22 August 2012
Shift by Em Bailey
Release Date: September 1st 2011
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont
Add it: Goodreads
Overall: ♥♥♥♥ 1/2
Every time I've seen Shift in the store, I've always picked it up and put it back down and it wasn't until my housemate and I discovered a mutual love for YA that I actually read it because she lent it to me.
You need to read this. It was edgy, gripping, original, funny, emotional, frustrating and it had everything that makes a great novel.
It's a story about a girl named Olive, who is now a little messed up in the head and on medication after a failed suicide attempt. Olive is trying to fit back in at school again after being ditched by her (now ex) best friend, Katie. The only friend who understands Olive is Ami. Miranda is a new girl at Olive and Ami's school and it's rumoured that she murdered her parents, there's something not quite right about Miranda (apart from the fact she allegedly killed her parents!) and Olive is determined to figure out what. Oh, there is also a hot guy named Lachlan who is fairly interested in our main girl.
Let me start off by saying, I thought the characters were AMAZING. Em Bailey has done a magnificent job at creating three dimensional and realistic characters by giving them all little quirks and characteristics which makes somebody *them*. All of her characters have such unique personalities in contrast to eachother and I adored Olive’s characterisation because although she was one of those MC’s that said she was ugly or plain looking (ala EVERY HEROINE IN YA EVER), she was funny, quirky, cute and you can relate to her on some level. (Like how when she was nervous around a guy she likes, she’d be a bitch to them, yeahhh :| ….) Even the stereotypical cheerleader type had a personality!
Now, when I started reading, I wasn’t expecting such a cool supernatural angle at all! I found the supernatural aspect of this was incredibly unique as the focus is on shapeshifters. Here’s the thing, the shapeshifters in this world don’t turn into animals and other creatures, but they latch onto another person and basically drain their energy and turn into the other person gradually but also terrifyingly quick. The mind games aspect of this novel was fascinating and the further you read, the more invested you get into this world (which is basically our world, but with creepy life-sucking shapeshifter people).
The one thing that did annoy me though, was after the incredible twist half way through (seriously, I ran to my housemate and said “WTF JUST HAPPENED. WHAT IS GOING ON”), the story kinda took a completely different turn. At first I didn’t like it and I thought Olive had turned into an idiot, but then it redeemed itself and got progressively more interesting and terrifying and you’ll find yourself yelling, “Come on, Olive! What are you doing!”
I haven’t read a lot of psychological thrillers in the YA genre, however I’ll definitely try to get my hands on more because Shift left such a lingering impression on me, that I’m still thinking about how haunted I felt weeks after reading.