Shade Me

448p. ebook available. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Jan. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062324436.
Gr 9 Up—The author of Hate List (Little, Brown, 2009) kicks off a suspenseful series featuring California high school senior Nikki Kill. Nikki has synesthesia: a sense-combining condition in which she attributes certain colors to numbers, letters, and emotions. A strange phone call from popular classmate Peyton Hollis, with whom Nikki had no previous interactions, embroils Nikki in the illicit secrets of Peyton's glitzy and dangerous family. When Peyton is found badly beaten, Nikki decides to investigate, following Peyton's clues, which are seemingly tailor-made for Nikki's synesthete abilities. Brown writes Nikki's synesthesia as an almost heightened intuition, yet Nikki repeatedly and recklessly ignores it. Readers may also balk at Nikki's hazardous reluctance to enlist adult help, which she deems justifiable given her family history. Excepting the protagonist, the cast tends toward stock or superficially described characters who are saved only by their murky motivations, which help maintain the "whodunit-and-why" mystery. The violent, action-packed climax tears apart a few loose threads for future installments. While Nikki is a force to be reckoned with and the vaguely noirish, seedy Hollywood drama and quick pacing will appeal to teens, this title lacks the cheeky cleverness of Veronica Mars.
VERDICT Purchase where mysteries or the author's other works are popular.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing