ARC Review: Shade Me

Shade Me
Shade Me by Jennifer Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Release date: January 19, 2016

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 that makes her senses overlap.

That’s why Nikki decides to answer the phone the night a mysterious call lights it up bright orange—the color of emergencies. It’s the hospital and they need Nikki to identify a Jane Doe who is barely hanging on to life after a horrible attack. Nikki IDs the victim as Peyton Hollis, a popular girl from her school who she hardly knows. As Nikki tries to discover why her number was the only one in Peyton’s phone, she finds herself swept up in the mystery behind Peyton’s attack—and she finds herself drawn toward Peyton’s handsome, ne’er-do-well older brother, Dru…who may be the primary suspect.

The plotline of Shade Me is a mystery tied in with Nikki’s gift of being able to live in color. She has synesthesia, which means her senses are interconnected, and for her sight and color are jumbled up with her intuition. She gets caught up in a mystery when Peyton calls her on the night of her attack – a girl whom she has never spoken to. While following clues and leads, she is also attracted to Dru, Peyton’s brother and suspect numero uno, which means she is playing a dangerous game.

I found Nikki to be a very likeable character, and she does possess a level of bravery and smarts far above her age. She also kind of gave a Jessica Jones vibe, and the setting seemed similar. That being said, the co-incidences that lead her to solving the mystery felt too co-incidental. It was like mostly serendipity that she arrived at an answer – things that could be anything but somehow turned out to be a lead. I also couldn’t believe that the police was so incompetent that a teenager could get ahead on their case. So, if you can suspend disbelief, this is a very enjoyable book otherwise.

Received a free galley from Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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