My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I picked this one up because of a reading challenge that included YA book with music. This fit the bill and it had tons of high ratings. Obviously I was nowhere near as in love with this book as they were.
It's not a bad book. It's a good solid read until the end which barely rates a 2. Hated the end. Nearly threw the book across the room with that end but more on that later.
It's an interesting premise. 17 years ago on the winter solstice, there was the 'shift' and anyone born before this can't see ghosts (even if they could before the shift which is barely addressed and not learned until practically the end) and those born after it can ALL see ghosts. In fact they have to be shielded from ghosts by the color red and obsidian if they want to be left alone or have homes/public areas that are black boxed (not exactly sure how this works).
Aura (it's first person, her point of view) works as a court translator for ghosts for her aunt Gina who is raising her. Aura's mom died of cancer, leaving only a mysterious journal that consumes Aura's imagination. She's in love with Logan, would be rocker. Just before his birthday, Aura and her friend Megan meet Zach, a transfer student from Scotland. To her annoyance, he's assigned to her research project which she doesn't want to share. She's studying the shift and Newgrange (a passage grave in Ireland) as her mom's journal is about Newgrange just before the shift. She finds out that Zach is one minute older than she is, the last child born before the shift and she is the first child, but thinks little of it since there has to be 100s of both, right?
Logan is scouted by a major label on his birthday and they are partying hard even though he knows he's supposed to have sex with Aura (he spends a chunk of the opening begging her not to make him stop like last time when it hurt her). In fact he's so drunk, he can't get it up and decides to use the coke given to him by the record company and dies the predictable, stupid rocker death. (You can't even be mad that it so predictable because it DOES happen all the time).
Aura naturally is distraught. At first everyone gives her her space and she spends time with Zach on her project (where anyone but her can see Zach is falling for her) but after a while, everyone just wants Logan to move on because his brother (and Aura) are afraid he is going to go Shade, the dark evil side of ghosthood. They're hoping his parents' lawsuit against the record company will help.
On the other side of the story is Zach and his father's story. His dad works with MI-X, the UK version of the USA's DMP, sort of ghost busters. But USA is paranoid and violent about it where the UK is much more kindly (since apparently they were doing this pre-shift) It peaks when DMPers are tracking and nearly nab Zach and Aura which is where things go awry.
By now it's obvious that this is a series (which I didn't know) which I'm fine with. But as soon as this peaks with all the inherent dangers, which are explained by Zach's father because Zach and Aura are more special than they know (don't want to spoil that) but then it's forgotten for weeks and we go back to Logan's trial which is about the only thing that is concluded in this massively open ended and blatant you must buy book 2 to find out how anything ends up. It ends on the word 'wow.' Yeah, wow, thanks for nothing. This just really screwed up the pacing of the story.
And I'm not sure I'm going to read on. There were definitely interesting elements. I really liked Zach. I found Logan selfish and short tempered and Aura, other than her interest in Newgrange, I can't tell you one thing about her. She had no real personality. I never once got that she loved Logan. it was more, I wanna have sex with him. Seriously, I found her so flat it took halfway through the book before I could remember her name. I liked most of it in spite of that but I'm not sure I liked it well enough after that ending to continue.
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