Thursday, January 14, 2016

Blog Tour - Review & Giveaway: Shade Me (Nikki Kill #1) by Jennifer Brown

Shade Me Blog Tour banner

Shade Me by Jennifer BrownShade Me
(Nikki Kill #1)
by Jennifer Brown
January 19, 2016
448 pages

Goodreads Summary:
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.

Shade Me is award-winning author Jennifer Brown’s first book in a thrilling suspense series about Nikki Kill.


I always appreciate a good thriller hence when I read the synopsis for Shade Me, I knew I needed to get my hands on a copy. After reading it, I'm pleased to say the story was indeed mysterious. Albeit things were a bit convenient at times, I enjoyed following the trail that led to the eventual showdown.

Nikki Kill has no clue why the most popular girl in school, Peyton Hollis, would call her. After learning that Peyton is in a coma, Nikki's curiosity, fueled by her desire to know why, led her into more trouble and danger than she ever bargained for. As she got sucked deeper and deeper into Peyton's world, she uncovers secrets and lies. One secret in particular rocked the foundation of her world and changed it forever. I did not see it coming. I won't say too much but when the realization hit me, I was surprised.

What fascinated me most was Nikki's synthesia. Prior to reading this book I had no clue what synthesia was or even that it's a real disorder (note: I use the word disorder because according to Google that's how it's classified). Nikki's unique ability allowed her to detect emotions through colour association. In many ways, she was a lie detector and that guided her in her search for Peyton's attacker. Nikki didn't make good decisions. She made poor ones that's led her again and again into life-threatening situations. If it wasn't for her fighting skills, I don't know how she would've survived long enough to find the truth. It's also a relief that a persistent detective looked out for her.

Dru and Nikki had great chemistry together. Another thing that surprised me was how fast their non-relationship happened. In a way it made sense since both parties were not the type to wait around and dwell. I am saddened with the outcome of their relationship. I guess it was redeeming in a way words can't express.

I wouldn't say I was disappointed exactly but I figured out the perpetrator and the motive fairly early on. I was desperately hoping I was wrong but it was too obvious to overlook- basically in plain sight. There were a few shockers but they came at a high price to the characters that I'm not sure they were entirely necessary. I wanted more complexity in terms of the storyline instead I got a tangled mess of relationships. You remember that realization that hit me (from above)? Nikki and Peyton are actually half sisters. A total set up for more. By the end of the book, I felt there were more unresolved matters than when the book began. That frustrated me more than I thought possible.

There is a bigger picture in Shade Me that we have yet to dive into. Despite my frustration with the setups, I will continue on with the story.  It's one to experience for yourself.

4 Cats
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way. All quotes were taken from the Advance Review Copy I received.

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.

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

    1. Thank you Shane! And thank you for the opportunity! I hope you'll host a blog tour for the sequel too :D

  2. I had no idea this book was part of a series, now I have more time to read it.
    I always wanted to read a book about someone with synesthesia, can't wait to see how the author handle it.
    Love your review, Eileen!

    1. I'm not sure how many books there will be but yes a series! I really love the incorporation of synesthesia, hope you will too :)

  3. I need to be in the right frame of mind from thriller reads these days, but I'm glad this worked out well for you, Eileen!

  4. Oooh, I have a few Jennifer Brown books that I need to read because I read Torn Away by her and loved it, and I had no idea this one was one of hers, so adding it to the wish list now!
    Great review Eileen!

    1. This is my first Jennifer Brown book. I'm happily looking forward to more!


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