Review – Shift
  • Posted:
  • January 27, 2011

Last year I fell utterly and completely in love with Jeri Smith-Ready’s Shade. It was my favourite book of 2010. Hands down. Naturally I was looking forward to Shift, the sequel that will be out this May. However, this kind of gleeful level of anticipation is a double-edged sword. Will the sequel be as good as the first one? Will I be disappointed? Will I lose faith in the author?

I’ve burned out on many sequels recently. I’m pleased to report that this was not the case with Shift. I loved this book as much, if not better, than the first book. Squee!

In Shift Aura is trying to get over Logan’s death in the previous book. Problem is, he’s still here, despite numerous attempts to pass on and nearly turning into a shade as well. Aura has fallen for Scottish boy Zachary and wants to be with him but Logan is still hovering about. In one moment Logan becomes real and Aura looses herself in him, throwing away any chance that she and Zachary might be together.

Besides the romance there is a lot going on. Logan plans to go out of this world with a bang, the DMP begins to follow the two around, Aura and Zach are still researching the Newgrange project. Now Aura has to act as Logan’s translator, filtering his words so that she can protect herself from scrutiny. It’s a big, giant, explosive ball of awesome and I loved every word. I devoured this book from cover to cover while barely stopping for a breath. It. Was. Absolutely. Wonderful. Absolutely.

It’s more than just a teen romance book… it’s about life, and dealing with losing people. In Shift Smith-Ready explores the profoundly woeful nature of grief. She follows several people as they deal, or do not deal, with the ramifications of the loss of Logan. The metaphors are thick in this book, and they are powerful… and expressive… and very, very sad. While the context is disheartening the meaning is pure – Death changes everything in subtle and terrifying ways. Death is the greatest modifier. This book is about people getting through and getting on. Or ,in several cases, not getting on. It’s a very apt portrayal of how death tears people apart. The execution is sublime.

This book has it all. It made me laugh out loud, it made me cry. It’s sweet, it’s tender, it’s exciting… and it’s exactly what I wanted. I wish I could reread this for the first time. I wish I had written it. I can’t gush enough. I think it’s absolutely smashing and I want another book.

I love Jeri Smith-Ready. For those of you who have not read it you’re missing out. She’s one of the best. I love this. It’s beyond 5 out of 5 stars. It’s in a whole different dimension.

– BP

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