Book Reviews

Nonsense Review: Shade Me (Nikki Kill #1) by Jennifer Brown


By Jennifer Brown | Published January 2016

2 out of 5 stars

What right did I have to yank his family skeletons out of their closets?

Unhelpful one sentence summary: Rebel teen Nikki Kill is drawn into the mystery surrounding an attack on one of her schoolmates, and makes bad decisions along the way.

Cover: Really cool. It was what got me to buy a copy for work and to eventually read it. The whole series is beautiful.


  • I always like seeing Synthesesia being used in fiction and Nikki using her Synthesesia as a crime-solving tool? There’s a lot of potentials there.
  • Speaking of potential – Nikki could have been so cool.
  • Unfortunately, that’s about all that I liked.


  • Where do I start – We’re in spoiler territory from here on out.
  • Nikki’s police work leaves something to be desired. Even after thinking ‘hey I think I’m contaminating the scene’ she still messes up the scene and steals VITAL evidence.
  • Her distrust of the police doesn’t make a whole lot of sense? I get her mother’s murder was never solved but should that prevent the police from even trying to investigate? Especially when the cop is repeatedly shown to be right and competent. Insofar as this fictional police force, they seem to be pretty on top of things considering a teenage delinquent keeps messing with their case.
  • She straight up bludgeons a teenager with a rock until he passes out and then is kind of proud of the result? Any kind of trauma to the brain is BAD but Nikki is never chastised or anything for it. She then never calls this evidence to the attention to the police and seriously hinders their investigation.
  • So child sex trafficking is a major plot pot point in this story and the fact that the family are trafficking CHILDREN never seems to cause the outrage it should. Luna’s a child!! Peyton’s a child!! They were being trafficked by their parents and that’s really messed up!! One of their Johns even hints that he knew she was a child too. This really bothered me!!! And the way Nikki spoke about the situation was so crass and unsympathetic and I get that Luna is awful but she doesn’t deserve that.
  • Above John implied that he was allowed to rape Nikki (a teenager!) because he’d paid to do whatever he wanted to her body *shudders* That Nikki was even able to get a job as an escort using her real name at the agency was so stupid. Google exists?
  • For someone who is supposed to be really intuitive, Nikki was so incredibly blind to the baddies. There were only a handful of characters introduced to us and despite all evidence constantly pointing to Dru and literally everyone pointing out that he was GUILTY Nikki still took the opportunity to sleep with him a handful of times and felt the right to be outraged when his part in the crime to be revealed. At one point Nikki thinks that she and Dru might be related and still fancies herself in love with him which was… uncomfortable. And unrealistic. They’d known each other a matter of days and the whole time she knew he was lying to her. And gave her no reason to trust him. Sigh. Which brings us to…
  • ‘I felt partly responsible for his death’ YEAH NO KIDDING
  • This is probably a personal thing and I know Officer Martinez is the main LI of this series and yeah he seems sweet and stuff but I would once again like to point out that Nikki is a TEENAGER who is IN SCHOOL and while she may be 18 (an adult) it doesn’t change the fact he’s older and more mature than her. This sort of thing doesn’t bother me in sci-fi or fantasy settings but when it’s in the real world in a real world situation it’s all a bit squicky.

If you liked Shade Me you might like: People Like Us 

Find it:

Goodreads | Buy it!


(Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash)


Just a little update on things – I’m going to continue to write my terrible stream of consciousness reviews in addition to my Proper Professional reviews because they take a lot less effort to get down and mean I can make sure to post a little more regularly.

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