, they might score some record deal attention.

The night comes, and everyone attends the concert. The band is on fire that night, and they did so well that both companies that came to watch the show offered separate deals. Well, the band says that they have to talk to their parents because they're minors, but that they'd consider both options. After that, everyone heads to the Keeley house for an after party.

During the party, Logan and Aura were supposed to sleep together for the first time after several abruptly stopped attempts. Well, when Logan gets beyond drunk with beer and this other combination named Liquid Stupid, he can't "get it up," if you get my gist. Alcohol does that to a guy. Suddenly, Logan has this idea to go take a cold shower to "wake up" from the alcohol, and he takes a mysterious packet with him claiming that it's a shampoo sample. The next thing Aura hears is Logan's sister Sibohan screaming.

Logan is dead.

Aura sees Logan's ghost for about two seconds and he disappears, so she believes he has crossed over. Until, that is, after his funeral when he's playing with some younger family members up by the Keeley's bathroom. This starts a long time stream of Logan starting to come and stay the night in Aura's room until she falls asleep.

Oh, I forgot to mention Zach, aka Zachary. He comes into the story shortly before Logan's death to be Aura's history thesis partner. Their teacher for the class suggested he work with her, and they begin to.

Well, while Logan is off being a ghost and going every place he's ever been, Zach is there for her. You can tell almost right off that he's got feelings for Aura, even if she doesn't see it at first. As Zach and Aura get to know each other, the feelings become mutual. So there forms love triangle typical of YA romance books.

BUT what makes this book unique?

The author... She had me loving both guys so much. I kind of felt I was Aura for a while. My heart ached when Logan died, and every emotional part including him.. Especially right before the trial, even.. I wanted to cry so hard. I really felt for Aura so much.

But at the same time, I'm falling for Zach too. He's so understanding, he's wiling to wait for Aura, and he's adorable with his Scottish accent. I mean, he's Scottish, so of course he'd have an accent from his motherland. xD

Anyway, this book made me laugh.. It made me cry.. It made me feel. This is definitely a unique book. I absolutely loved it, giving it a 5 star rating over on Goodreads. I suggest it for fans of Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, which I've reviewed here. My first post, I believe... I suggest it's similar because it deals with death, what might happen in the afterlife, etc.

So give it a read. See if you like it, you never know! :)

By the way, here's the book trailer:

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