Review: Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

Shade Me

Nikki Kill does not see the world like everyone else. In her eyes, happiness is pink, sadness is a mixture of brown and green, and lies are gray. Thanks to a rare phenomenon called synesthesia, Nikki’s senses overlap, in a way that both comforts and overwhelms her.

Always an outsider, just one ‘D’ shy of flunking out, Nikki’s life is on the fast track to nowhere until the night a mysterious call lights her phone up bright orange—the color of emergencies. It’s the local hospital. They need Nikki to identify a Jane Doe who is barely hanging on to life after a horrible attack.

The victim is Peyton Hollis, a popular girl from Nikki’s school who Nikki hardly knows. One thing is clear: Someone wants Peyton dead. But why? And why was Nikki’s cell the only number in Peyton’s phone?

As she tries to decipher the strange kaleidoscope of clues, Nikki finds herself thrust into the dark, glittering world of the ultra-rich Hollis family, and drawn towards Peyton’s handsome, never-do-well older brother Dru. While Nikki’s colors seem to help her unravel the puzzle, what she can’t see is that she may be falling into a trap. The only truth she can be sure of is that death is a deep, pulsing crimson.

Ahhh Shade Me, one of the most difficult books I have had to review - it was such a tearing book because it had all the makings of brilliant mystery crime books, like The Body Finder. It also had many things that made me less than convinced about it. I've loved Brown's other gritty books and this had her characteristic writing style, which I loved - it may be a new area for Brown but she sticks to what she knows; suspense, emotion and strong female characters. 

The thing is that in making Nikki a tough character, she also instilled some traits that were less than desirable - Nikki came across as thinking that nothing was out of her depth and that she could single-handedly solve a crime case. This involved putting herself in some stupid situations, making some idiotic decisions and withholding important information from the authorities. Some stupid decisions that she made? Getting involved with the brother of the victim and aimlessly believing he had nothing to do with it... also, sleeping with the same boy in the home of a potential suspect (or something like that). I mean... uhhh... what?

Despite all of the obvious flaws, I still managed to get through Shade Me in one sitting, and I was super frustrated when all of my questions weren't answered at the end. I did enjoy the book, despite some (many) things that I was wary over. The parts where Nikki's synesthesia comes into it were really engaging and whilst I won't say it was anywhere near a brilliant book, I still can't deny that I will be reading the rest of the series....

Book released 19th January 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

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