Jan 25, 2016

A colourful confusion || Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

Title : Shade Me
Author : Jennifer Brown
Release Date : January 19th 2016
Publisher : Katherine Tegen Books

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 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 ultrarich Hollis family and drawn towards Peyton’s handsome, ne’er-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.

Shade Me is award-winning author Jennifer Brown’s first book in a thrilling suspense series about Nikki Kill.

A review copy was provided by Harper Collins in exchange of a honest review

I was initially drawn to this book, despite not being a huge fan of thrillers and mysteries, when I heard of the concept of colour synesthesia. It is a mental condition I've always been fascinated with, and when I heard that it's going to be incorporated with a murder mystery, I was immediately hooked, especially since I've been wanting to read something by Jennifer Brown for a long time now.

Nikki Kill sees facts and emotions in colours. To her, each feeling represents a colour, and the same goes to numbers and letters. This condition has always made her an outsider, so she's genuinely confused when she finds herself dragged into the case of the murder attempt of popular girl Peyton. Determined to find answers to the colourful puzzles this situation puts in front of her, along with Peyton's irresistible brother and an overenthusiastic police officer, Shade Me is the quest of Nikki, filled with shocking revelations, twists and of course - colours.

"Fear is golden"

Shade Me was a mess. It confused me quite a lot. Half of the time, I was just mindlessly staring at the pages, while some times, I actually had to go back a few pages to check whether I read it correctly. But Shade Me was also beautiful. It was a gorgeous, colourful, confusing and messy book, which kept me hooked to the pages and contained an addicting story.

Nikki was an interesting main character. She was a wild one for sure, and I don't know whether she and I will be friends in real life, but I certainly admired her as a character. She knew how to kick ass - literally and figuratively - doesn't back down and was pretty daring. And I loved how she embraces her synesthesia, and looks at colours as her friends and weapons, rather than being miserable about it.

"I don't screw for love"

Speaking of, I kinda have mixed feelings about the handling of colour synesthesia. Like I said above, it's one of the main reasons why I went for this book. And being fascinated with the concept, I have done some crazy research on it before. So when I saw that Brown's take wasn't actually as realistic as I was hoping it would be, I was a bit disappointed. The thing is, in Shade Me, the condition is treated like a paranormal aspect. Nikki not only sees material stuff as colours, she also senses emotions as colours, which came off as too convenient to me. The take was original - that's true - but I also wished Brown made it more realistic.

"Live in colour"

I loved how all of Shade Me's characters were grey. Nikki herself was not a saint - she was playing with a guy's feelings and can come off as a difficult girl. There was Dru, who oozes suspicion as well as allure. Chris - the cop - who was an enigmatic character. Peyton - a girl with many layers. It was also full of dysnfunctional families and messed up kids. Overall nothing was perfect in Shade Me, and it contributed to the chaotic nature of the book.

I really like the writing and the pacing. Shade Me was addictive from the first page to the last. It was full of unpredictable and shocking twists and turns, unexpected deaths and intense moments of truth. It was one hell of a ride for sure!

I'd recommend Shade Me for YA thriller fans, and those who like their reads to be chaotic and confusing. There are certain things that bothered me in the story, but still, I ended up liking it over all, and it was an intriguing novel that will keep you engrossed from the beginning to the end!

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