15 January 2016

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

Follow the Whole Tour HERE

Shade Me (Nikki Kill #1)
by Jennifer Brown.
Audience/Genre: Young Adult, Suspense.
Publication: January 19th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books.
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.

Reviewed by Kelly.

Shade Me was a hard book for me. I was initially drawn in by the synesthesia the main character had. I had never heard of it and being the nurse that I am, I wanted to know more about it and read a story on it. I just didn’t like the main character, Nikki Kill. I don’t know if she was the way she was because of her synesthesia or her own history. That said, I did enjoy the story though. It just left me feeling perplexed. Ugh, I don’t even know what it really left me feeling. I know my review goes hot and cold but it is what it is!

Nikki Kill has synesthesia, a condition in which one perceives colors with letters or numbers. I think she also put it with emotions as well. She kept it secret for the most part. People didn’t seem to want to hear it and accept it. Nikki’s mother was murdered some ten years ago and Nikki saw her mother on the floor in a pool of blood. She seems to have blocked her emotions off since then. She trains in the martial arts and is very very good. She needed it after her mother died. She wants to never be left helpless. Her dad seemed to have zoned out after her mother died and has really left the two as friends more than a parent/daughter relationship. Nikki struggles in school and may not graduate high school. She lives in a well to do subdivision and lives near the really wealthy part of California.

One evening, Nikki gets a call from Peyton Hollis. A girl she doesn’t even talk to. A rich girl whose father is in the Hollywood lime light. But in the background of that fateful call she hears a man telling her to put the phone down. From that point on Nikki gets sucked deep into the rabbit hole of the Hollis family and in a chase on her own life. Who beat this girl, Peyton, so badly that she is barely hanging on to life? Why did Peyton call her? Nikki sees the colors of death around Peyton as she lies there in the hospital. Nikki starts trying to figure out why she called her and finds clues Peyton left for her.

The mystery kept me glued to my seat! The trail that Nikki followed was hot and cold and had me not knowing who to trust and what to believe. The only person Nikki really could trust was the detective who always seems to show up when Nikki was sticking her nose in an investigation she should not have. But she didn’t think he could really do much since she felt the police never solved her own mother’s murder. I loved how the author left clues for the reader too. I was sucked into the book trying to guess and guess again in the game of who hurt Peyton and why was Nikki brought into this.

I thought Nikki was stupid for getting involved without telling the detective what she found or for that matter at all. She was a stupid teenager. Yeah, I was once a stupid teenager too. Granted I was not a kick butt ninja warrior like Nikki was, but I knew where my limits were. I didn’t like her. She just seemed to exist and had no heart. She didn’t even have friends. It wasn’t until 80% into the book that I felt that Nikki had a soft spot and showed it. She hooks up with Dru Hollis and slept with him and didn’t even use protection and then when you find out more about him; I was like gross!! You don’t have any idea why I am saying gross until you read it. It may not be what you think. I also don’t like smoking and Nikki smokes. My mom and dad fought over my mom’s smoking growing up and it just smells and yuck. Sorry, it’s just me! But, there is a part of her smoking that plays into the story.

If you like, mysteries, martial arts, kick butt action,suspense, life and death situations, dirty family laundry, stupid teenagers, good cops, interesting conditions of the human body, than this might be for you!

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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, Kelly. Thanks for participating.

  2. I haven't read any of Jennifer Brown's books yet. Shade me sounds interesting ♡ I would love to read more. Thank you