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'm not usually one for thrillers, but I'm always been curious about synesthesia and a thriller focusing on a girl using her synesthesia to solve a mystery made me very curious. This wasn't quite what I expected, but it was a great thriller and mystery.
Nikki Kill sees colors where others can't. Certain letters, numbers, words, have their own colors, and she can even see colors of emotions. One day Nikki gets a phone call. At first she thinks it's a wrong number, but they clearly say 'Nikki'. Later, the hospital calls. They need her to identify someone who was brought in very critical condition and Nikki's number was the only number on the phone found. Turns out that she was called by Peyton Hollis, a popular, rich girl that Nikki has barely talked to. Nikki has no attachment to the girl and doesn't know why hers was the only number on the phone, but Nikki needs to find out who tried to kill Peyton.
I may not be one for thrillers, but I still like them. This one was no different. I kind of wish that the synethesia had a larger focus, but that's not what this book is about and it's just a part of Nikki's life, so it's more in the background. I thought that the addition of synethesia was unique. The main reason why I don't read many thrillers I because they all seem the same to me, so this one felt a little bit different. In the book, Nikki uses her synethesia to follow clues that seemed to have been meant for her. They were interesting, but specific clues meant for someone always make to suspicious, because how do they know for sure that the person will actually follow your clues? It did seem a bit convenient, but I tried to ignore that fact. Otherwise, the mystery was very interesting and engaging.
Nikki as a character is very different than most YA MCs I've read. She's not a good student, she's a bit of a loner, she has a bad attitude, she smokes, and she makes stupid decision. I didn't really like her attitude, at times she was rude and again, her decisions were questionable. Her bad qualities, though, did make her more of a real person, rather than an idea of a person and some parts of her personality make it easier to jump in and solve this mystery.
The pacing of the book is actually very fast-paced. Sometimes the pacing is very slow in mysteries when the MC is uncovering clues, but Nikki unlocks clue after clues and gets even more questions in such a way that the book doesn't seem to slow, but speeds up.
As for romance, there wasn't a whole lot. The focus of this book was on the mystery, which I am thankful for. I hate it when the romance takes over.
Overall, I liked this book. It was a very engaging mystery and it brought something new to the genre. This is supposed to be a new series and I get the feeling that this will be a compelling series!
I hereby give this book
Meaning: I liked it!
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.