Thursday, August 28, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "Shade" by Marilyn Peake


High school is difficult for everyone, but in Shade by Marilyn Peake, high school bullies are the least of Galactic Shade Griffin's life. Having her odd name is bad enough, but she also has an alcoholic mother, absentee father, has moved countless times and new, the bedroom in her new house is haunted!
She finds solace writing on the school newspaper with three friends and working on her own graphic novel. She thinks things might be looking up until the girls from school, including her best friend, Annie, go missing without a trace.
Now Shade feels that she must help find them, and she gets done unlikely allies: the other two kids with the paper, a psychic and Brandon, the ghost in her room.
Can she put her life in order so she can save the lives of three others?

Shade was a brilliant read, mixing self-harm, depression, alcoholism, crime drama and paranormal fantasy into one quick  book.
Shade is a cutter, as is another girl in school. One of the biggest moments in the book, in my opinion, is when and how she quits cutting herself. Cutting is a very difficult emotional disorder and needs to be addressed more in popular media. Having a heroine with the disorder is a great thing, not just kick-ass heroines like in popular YA books out now.
Teenage pregnancy and human trafficking are also big parts of the book, and also things that should be addressed more in novels in the light that it is here.
The ghosts are the best part, weaving paranormal activity into a story that would've worked just fine (albeit a bit more dull) without it. It's an interesting mesh of two worlds and very well thought out.

I'm giving this book only a four, however, because of two things I noticed.
One phrase, used to describe Annie, is, "She was goth, so she was probably depressed deep inside herself." I found that to be an unfair assumption. I'm Goth, and my depression has nothing to do with my clothes, music, books, TV or movie choices, whatsoever. My mother is Goth. My grandmother was Goth! I don't think an author should assume something like that or be so stereotypical, because she will offend almost any Goth who reads this sentence.
The other thing also has to do with Annie and the sentence, "Where did Annie get these? Maybe from a bad place?" They're talking about violent Japanese manga. I buy my violent manga at Barnes and Noble. That's certainly not "a bad place"! Again, it was an unfair assumption. If everyone who bought violent manga went missing, it would be like the TV show The Leftovers!

The book was great. Really, I'd read more from Ms. Peake, but I am an honest reviewer, and, personally, I feel that an author should watch what they say, when what is said could alienate an entire subculture who would otherwise love this book, as I did.

4/5--worth a read!

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