Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Different Kind of Paranormal Thriller: Shift

Shift
by
Em Bailey
Egmont
2012
304 pages

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.

23 comments:

  1. I'm sure my students would love to read this.

    vbrown@mrpk.org in Moorpark, CA

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds great, my students would love to read it!

    Kim cool.librarian @ gmail

    Williamsport, PA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to read this...

      kris McGlaun in Bloomington, IN
      kmcglaun@mccsc.edu

      Delete
  3. Would love to have this in the collection!

    Abby

    abby.h.moore@usd.edu

    Vermillion, SD

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great! Thanks
    Jane
    jperry@winslowk12.org
    Winslow, ME.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds exciting!

    Mary Z
    mary.zdrojewski@gmail.com
    Scio Central School
    Scio, NY

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can't wait to read this book! Fingers crossed!
    Sindy
    sindycun@rochester.rr.com
    Rochester, NY

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds fantastic!
    Christine
    Rushville, NY
    cporschet@mwcsd.org

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds like a great thriller that my kids would enjoy!!!

    Susan

    sfindlay@fallscityps.org
    Falls City, NE

    ReplyDelete
  9. My female students would love this due to Lachlan alone. It sounds like one that will not touch the shelves -- just come off the shelving cart immediately on return!

    Sue
    sue.buchanan@macon.k12.nc.us
    Franklin, NC

    ReplyDelete
  10. I can't wait to read it!
    Heidi G
    heidi.gleb@highlineschools.org
    Burien WA

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds like a summer must read book!

    Christi
    ccarroll@pasco.k12.fl.us
    Wesley Chapel, FL

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, yeah...they're gonna love this one!
    Terrie
    Thinojosa@pasadenaisd.org
    Pasadena, TX

    ReplyDelete
  13. This sounds great!
    Debbie

    callalacey@yahoo.com
    Central Falls High School
    Central Falls, RI

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the opportunity - this looks like a great book.

    Kim
    deweydecimaldiva@gmail.com
    Mebane, NC

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sounds so intriguing!

    Debbie
    drich@lincoln.k12.ar.us
    Lincoln AR

    ReplyDelete
  16. Intriguing!

    Mary
    mrohlk@oabcig.org
    Arthur,Iowa

    ReplyDelete
  17. My book club has this on their wish list. Would so love to surprise them.
    Carolyn Roys
    Dwight, IL
    Roysc@dwight.k12.il.us

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sounds perfect for my drop out prevention kids!
    Leslie
    Dade City
    Florida
    lruttle@pasco.k12.fl.us

    ReplyDelete
  19. I want to read this!! vgcontacts (at) yahoo.com IL

    ReplyDelete
  20. Elena
    Painesville, OH
    elenalentz@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. this sounds like a great book
    Renita Irvin
    Stewartville Public Schools
    440 6th Ave SW
    Stewartville, MN 55976
    rirvin@ssd.k12.mn.us

    ReplyDelete
  22. This sounds like a great book!
    Gauri
    Ashburn, VA
    princeaqua@live.com

    ReplyDelete