Author: Em Bailey
Expected publication: May 22nd 2012 by EgmontUSA
Source: ARC received by the publisher for review. Please note, all quoting may be subject to change.
Summary: "Olive Corbett is not crazy. Not anymore.
She obediently takes her meds and stays under the radar at school. After "the incident," Olive just wants to avoid any more trouble, so she knows the smartest thing is to stay clear of the new girl who is rumored to have quite the creepy past.
But there’s no avoiding Miranda Vaile. As mousy Miranda edges her way into the popular group, right up to the side of queen bee Katie – and pushes the others right out – only Olive seems to notice that something strange is going on. Something almost . . . parasitic. Either Olive is losing her grip on reality, or Miranda Vaile is stealing Katie’s life.
But who would ever believe crazy Olive, the girl who has a habit of letting her imagination run away with her? And what if Olive is the next target?
A chilling psychological thriller that tears through themes of identity, loss, and toxic friendship, Shift will leave readers guessing until the final pages."
First few lines: "There were two things everyone knew about Miranda Vaile before she'd even started at our school. The first was that she had no parents - they were dead. And the second? They were dead because Miranda killed them."
Thoughts: The first word that comes to mind when describing Shift is creepy. What about the second word, you ask? Intense. No joke, when people say this book isn't for the light-hearted, they really mean it. The truth is, even though it made me uncomfortable quite a few times, I still couldn't put it down. I had to know what happened next and believe me when I say it is GOOD!
Olive hasn't been the same. Not since the accident and not since her father left. The once popular girl now looks at life with a different perspective. Out with the old Olive and in with the new. Don't worry, folks. She's not crazy. Oh no! So what if she takes meds? That doesn't mean she's crazy, right?
Part of being the new Olive means getting rid of her old friends. She doesn't need that kind of poison in her life. She has her best friend Ami, and really, having one great friend is better than having a million not so great ones. Just when Olive thinks she's finally getting a grip on her life, Miranda walks into the picture. Miranda has bloodcurdling reputation, one that involves murdering her parents. As Miranda begins to takeover Olive's old life, Olive begins to see what Miranda is really like. And let's just say it is not very pleasant.
What I loved about the book is the constant character development, not only with Olive, but also with Miranda, Ami, and Lachlan. I felt like each chapter provided a new twist and turn. Some I saw coming, and some shocked me to the core. Some were great, like the relationship between Olive and Lachlan, and some terrifying. Needless to say, it makes for a very interesting read.
The story line in Shift very much reminded me of a combination between Choker by Elizabeth Woods and Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. It has the psychological thriller/mystery aspect as Choker fused with the mean girl antics of Some Girls Are. If you're a fan of either of those novels, this is definitely the book for you.
As I said before, I really enjoyed the relationship that formed between Olive and Lachlan. From the beginning, Olive pushes Lachlan away, but that doesn't stop him from pursuing her and being there when she needs him most. He has this hero demeanor radiating off of him and definitely lives up to it. I will admit, in the beginning I did get frustrated with the way Olive treated Lachlan. All I kept thinking was "Why aren't you giving this poor kid a chance?". I understood where she was coming from, but the romantic in me rooted for a happy ending...with Lachlan!
Then there's Miranda. Wow, talk about your deranged antagonists! The girl literally frightened the living day lights out of me. While I didn't like her as a person, I did very much enjoy her character. The story would not have been the same without her. I'm just grateful she's not a real person. Sheesh!
Overall, if you are looking for a light read, this is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for a piercing novel with complex characters and a plot that will have your heart racing till the end, than you need to get your hands on Shift. This may not be your typical lollipops and rainbows type of contemporary novel, but it is definitely mind-blowing. Kudos to Em Bailey for writing such a powerful novel. Needless to say, I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!