Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Review: Shade

Shade by Marilyn Peake
Title: Shade
Series: none
Author: Marilyn Peake
Published: Createscape Independent; 2014
305 pages, kindle edition
Source: From the author through Making Connections
Rating: 1 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

Thanks to her offbeat mother, Shade’s full name is Galactic Shade Griffin. Having a name like that while being the new girl in school is pretty much catnip for bullies. The summer before Shade’s junior year of high school, her mother breaks up with yet another boyfriend and moves them once again to a new town.

This time, they move into a dilapidated old house where Shade has an entire attic bedroom to herself—at least until she discovers it’s haunted by the ghost of a teenaged boy named Brandon Yates. When Shade’s best friend goes missing, her life becomes even more complicated. With the help of Brandon who’s struggling with his own issues in the world beyond, Shade faces the question of whether or not she has what it takes to become a true hero.

My Thoughts:

 This review may contains spoilers. Be warned.I don't even know how I am supposed to start this review. What can I say really? The writing was all over the place. There's that. The characters were terribly immature. That certainly wasn't a help. The plotline? Well, that wasn't much better at all. In fact, that was all over the place too.

My main problem, however, was with the characters. Our protagonist, Galactic Shade Griffin, was meant to be a high schooler but came across as a ten year old. We start the book with her moving to a new town. At her new school she is asked to write a short story about her summer holidays so she writes about a fake trip to Ireland where she met some faeries in a castle. Yes, that's right, she honest to God believes that her class mates will believe that story. She even tells her new bestie all about this supposed trip she took, taking the time to detail the faeries' appearances to make it more "believable". I am sorry but what the heck was the author thinking? This is supposed to be about high schoolers! That means she is a minimum of thirteen. I highly doubt that eighth graders are dumb or naïve enough to believe in faeries at that age.

Also she names the superhero of her graphic novel Leotard Girl. Yes, that's right Leotard Girl! Who the hell names a supposedly kickass superhero Leotard Girl? Oh, and this superhero is a Mars-born robot whose leggings give her Martian superpowers. Yeah. That's real kickass alright. *cough splutter*

The plotline and paranormal aspects were also poorly executed. It was unbelievable how Shade and a psychic took on the mystery of the missing girls instead of the police. Even in times of danger or when they uncovered a massive clue to their possible whereabouts, they never even bothered to stop and think about contacting some sort of local authority. This wasn’t just a teen run away either. This was about young girls being kidnapped and sold into the sex industry. A pretty massive crime that needed to be handled by the police!

Also the paranormal aspect were laughable. Shade moves to a new house and a ghost speaks to her through her mobile but she doesn’t freak out? When the ghost appears to her she doesn’t even blink. She accepts that a necklace gives her the ability to contact him and that’s that. No freaking out. No questioning. No “I must be going mad” musings. Just straight out accept. Oh, once she got over daydreaming about kissing him of course.

Oh, and in with these immature characters are a set of disturbingly adult themes, and the mix just didn't sit right with me. Not only does our main character cut but there are elements of child abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, child molesting, sex rings, teen pregnancy, rape and gang rape. Now I don’t believe that kids should be censored from these things, not at all. They have to learn about it at some point but what bothered me about it was the way it was really poorly written, especially the cutting. The way the author wrote about Shade's need to cut came across as if she believed it is viable and satisfying. If you are depressed, cutting solves your problems. These sorts of messages should never, ever be written. It is inappropriate. Also I felt that the approach to teen pregnancy and molestation was a little blasé. It was glossed over a little and used to create a shock factor. Again, not an appropriate use of these sorts of issues.

The writing wasn't a help either. I think the author tried to make the writing match the tone of Shade but it came across as rather... I want to say "unprofessional" but that doesn't sound right. What I mean is it read like a twelve year old's text messages. The slang was overused and the tone was completely informal. I understand that this style might work in conveying the perspective of the main character when done well but this just wasn't handled right.
There wasn't much I liked about this and there certainly wasn't anything to praise. I wish I could be more positive but this really was a dud book that I cannot recommend.

Note:a copy was provided courtesy of Marilyn Peake through the Making Connections group in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process.

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