** I think this review is spoiler-free. If there are any spoilers, they are purely unintentional. **
So...I know what you're expecting. Those of you who know me, at least. You know how much I love this series, and author Jeri Smith-Ready. And I'll bet you're expecting me to "Squee!" and flail and freak out about how much I loved SHINE. But I'm going to attempt to remain coherent, because, truly, my flailing and shrieking wouldn't do this book justice.
For starters, I could hardly look at SHINE without tears welling in my eyes. I just knew I was going to feel everything. I can't think of another auther who has captured my emotions like Jeri Smith-Ready. From the very beginning of the series, with SHADE, I have felt the utter heartbreak, cried all the tears, laughed through some of them, swooned more than a little, and ultimately have fallen in love with Aura, Zach, Logan, Dylan (that kid deserves his own book!) and the supporting characters.
We all love the Shade Boys, Zach and Logan. I've seen many intense debates over who is the best guy for Aura. I've even participated in a few. Only in fun, though, because honestly, I love them both. Well, I have to admit, I was slightly more Team Logan. He was just so stinking endearing. And I miss him. A lot. But, I always wanted Aura to be happy, and no guy could fit that bill better than Zach. And I've always adored him. Except for the Prom. But honestly, how much can a guy take? So I got over that. Here's what I have to say about Zach: I am in awe of him. I learned so much about him in SHINE. He is willing to put himself through unimaginable torment to protect Aura. He is endlessly patient, thoughtful, kind, and always honest. I admire the way he graciously accepts and acknowledges that Logan will always be a part of Aura. He has peace with it. That was perhaps the most bittersweet part of this book, seeing Aura move on. Embracing the fact that Logan will always be a part of her, but moving strongly and surely towards her future with Zach. It was powerful stuff, guys. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it.
BUT...SHINE is Aura's book. In the previous books, Aura has largely been overshadowed by Logan and Zach. No more. In SHINE, Aura reveals an amazing inner strength that I always felt was there, but never got to see fully unleashed. Yes, she's always been strong and amazing. In this book, though, she's taken to a new level. She's willing to fight government, corporations, spirits...anything and anyone to protect her loved ones. Or actually, to protect anyone. There's one moment in the book in which Aura makes me so freaking proud I did a double fist pump in the car.
I could go on and on about my love for this book. Instead, I want to thank Jeri Smith-Ready for creating these characters, their world. Her words have inspired a community of book lovers. We have cried. We've spent a ridiculous amount of time ogling men in kilts. I have participated in more chats about the series than I can count. I consider each and every moment immersed in any part of this world as time well spent. SHADE, SHIFT, and SHINE have been a wonderful part of my life and I am truly thankful to her for sharing the series with the world.
My review seems weak, in my eyes. I tried to sincerely convey my thoughts, but I fell short. I think it's partly because I'm so overwhelmed with emotions that my brain in mush. Just please trust me when I say, SHINE is a brilliant, perfect ending to a brilliant, perfect series.
" 'You can't fight memories. They come whether you look for them or not.' " (pg. 275)
"Before being an American, or a Baltimorean, or a Salvatore, I was a human being. There was no greater loyalty than that." (pg. 360)show more
by Andrea Thompson