Shade Me is the first book in a new series by Jennifer Brown. All of her previous books are stand alone novels, so this is a little different for her.
Nikki Kill is a high school senior with a condition known as synesthesia. When she sees numbers and letters they present themselves to her as colors. This is very distracting when she is trying to study; therefore, she has never been a strong student. She also associates colors with emotions and can read people based upon the colors she sees.
Nikki doesn't see the benefits of synesthesia until she begins investigating the attack on fellow classmate Peyton Hollis. Peyton is from a very wealthy and powerful family and is practically royalty within their school. The two girls didn't hang out in the same circle of friends and never actually spoke until the night of Peyton's attack. For some unknown reason, Peyton called Nikki when she knew her life was in danger. Nikki is determined to uncover the truth behind the attack, but the deeper she digs the more dangerous things become.
In addition to YA I read a number of adult mysteries and thrillers, so I was intrigued by this book from the start. Jennifer wove a number of clues throughout the story and included more than enough action to keep the pages turning. There is even a bit of a romance mixed in to spice things up.
I was surprised by how Jennifer ended this story and almost felt like it could have been wrapped up in one novel. There are some loose ends, but not enough to make this a series based solely on this one case. I'm almost wondering if Nikki will begin working with the officer who investigated this crime, Chris Martinez, to help solve future investigations or cold cases. It would be a great way for her to put her synesthesia to good use and it could be the basis for a great series. Jennifer gave us bits and pieces of information about Martinez's past, but I think there is a lot more to him than we know.