I fell in love with this series from the beginning. The characters, the setting, the story… it’s all amazing. Even though I couldn’t wait to read this book, it was a bitter sweet read. Why? I just didn’t want to say goodbye to these amazing characters. *sigh*Aura is a wonderful YA character. She is smart, mature, brave and is intensely loyal to those she loves. She is definitely someone that you would want on your side. Her group of friends are tight-knit and I don’t think that there is one among them that I didn’t grow to respect by the end of the series. I loved the interaction between them and the sense of family that bound them together.Shine starts off at a fast pace that doesn’t slow much as the book continues. There is a lot that goes on and a lot of mysteries are solved and the emotions are raw. It should be no surprise that there are so many heartbreaking scenes, but it didn’t make Shine a sad read – just intense. It is all part of the amazing story that’s woven. Zach’s pain is front and center, but he isn’t the only character that broke me. Even though it was hard to read and watch the characters go through, their strength, love and respect for each other kept them all in one piece.There are so many messages and lessons to be learned in the Shade Trilogy. That’s just one of the things that takes it beyond just being another YA series. The romance between Aura and Zach is beautiful and real – it goes way beyond just being another teen love story.The Shift is something that affects all of the characters – even those who were born pre-Shift. There is prejudice that comes from people dealing with the unknown and you can’t help but cheer these young adults on for fighting for what they know is right – no matter how hard or impossible to win that fight may seem to be.Even though it’s a series that I didn’t want to end, Jeri Smith-Ready did an amazing job at closing it with a strong sense of hope. I know that the Shade Trilogy is one that I will go back to more than once.