Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bookanistas: SHIFT by Jeri Smith-Ready

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


Lacey J Edwards said...

Sparkly paranormal boy of awesome. Lol! Great review/recommendation! I have SHADE in hardcover (and signed because I'm a fangirl) but I haven't read it yet. I'm so behind. It's shameful, really.

Jessi said...

Beauteous review Carrie!

Beth said...

How do u become a bookanista?

Carrie Harris said...

I know, LJ! My to-read list is EMBARRASSING.

Mucho thanks, Jessi!

And Beth, at this point, I believe the Bookanistas are all full up. We didn't want to get to the point where the list of links was so long that we tripped over it! But thanks for asking, and I'll make sure to let everyone know if that changes.

Carrie Harris said...

Rosemary, that's exactly what I meant. Can you write my reviews from now on, because that was much more succinct than I was. :)

Chris Phillips said...

Some great links, thanks!

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Oh man, sounds so good. I love that you point to the idea of her having a real life, a paranormal character with depth. Sounds like a must read. Great review, Carrie!