Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Shade Me by Jennifer BrownShade Me by Jennifer Brown
Series: Nikki Kill #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 19th 2016
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: The Publisher
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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.

My take:

There are a 1001 thoughts racing through my mind about this book. I can’t, for the life of me, get my S together.

What drew me into this book was obviously, the premise, and Nikki’s synesthesia. It’s quite extraordinary yet… scary. I couldn’t even imagine. So I loved that Nikki had something so different, so rare, and I do feel like her struggles are very similar to those that do have synesthesia.

Now, Nikki’s character as a whole is one that I love to read, and respect. She was… Different. She has a foul mouth, is stubborn, has a serious attitude, open about her sexuality, and just does her thing. While it didn’t make her character always likable, she was relate-able and real.  Admittedly, I felt things were easy for Nikki when it came to solving the mystery. Maybe her character portrayed it as too easy, but I felt like everything fell into her lap.

As for the mystery itself, I thought it was well done and thought out. Sure, Nikki seemed to get the clues pretty fast, but I loved how intricate it all was. I was only slightly surprised by the resolution, simply because… well, spoilers. Part of me feels it’s over the top, while another part of me finds it all to make a hell of a lot of sense.

Thoughts = Jumbled = moving on.

As far as the romance goes? Well, hmm. I wouldn’t call it a romance, per se… but it’s something. And YES for not having the romance consume EVERYTHING. However. I have a feeling her relationship with someone specific will develop into.. something, as the series continues. It had this weird, awkward undertone throughout the book, creating this nagging sensation that things are not what they seem.

I also applaud the ending. It’s unconventional in a way that tells me Jennifer Brown is not loyal to her characters, which I love. It also opens up so much more for the next book. There are many questions left unanswered, which typically grates on my nerves, but it was well written and well done it didn’t in the slightest.

All in all – I really enjoyed Shade Me. It may not be a read for everyone – but I do recommend it. Especially if you love mystery/thrillers with a side of unconventional characters.



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Tell me your thoughts

  • Have you read Shade Me? If so, what did you think? If not, does it sound like something you’d enjoy?

2 thoughts on “Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

  1. Krystianna

    This one sounds really interesting! I’m glad to see that Nikki was a really different character. It makes me excited because lately YA books seem kind of repetitive.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  2. Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

    I didn’t know this was going to be a series! I have been seeing this book for a while and came very close to requesting it on Edelweiss when it was there but Idk why it just never really called out to me. But now, I may give it a try. I’ve been reading mystery/thrillers lately so who knows? I may enjoy it 🙂
    I’m a new follower through Bloglovin and Twitter 🙂

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