Nikki Kill #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 19, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller
A copy of the book was provided for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore does not affect the opinion or content of the review.
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 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 ultrarich Hollis family and drawn towards Peyton’s handsome, ne’er-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 and I are completely polar opposites. Everything Nikki is, I’m not (and I’m typically against it in some way), which is an extreme rarity (and definitely not a problem). And if this is a series, I’ll probably have a love/hate relationship with Nikki akin to love triangles where I love/hate both guys (and maybe the girl as well).
I feel Nikki’s past feels like a pity party with a really rough childhood. However, it just goes with the story because her rough childhood tells readers why Nikki is the way she is in the novel. She’s afraid of falling in love (hello? I’m not a romantic, but um…), probably hooks up with guys on a weekly basis (okay…), and is close enough to flunking and not graduating – basically, she seems like a character I would probably stay away from in real life. Also, with her Tae Kwon Do (is it Tae Kwon Do?) skills, she’s also just a person I would avoid messing around with.
But the coolest thing about Shade Me is how Nikki sees everything in color (synesthesia) and when she gets a call to identify a person in an attempted murder, Nikki uses her synesthesia to try and find the attempted murderer. The person she identifies isn’t even someone she knows really well (she’s heard of them because the person is the daughter of a famous producer, but doesn’t know them), which I find really admirable. I mean, it’s not typical a random person goes out of her way just to find out why someone attempted to murder someone she doesn’t even associate herself with. She’s also horrible with sneaking around – everything just backfires, but Nikki is an amazing sleuth who has extreme guts.
Overall, though? The book is about rich people problems with a dash of family drama. Brown takes something readers would typically find on daytime drama and mixes it up with something else completely different, making Shade Me just a tad bit different than simply “family drama.”