Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Thoughts: Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready

Published: Simon Pulse (5/1/12)
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Series: Book 3 of 3
Source: Borrowed from Lynn
GR Summary: No other love has burned so bright. 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 that 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.

So I'm at a loss. What do you say about the ending to a series that has provoked tears from experiencing every possible emotion that exists? (And possibly some that don't even have names yet.) What is there to be said about a book whose characters have infiltrated your heart and mind and made you sigh wistfully and reflectively at a song that sparked a memory or a moment that didn't happen to you but DAMNIT, you feel like it did. What do you do when you know how it ends? And now there's no more room for speculation because it's all laid out there already?

But then on second thought, why would I be sad that I can't internally speculate on the ending? Because Jeri Smith-Ready has concluded this series in the most beautiful, perfect way possible. There are tough realities to face and moments when you seriously question your bladder control. And might I suggest checking yourself into a hospital beforehand. You'll need access to medical professionals and a code cart with defibrillator after the first chapter. And also potentially after THIS ONE PART. And then the other part. I propose that JSR is the crowned ruler of YA relationships, because this book is straight up sexual. (Remember the River Scene in Shift? Yeeeahh, you haven't seen anything yet.)

Aura has always been a strong female lead, but she really (get ready for the horrible pun!) shines in the conclusion. Quick-thinking, wily, masterful Aura kicks mass amount of ass. I feel this needs to be said: wine bottle weaponry. But she's not ashamed to show her vulnerable side, either. She's such a real, relatable protagonist, so it's no wonder two amazing guys are in love with her. As a female fan of this series, it's easy to get caught up in Logan and Zachary, but Shine is Aura's book. And JSR establishes that well. (Okay, okay, and there's plenty of love for the boys, too.)

See, books like the Shade trilogy make it really hard to read any other books. I compare the character development and complexity of other novels to the likes of these and they pale in comparison. These are books I'll be revisiting numerous times in my life. I'm not ready to let these characters go, nor will I ever be. The raw emotion, sadness, pain, and LOVE in these books is paramount. This series, these characters, these words... they are true loves of mine and they don't just go away when the book covers are closed. (I have a Logan playlist, if that tells you anything.)

What JSR just did here, THAT is epic romance.

By the way, help yourself to one of my Logan songs. Just picture the last scene in Shift--and Logan singing this--and try not to cry.


  1. Ok, so I am a little jealous that you got to read SHINE already but that's okay because you're awesome and this book is so worth the wait!

    I read these books on a whim when asked to participate in a blog tour and I absolutely fell in love with them! Jeri blew me away and I'm so glad to know that the series finale that will do these books justice :D

    ♥Isalys / Book Soulmates

  2. Oh Jen. I purposely have stayed away from any of the early reviews of Shine because I don't want to be spoiled in any way possible.. but I HAD TO read your review! Gosh, I am so anxious yet terrified to get my hands on this one. I don't want it to end either. You have given such a beautiful review to such an amazing series.

    YOU are the person who got me to read these books & I can't thank you enough for that. Just know that your influence has left a lasting impression on my reader history & future! LOVE.

  3. Hi Jen,
    I'm on the last 100 pages of Shine. I've just read your review and had to let you know that this is absolutely on of the best reviews I've ever read. Very well stated and so very true!

  4. I can't handle the excitement. I want to read this SO BAD I'm gonna explode. BOOM.

  5. I was lucky enough to read Shine early too. Last weekend in fact. I couldn't put into words how I felt after finishing it other than "I loved every single word - even the ones that made me cry", but your review is dead on. You said exactly what I felt, but couldn't convey.

  6. Diddo to Judy! "exactly what I felt, but couldn't convey!"

    DEFINITELY AURA'S BOOK!!! Gah!!! Jen has my ARC and I can't wait to read it again!!

    GREAT REVIEW, Jen! Your words are perfect.


  7. "And then the other part. I propose that JSR is the crowned ruler of YA relationships, because this book is straight up sexual. " XD

    Oh, WOW. I can only just imagine. I haven't read book two yet and I so have to get on that, but I'm looking forward to those Sexy Times you mentioned :D


  8. Oooooh! I can't wait to read this. I love these books so much. They are everything that YA paranormal romance should be.

  9. Ooh, I can't wait to receive my ARC in the mail!!! Love the review! :)

  10. I've heard a lot of great things about this series...I don't really know why I haven't tried it yet! Great thoughts :)

  11. I'm SO JEALOUS. I need this book in my life! I can't wait to see how JSR ends this amazing series. I think the tension and sexuality in this book are going to make my heart combust.

  12. Awesome review! I'm both anxious and nervous to read this. That song is a killer! If that song is fitting for the last scene I'm sure there will be tears shed.