It's times like this I find myself entirely inadequate. I jumped at the chance to write an entire post dedicated to Aura Salvatore, and now I feel totally unworthy. As cliché as it sounds, it is so hard to find the right words to describe my feelings for the SHADE series’ heroine, especially when she and her creator have been the catalyst to some of my most memorable life experiences. I know if I just say AURA ROCKS!, you will all understand exactly what I mean. However, because Aura is Aura, and Jeri is Jeri, they deserve my best effort.
So here it is. *deep breath*
Aura began, for me, like this tiny seed, first planted into my heart with her sarcasm and her love of music. I felt for her insecurities when she worried about her and Logan, and I was intrigued by the story of Aura’s mom and the mysteries surrounding her dad. But then, Logan dies. And that seed got a serious hit of Miracle-Gro.
Aura’s sorrow and conflicted feelings were expressed so differently than I’ve ever read. Where other stories seem to capitalize on my fragile feelings and put me through the ringer till I’ve cried myself to dehydration, Aura’s pain was like this throbbing undercurrent, this sorrow that was always in the back of my throat and my mind. Her sorrow is always there and it never really goes away. But she has no choice but to stick her oar in this undercurrent and try to maneuver through it all.
As readers, we are not just asked to believe that Aura is strong. We feel it and see it in times like testifying for Logan’s trial despite its publicity, tackling the Obsidians at the Green Derby, fighting the DMP to keep her and Zachary’s secret safe, and doing the impossible: bringing Logan back from being a Shade. But Aura has a rare subtle strength, too: the way she tries to help ghosts pass on, in the tender and slightly gruesome scene of ex-Fred’s burial in SHIFT, and in her attitude about at-risk ghosts. (SHADE and SHIFT both show us Aura’s many different kinds of strengths, and I have it on pretty good authority that you see even more of them in SHINE!)
Aura’s strength lies in her loyalty and her brains, and in the way she handles the tough times. She is not perfect or super-powered, and this makes her even stronger because it’s her. Just Aura. And this is what makes Aura so fantastic as a character, and what makes Jeri so fantastic as her creator. We get to see a very honest portrayal of a girl who becomes strong by living, surviving, and being herself.
As much as we at Kilt & Keeley love the SHADE boys, our hearts belong where theirs do: with Aura. I love Aura because she’s like the rest of us: she keeps going and fights with her superpowers of love, honesty, humor, and loyalty.
And, also, simply because AURA ROCKS!
Starting tomorrow (Tues, Jan 10th) we’ll be taking your submissions for our “WE LOVE AURA SALVATORE” contest! The rules are that there are no rules! (However, please be mindful of copyright, and be sure and credit your sources where appropriate). Submit videos, poems, images, topiaries, avatars, essays, recipes, and ice sculptures that celebrate Aura AND/OR the Salvatores! Watch the K&K site for details on how to submit your entries!
While you brainstorm, get up and party to one of my new favorite songs, “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia. When I hear the lyrics in the chorus:
Shoot me down / But I won’t fall / I am titanium
I think of Aura every time.