Monday, January 11, 2016

Blog Tour for Shade Me (Nikki Kill, book 1) by Jennifer Brown with #Giveaway @itchingforbooks @JenBrownBooks @HarperTeen

Shade Me by Jennifer Brown
Series: Nikki Kill #1
Release date: January 19th 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Purchase: Amazon


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. 

Purchase: Amazon

Shade Me is such an interesting and strange trip of a read. With an intriguing opening I had to continue on to find out exactly what was going on with Nikki and the mystery of popular girl Peyton's last call and subsequent death. I've read books about characters with synesthesia but the way author Jennifer Brown describes it in this book made the neurological phenomenon totally new to me.

This YA has a big mystery at the center, one that wasn't so easy to figure out and that's refreshing. Nikki is a deeply flawed character and a lot of her difficulties stem from her not being able to find a comfortable place to exist with her strange condition. What can be considered 'normal' when things in your world are viewed as shades of colors? Despite this, she is also kick ass and that aspect was a welcome surprise.

As quick and engrossing as the novel is, there were some parts I had difficulty with and a bunch of unanswered questions. Since this is the first in a series I'll have to wait for some answers in the next book(s). The concept is cool, the heroine different, and while I did enjoy reading, my hopes of loving the book shifted due to some issues I had with the story, the main character's actions, the description and consistency of her condition and some other things (Dru, really?). Shade Me is certainly an interesting and different read in a crowded YA field. I'm curious as to what happens to Nikki next. 

Rating: 3.5
Cover comment: The colors on her skin are cool but I don't care for the title font and overall 'dark' feel. 
Book source: I received a promotional copy.

Jennifer Brown is the author of acclaimed young adult novels, Hate List, Bitter End, Perfect Escape, Thousand Words, and Torn Away. Her debut novel, Hate List, received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA "Perfect Ten," and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Bitter End received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA and is listed on the YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list. Her debut middle grade novel, Life on Mars, was released in 2014, and her second middle grade novel, How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel will be released in summer 2015. She also writes women's fiction under the name Jennifer Scott.

Jennifer writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.


  1. Good review, Laurie. Thanks for participating :)

  2. I have not read any of Jennifer's books. I can thank the Reader Girls for my introduction to Jennifer and her work. Good job, both of you.