Wednesday, May 9, 2012
A Different Kind of Paranormal Thriller: Shift
Available May 22, 2012
Complex and taut, creepily compelling, chillingly engrossing and highly, wickedly entertaining, Shift is a solid page turner that will have teens reading into the wee hours of the morning. It was impossible to put this book down once I had started reading it. From the first page, Em Bailey intrigues the reader with:
"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 had killed them."
Instantly, the reader wants to know: why? How did the parents die? Why did she kill them? Just who is she anyway? The truth is: Miranda is a mesmerizing and enigmatic femme fatale who can "shift" into anyone she wants to become. Olive begins to believe that Miranda is a shape shifter, someone who can become the "host" that they choose--the shifter begins sucking the life force of the host--like a parasite--until the host dies and the shifter becomes stronger each time.
Vulnerable loner Olive watches in horror and sick fascination as Miranda becomes Katie--the popular and cute girl all the other girls seem to follow around. Katie starts losing weight and looking pale; soon Katie gets sick and is hospitalized. Then, Olive begins to think that maybe she was wrong about Miranda--maybe Olive's own "sickness" and meds are causing her to be paranoid. After all, sometimes she doesn't know the truth and reality from the imagined and fake. What if Miranda is really just a nice girl that no one seems to understand? Miranda befriends Olive and starts weaving her magic web of deceit and manipulation--can Olive escape before it's too late?
A cute new guy at school keeps trying to be friends with Olive but she's too busy feeling sorry for herself/blaming herself for her parents' divorce to let Lachlan have a chance. It's a good thing for her that Lachlan won't take no for an answer--he's always in the right place at the right time to save Olive. Girls will love handsome and sexy Lachlan and cheer his chivalrous actions.
The cover image of a beautiful girl changing her appearance will draw teen readers to the book and the back cover has the opening lines (see above). This book reminded me of Choker--one of last year's most memorable books.
Highly, highly recommended grades 7-up. One instance of underage drinking but it's Miranda--the bad girl--Olive insists that she doesn't want a drink but Miranda forces it upon her. A couple of kisses, but that's it.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.