Thursday, January 14, 2016

ARC Review: Shade Me

About the Book:

Shade MeTitle: Shade Me (Nikki Kills #1)
Author: Jennifer Brown
Publication Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 448 
Genre:Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary 
Rating: 2.5/5 stars


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.


I was a little surprised at the low rating of this novel on Goodreads seeing how it's not even released yet, but I decided to take a chance with this novel anyway. For me, mystery/thriller is either hit or miss. Sometimes it works really well, and other times it doesn't. This is the first time where I am in between. The actual mystery element of this novel is pretty well done. It's not perfect as I pretty much figured everything out way before reaching the end where all is revealed, but it still is an exciting mystery/thriller. For those that can't figure everything out, it's definitely a shock with all of the twists at the end. However, the problem I had is that the rest of this book felt irrelevant. I had my ups and downs with the main character, Nikki, which is my biggest complaint. I also had a problem with the fact that I could virtually skip paragraphs/sections of this novel and still know exactly what was going on. These paragraphs often felt irrelevant to the story, and served no purpose except to make the story longer.

As I said, the mystery element of the story was very well written. I loved the twists and turns that Ms. Brown incorporated into the story, and I didn't figure most things out until almost the end of the novel. While (to me) it was pretty obvious who the murderer was, it still comes out in such a shocking way. The entire end of this novel was thrilling and full of edge-of-your-seat moments. It was exceptionally written and the perfect way to end the novel. Honestly, this was the best part of the novel, and I wish that how the ending was carried out was how the rest of the novel was.

Nikki was a huge problem for me in this novel though. I didn't agree with most of her actions--in fact, most of her actions really bothered me. She's extremely reckless and careless. Nikki's "relationship" with Dru confused me so much because they literally just met in the hospital (they never met prior to this), and all of a sudden they're both head over heels for each other in lust. Even when Dru becomes a suspect to her, she still doesn't stay away from him!! They're entire relationship was very unrealistic and made no sense. I also didn't really like the way Nikki treated her father, the only person that actually cares about her. But ultimately the way she handled dealing with the cops really bothered me. She had evidence and extremely important information that could have aided the investigation and just decided not to tell anyone. Now I do understand that Nikki has an untrustworthy relationship with the cops as they never solved her mother's murder, but still, it's just common sense to turn over evidence you have and to not put your hands all over evidence that is tied to a murder !

There were several subplots that were also not tied up, however I have heard that there are plans to make this a series. I'm not entirely sure that this is true, but if it is, then I don't have a problem with these aspects of the story not being discussed more. However, if this is the only book then I'm extremely frustrated because these actually made up a large part of the novel. I was left feeling a little empty with the lack of explanation for these things.

Overall, I can't say that I would recommend this novel only due to the fact that besides the mystery element, there's nothing really that great about the book. It's nothing special or stand-out to me, and there are several discrepancies throughout the novel in regards to Nikki's synesthesia. While the writing was great, it didn't meet my expectations for a mystery/thriller. With a little editing, this novel could be amazing, but as it stands now, this is just an average book.

Thank you to Harper Collins for providing
this book in exchange for my honest review

Happy reading :)



  1. I'm sorry you didn't love this one. My co-blogger wasn't a fan of it either. I'm not really into mystery/thrillers so if I read one they have to be stellar otherwise I'll just feel like I wasted my time.

    1. I'm starting to get that way too. Mystery/thriller has always been so hit or miss, but oh well haha.


  2. Hmm I remember seeing this one somewhere... I like mystery so I might give it a chance sometime. Very nice review! I'm glad that at least the mystery kept you up.

    Laura @ psilovethatbook

    1. Thanks! I would be interested to know what you think of this if you do decide to give it a chance :)


  3. "Not put your hands all over the evidence" -- I was sipping coffee. Imagine how that turned out, omg.

  4. I'm sorry to see that you didn't enjoy this one all that much. I was looking forward to it. I guess I'll try to go in with not high expectations. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. Thanks for checking out my review :) I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the book if you decide to check it out!


  5. I pretty much felt the same exact way she was irresponsible and down right lazy and reckless. It was an okay read. Pretty meh.