Shade Me

Shade Me

Book - 2016
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The first book in bestselling author Jennifer Brown's thrilling suspense series for fans of Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars, Shade Me is about a unique girl who becomes entangled in a mysterious crime and lured into a sexy but dangerous relationship with a boy who may be a suspect.

Nikki Kill has always been an outsider. Born with rare synesthesia, she sees the world differently. In Nikki's eyes, happiness is pink, sadness is a mixture of brown and green, and lies are gray.

To Nikki, Peyton Hollis, the ultrarich it-girl at school, was seemingly untouchable. That is, until Peyton is violently attacked and the only phone number the hospital finds in Peyton's cell is Nikki's. Suddenly Nikki is pulled into Peyton's glittering, fast-paced world as she tries to unravel an unfolding conspiracy.

As Nikki gets closer to the dark truth--and to Peyton's gorgeous older brother--the only thing she can be sure of is death is a deep, pulsing crimson.

Publisher: New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062324436
0062324438
Branch Call Number: Y Fic
Characteristics: 441 pages ; 22 cm

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samcmar Jun 24, 2016

If I could describe Shade Me in two words, it would be 'hot mess.' The premise of this book is what drew me to it, and if I'm being honest, I spent a lot of this book so razzled and confused as to what the author was eventually trying to get at. Was this a noir? A thriller? An urban fantasy novel? Contemporary? It blends a variety of genres in terms of its presentation, but doesn't excel at any of them.

I loved the concept of synesthesia, and that was what drew me to the story. However, I felt so confused in its usage during the novel. There were so many moments where I totally understood what Brown was using it for, and other moments where I was like "Okay... what?" and that really bugged me. I felt like I couldn't connect to Nikki or how she saw the world, no matter how hard I tried as I read the book. It didn't help that Nikki is such a bland character who just makes poor decisions (which is cool, she's a teen, it's allowed), but they are decisions where they are just odd or made me uncomfortable? There's one scene in particular and as I was reading it on my way home from work that just made me go "WHO DOES THAT?!" to the point where I texted my co-blogger said response.

I think if the characters had been presented a bit older, like they were in college, I think aspects of this novel would have worked so much better. Horribly, I just didn't like any of the characters, their motives felt shallow, and the plot just comes across to messy at times. A lot of the connections are hanging by tiny threads, and it's just frustrating given how interesting the premise is.

It's like wasted potential, especially given that we are told one think about NIkki's emotions (how she is unfeeling) and yet she feels so much. Yet, there were times I admit, I couldn't stop turning the pages. I think with it being such a hot mess, part of me needed to see where this story was going to go. To be fair, I actually genuinely enjoyed the last forty pages or so, as I was completely engaged, and it was a solid, if predictable ending.

While this is my first Jennifer Brown novel, Shade Me has not deterred me from reading her back catalogue. I wish this had been a much more cohesive novel, instead of the confusing mess that it is. I think this novel will appeal to some readers, just don't go into it thinking you're getting a straight-laced thriller, because it just fumbles at any sort of genre convention it attempts to replicate. This isn't a bad novel, but I admit, I think I hyped it up way more in my head, and was left sorely disappointed.

g
Gr4c13
May 18, 2016

This was a weirdly intriguing book! I picked it up mainly because of the fact that it was labeled "mystery". It's good if you want a quick read, but not good for those who appreciate more character development, as this plot moves along pretty quickly. A lot of "well, that escalated quickly!" moments for sure.

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