ARC Review - Shade Me

Title: Shade Me
Author: Jennifer Brown
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Series: Nikki Kill #1
Published: January 19, 2016
Source: Sent for review
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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 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.

Overall?
 IT AMUSED ME

First off let me be completely honest with you, this book totally popped up on my radar just because of the cover. I have no idea what it was about it, but it just pulled me in, and then when I read the description I was even more excited. I'm a sucker for a good mystery novel, and synesthesia (a mixing of your senses, most often thought of as associating colors with letters and numbers) is something that I find particularly interesting so with a trifecta like that I was pretty sure this novel was gonna knock it out of the park.  Unfortunately it fell a little flat.

The idea was there, and I feel like this book had so much potential but in the end it just didn't live up to what it could have been.  That's not to say that it was all bad, because it wasn't, Nikki was an interesting character and I appreciated her strength and that she was a girl who was very sex-positive.That being said I feel like there were more things I didn't like about her than things I did.

My main complaints centered around three things. The first is the fact that she smoked. I know overall this is such an unimportant thing, and believe me I know that so many people smoke, teenagers included, but something about that just rubbed me the wrong way. The second thing was Nikki's utter regard for herself and all of the stupid decisions she made. In a novel there's a certain amount of slack you have to give a character, especially in a contemporary novel, but the fact that Nikki kept doing things despite knowing how dangerous they were when she had someone, A COP no less, willing to help her without throwing her in jail, yet she REFUSED to ask for help because...because her mom was killed and the cops didn't figure out who it was?  Just the fact that she was so insistent that she was the only one who could solve the case, that she was the only one who cared, considering the fact that the girl who was attacked was super rich. To me it would have made more sense if the girl was poor, put let's be honest, rich white girl's who get beaten up so bad they might die, those are the cases that get solved.

My last complaint, and it's probably the biggest one, was how inconsistent the jumps in logic that Nikki made were.  She somehow managed to make leaps and bounds that made no sense to me because of her synesthesia, but when it came to logical things that stood out so clearly to me she didn't notice them until she was basically bashed over the head with them.  I realize that the synesthesia makes Nikki see things differently but the fact that she knew these minute details were important for no reason at all and then completely missed the HUGE things just didn't work for me.

As a whole I have to say that I wasn't overly thrilled with this novel, there were so many things I had a problem with, but I do have to admit that the idea itself was wholly original.  The last 100 pages were probably the most fascinating though, and I'm intrigued enough that I'll probably browse reviews of the sequels just to see what happens next, but unfortunately this book just wasn't for me.  If it sounds like something you would be interested in though, I would urge you to at least give it a shot.

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