Wednesday, April 18, 2012
High School Pick: Shift
by Jennifer Bradbury
2012 (paperback edition)
This new edition of Shift will grab readers and not let them go! The hard copy edition was selected ALA Best Books for Young Adults and I have to agree. I wasn't prepared to LOVE a book about bike riding and male bonding, but this is the best young adult book I've read so far this year. The beauty of this read is that it is a quick read that will leave readers spellbound. Jennifer Bradbury is queen of her game and the two characters Chris and Win are spot-on competitive best friends who sometimes hate each other with a passion.
College begins in a few months and the boys plan to bike cross-country from West Virginia to Seattle where Win's uncle lives. At first, everything is roses and sunshine but then Win starts his usual bad behavior. Chris has known his best friend since fourth grade and has put up with all his craziness but they've never been alone away from everyone before. Win starts to unravel and Chris becomes more and more irritated. When Win leaves him on the road, Chris travels to the west coast alone and returns home to his life. He is upset that his best friend would leave him with a flat tire and he doesn't try to fix their fight. Chris goes off to college and forgets about it until...an FBI agent shows up at his dorm asking if Chris knows where Win is.
Now Chris is in real trouble. How should he know what happened to Win? Win left him alone and abandoned. He has no idea where he could be or if he is even alive. Now he has the FBI breathing down his back and he has done nothing wrong.
Riveting storytelling and absolute control over plot and timing, Shift is a real winner.
Highly, highly recommended for grades 9-up. Some language, mature situations.
FTC required disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.