Shade Me
by Brown, Jennifer

Experiencing a rare form of synesthesia that causes her to perceive color in her emotions and situations, Nikki Kill is linked to a popular girl who has barely survived a vicious attack, possibly at the hands of the victim's attractive older brother. Simultaneous eBook. 40,000 first printing.

Nikki Kill knows that everyone, at every moment, is just a breath away from tragedy. She has known it since arriving home as a kid to find her mother dying in a pool of blood, a scene that replays in her mind, infused with colors that weren't there but evoke strong emotions. She is a synesthete: numbers, words, and emotions are inextricably connected to colors for her. The difficulties caused by her synesthesia are part of the reason Nikki is on academic probation, but they prove useful when she is unwittingly dragged into a dangerous investigation involving the savage attack of a local golden girl. Nikki becomes more entwined with the mystery as her investigation deepens to reveal shocking secrets about her own past. In her first outing, Nikki proves a tough, guarded, self-sufficient heroine in the great tradition of hard-boiled detectives. Brown (Bitter End, 2011) effectively turns noirish conventions-glittering facades and seedy streets, hidden lives and conflicted motives-to a modern setting with an ass-kicking female lead. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

An 18-year-old girl decides to investigate an attempted murder on her own. Nikki has synesthesia, which causes her to see colors mixed in with letters, numbers, and the environment, which is why she answers school queen-bee Peyton's orange-colored phone call: it's an emergency. The movie producer's daughter has been beaten nearly to death, and Nikki's was the only number on Peyton's phone—though Nikki hardly knows her. Curious, Nikki becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Peyton. She continually rebuffs Chris, the detective assigned to the case, who pleads with her to be careful and to give him what information she might have. Naturally, Nikki places herself in ever more dangerous positions, but although she's an expert in martial arts, that might not be enough. Brown builds suspense as well as frustration, as Nikki makes better progress in the case than does Chris but blithely withholds and even destroys crucial evidence even as she puts herself in increasi ng danger. Nikki's intransigence appears to be entirely plot-driven, and the mounting stupidity of her decisions may infuriate readers. The story also simply abandons two subplots, the murder of Nikki's mother and the former boyfriend who wants her back. An intense, often exasperating, sometimes-thrilling series opener. (Thriller. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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