This is a book 2. I read the first one last month. You can read my review for Shade here (Review for Shade). I try not to buy more than one book in a series at a time because what if I decide I don’t like it later? But, I totally went against my rules and bought both this one and Shine (book 3) at the same time. After the first book, I knew I would need to read the full story.
It takes place not too long after the first book finished. (I am going to spoil some things from the first book now.) The first book ended with Aura’s ghost boyfriend, Logan, turning shade (aka: evil spirit) live in front of a concert audience when he was supposed to pass on to a better place. And this one starts with Aura refusing to let go of Logan.
She knows she was able to help Logan turn from shade to ghost before and believes she can do it again. And every night she listens to his music and calls for him to come back. Meanwhile, Zachary, the last person born unable to see ghosts (compared to Aura’s being the first person able to see them), is patiently waiting for Aura to let Logan go, so they can be a happy and alive couple. And Aura is finally in a place where she is about to let go, and even go on a date with Zachary the next day, when Logan with his “perfect” timing shows up in her room. He’s a shade, but Aura helps to quickly get him back in ghost form. And then something amazing happens.
Logan becomes human. And what would any teen girl do when the love of her life is suddenly touchable again? Well, they touch…And try to have sex, again…The operative word here is “try,” because just when things are getting really steamy, Logan goes back to being a ghost. And then of course the next day Aura has the most romantic date ever with Zachary, who she actually bravely tells about Logan.
There’s a lot of love triangle drama. Zachary then asks Aura’s least favorite person to the prom, taking back his prom offering to her. And Aura ends things with Logan. And just when the two love-birds finally work things out, Zachary’s dad gets cancer. And because it’s learned that both Zachary’s dad and Aura’s mom both were at the same place for a creepy, shining equinox 19 years ago, and then both later got lung cancer, the two them of course can’t be together because they are afraid of the possible consequences their relationship will have. Or more accurately, Zachary is afraid their relationship will somehow hurt Aura.
They do have some sizzling moments though before this where it is learned that when Zachary and Aura make out, they rub off on each other. Aura can repel ghosts like Zachary can. And Zachary can see them like Aura can (for a few minutes). The two also have to work together to find out all they can about the shift and equinox and find it out before the wrong people do. The teacher helping them with the research has to flee the country, but leaves behind cryptic clues for them to solve.
There’s chase scenes, epic concerts, kidnapping, really hot romance scenes by a river, conversations with ghosts, helping people move on from loss, prom, another boy added to the boy drama of Aura’s life (now it’s a love square?), clues, missing journal pages found, answers about Aura’s mother and father, more secrets, lots of music, and some plain old amazing teen drama!
Normally, the second book in any series/trilogy is my least favorite. So far, it’s the opposite. What a great sequel! The romance was pure amazing! A lot of my questions were answered, but just enough of them were still left open for book 3. So much makes sense now. Once you learn about how similar Aura’s experiences are to those of her mother’s everything kind of just fits into place.
I really love Zachary even more. He shows up to prom in a kilt! Really, words cannot express my love for this fictional character; he just seems so real! Aura is so real too. She makes all the mistakes a teenage girl should make, and learn from. And she’s just so honest. Sometimes while reading, I’d slap the book and put it down just because I could not imagine anyone being so brave as her in what she was honest about.
The only thing that sort of bothered me here was just how convenient a lot of things were. Like, it’s rather convenient that Zachary ended up where he did. And it’s rather convenient that they lived in the same place as their mentor who was studying astronomy and monoliths too. And then of course all the adults involved end up in the same town. I mean I get that this needed to happen for the plot to do what it did, but still, it was very noticeable in this book how convenient certain things were.
I still give this one a 10/10 if anything just for some of my favorite YA drama/romance. I already started book 3, and whoa, it has already sucked me in. Really, Smith-Ready has taken a classic ghost story idea, and just made it so unique, and so hot. Points to her!