Welcome to Bookanista Thursday! For those of you not familiar with the Bookanistas, we're kind of like kidlit cheerleaders, because we shout out about books we love. But...uh...minus the uniforms and mean girl stereotypes.
This week, I've got to tell you about Jeri Smith-Ready's SHIFT. Jeri is a member of the Class of 2k10, and I was so lucky to be matched with her as my mentor. Did you know that the 2k classes get mentors? We do. It's so nice to be able to send my silly publishing questions to her and get an answer back, along with instructions for deep breathing exercises.
Anyway. SHIFT is the second book in a series. SHADE was out last year and is now available in paperback. You'll want to read that one before you tackle the second. And here are the deets on SHIFT, which will officially hit the shelves on May 3rd. Not too long to wait, peepul.
Ye official blurb o Goodreads:
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.
And it's gorgeous, isn't it?
So here's the thing that gets me about these books--they're paranormal ghosty books, right? So we expect lots of action, mystery, and danger. But one of my big pet peeves is when the characters in books like this seem to have no lives whatsoever. I'm left with the impression that they pretty much just floated through life without engaging in ANYTHING aside from maybe an occasional party. Their life doesn't start until they meet the sparkly mutant wombat/were-yeti/frankenthulhu/whatever. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief when reading a paranormal, of course, but I want to feel like the contents of the book COULD happen. I want them to feel real even if I know they aren't.
That's one of the things that I loved the most about SHIFT (and its predecessor). Yes, it's got hot guys with cute accents, and a cool concept, and all kinds of ghostly intrigue. But for me, the big thing was that Aura felt like she had a life. She's got friends, and a job, and family, and she's interested in astronomy. She's not an empty vessel waiting to be filled by a sparkly paranormal boy of awesomeness. She has a LIFE, and sure, that life gets turned upside down and shaken, but it's still there.
I'd like to be friends with Aura, plain and simple. Have you read this? I'd love to hear if you feel the same.
And check out these other great Bookanista recommendations, while you're at it. My to-read list is going to explode at this rate.
Elana Johnson visits Dark and Hollow Places
LiLa Roecker gets silly over Spoiled
Christine Fonseca has a passion for Possession – with giveaway
Shannon Messenger marvels at Moonglass – with giveaway
Jamie Harrington adores Invincible Summer
Shelli Johannes-Wells is in the grip of Possession
Scott Tracey bathes in Blood Magic
Carolina Valdez Miller interviews Invicible Summer author Hannah Moskowitz
Jessi Kirby praises Playing Hurt
Bethany Wiggins delves into Divergent
Shana Silver presents a Guestanista gushing over Between Here and Forever
Rosemary Clement-Moore applauds Abandon
Sarah Frances Hardy enjoys Me Jane
Matt Blackstone loves Like Mandarin
Corrine Jackson delights in The Duff
Stasia Ward Kehoe discusses Displacement