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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jenny Reviews Shades of Summer

Shades of Summer (The Haunting Ruby Series, Book 1)Shades of Summer (The Haunting Ruby series #1)
By Joy Elbel
Release Date: Oct 28, 2012
eCopy provided by author for honest review
Available on Kindle

The Blurb...
Love ... the only thing more powerful than death.
Seventeen year old Ruby Matthews spent the last year of her life crippled by guilt and grief over the death of longtime friend and boyfriend Seeley "Lee" Lucas. Feeling that a change of scenery might snap her back to reality, Ruby's father moves the family out of their home in the Philadelphia suburb of Trinity and into the small town life in Charlotte's Grove, Pennsylvania. Life is better here for Ruby- she quickly makes friends with handsome Zach Mason and his twin sister Rachel. Every moment spent with Zach makes life and love seem possible again. But passion comes with a high price. Things are not what they seem at Rosewood, the Matthews' historic plantation style home. Paranormal activity at the mansion intensifies as she draws closer to Zach . Is it Lee- coming back to claim her hear and maybe even her soul? Or is it something more sinister hiding in the shadows? Ruby must delve into her own past and the history of Rosewood to solve the mystery before it's too late.
    It's no secret I love a good ghost story. It's just something about the paranormal that grabs at my attention and says hey look at me! Read me! Looove me!
So of course, when I was approached about reviewing this book I jumped at it. And I'm very glad I did.

   This book sucked me in from the beginning. I loved it. I laughed and face-palmed several times. I think it's great when a story can evoke a physical response from its reader. It also put me to sleep, in a good way. It was one of those times where you're reading and before you know it it's 5am and you're like "oh crap!" because if you don't go to sleep soon you'll get caught (in this case by my husband who will give me "the eyes" that make me feel guilty for choosing reading over required sleep), and then you're brain just kinda clicks off.  Yeah...

   One of my favorite things about this book was the character Rachel. I would love to have a best friend like her. She is like this perky, nerdy cheerleader person who would pull these references out of left field that made me what to reach through the page and give her a fist-bump. Also, the house that Ruby moves into is pretty epic. Definitely a place I would love to see in real life. It reminded a little of Beast's castle from Beauty and the Beast except, well plantation style.
   I love connections made within stories, whether it be dates or common names/name meanings or similar order of events. I like how things can all be tied back and connected to something. And that's what we get here.  History meet present. Now be friends and mingle! Love it! It's like a game almost, picking out all the connections and trying to guess what's going to happen and what ghost is who. It probably has a lot to do with why I like ghost stories in the first place. History.

   My main complaint however, is with Zach and Ruby's relationship. It became too ... intense, too fast for my taste. I'm not talking physically intense, but emotionally. Ok... I'm all for love at first sight. It's a great thing to believe in and can make for a great story. And I loved watching Ruby fumble over herself whenever she ran into Zach. It made her so personable. And just adored seeing how confident Zach was about his feelings for Ruby even when he just laid eyes on her. He knew what he wanted and it was great how you could just see it even when Ruby didn't believe it and she's the one telling the story. That being said, when the two did become an item it evolved into something way intense, like bypass awkward first kiss and hello I would die for you, you complete me. Their love also felt a little insecure for how strong it was. The last third of the book they were constantly repeating their devotion to each other. I got to the point where I wanted to take them by the hands and say, "You love each other. I get it. Big circle of soul completion going on. Can we focus on gtfo-ing the ghost so you two can have big smoochies?"

  Over all, an enjoyable read and if you like ghosts and romance you should check it out. I know I'm pretty curious about the sequel now after a little teaser at the end of the book.


  1. This sounds really fun! I liked Anna DIB so I probably would like this one as well!

  2. I have also purchased this on Amazon, and read it, and I absolutely loved it. You wrote an excellent review. The Zach and Ruby relationship was quite intense, but truthfully, I enjoyed it, though it frustrated me at times hahaha, but thats just what I am used to in life I guess. I don't know any female, young or old that wouldnt laugh, smile, and even get a little spooked while reading this. I hope it makes it to a bestsellers list at some point!! AAAA+++++ READ.