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Shift by Em Bailey

Shift (original 2011; edition 2013)

by Em Bailey

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9012134,128 (3.5)None
Authors:Em Bailey
Info:EgmontUSA (2013), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Shift by Em Bailey (2011)



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Since her father's leaving and her suicide attempt, Olive keeps to herself at school, estranged from her former best friend Katie. Olive's closest version of a friend is Ami, and without giving any spoilers, Ami isn't what readers will expect her to be. When new girl Miranda shows up at school, Olive's outsider status gives her a unique perspective on Miranda's strange bearing that no one else seems to notice. A suspenseful book about high school social dynamics writ large that teens will devour for recreational summer reading. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
This is a creepy, psychological thriller dealing with dangerous friendships. Olive used to be the most popular girl at school until her parents' separation and her own suicide attempt. Now she is considered a freak. Flawed and still struggling with her mental state, Olive is an unreliable narrator and she leaves the reader wondering if she is revealing everything about her past. Despite this, she is trying hard to stay stable but at the same time seems lost, confused and uncertain, and I was immediately drawn to her as a protagonist. Her friendship with Ami is lovely and the budding romance between her and Lachlan sweet.

This book reminds me a little of "Liar" by Justine Larbalestier although I think it is a more believable read. An enthralling debut by the author. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
So the title Shift can give you a clue here as to what paranormal element this creepy YA thriller is going to have going for it. But you will be surprised by how that is used. I haven't seen it done like this before, so kudos for that. While I was impressed with the ideas behind it the overall message of Shift didn't click with me probably because of what they were. I really didn't even get a clue about these things from the description. Coupled with was some of Olive's behavior that just did not jive with me at all, I was left with an overall "meh" feeling by the end. Shift is a book I think my newly adult younger sister would enjoy but I don't know if I'd recommend it to adult readers who like young adult fiction. ( )
  Pabkins | May 2, 2014 |
This one's worth reading, but explaining why would spoil the twist of it all. It skirts the edge of the paranormal and the standard teen drama with popular girls and mental health all in there... but it's how the mysterious pieces click together that makes it just a bit more. ( )
  terriko | Oct 17, 2013 |
Miranda Vaile is the strong point of this young adult novel. It is well worth reading for her alone. Miranda is offered to us, on the one hand, as a supernatural demon and on the other as a rolled-gold bitch who is disturbed and rageful, but also charming to the nth degree. For good measure, she can also be seen as the symbol of a destructive inner voice, enticing one unlucky girl into anorexia. Whatever she is exactly, Miranda has the psychopaths’s ability to pinpoint and play to our longings, fears and frailties, without a particle of real empathy.

The narrator is fellow high school student Olive Corbett, who has plenty of her own issues to work through. Family stuff. Huge amounts of confusion, guilt and anger have knocked her off course. In the early part of the novel she is trying to sort herself out while also observing Miranda from a distance.

Olive has ample evidence that Miranda is vicious and destructive, and decides, reasonably enough, to avoid her. That’s all thrown out the window, though, when Miranda turns her attentions to Olive. Miranda is fun, cutting through social barriers to get her and her underage friends-of-the-moment into nightclubs and posh fashion shoots. The devil indeed wears Prada. Miranda inspires obsessive adoration, which is also seductive, even while separating you from the humble everyday world.

It’s a life lesson: a scary person who suddenly turns sweet, and even flatters you, is almost irresistably seductive, a dream come true. Reason and rationality won't defeat them.

The rival that a demon cannot defeat, though, is the genuine lover – someone who knows you well enough to offer respect, tenderness and passion.

Who or what is Miranda really? In a way, this is a secondary issue. Herman Melville didn’t need the fantasy genre to show us Moby Dick as the ‘gliding great demon of the deep’. He just had to float the idea.

The double is used as a literary device throughout, to explore personal identity.

Males generally appear in a positive light – the young ones anyway – but in the romance tradition they are pretty much wooden props, even when they say and do the right thing. ( )
  Notesmusings | May 25, 2013 |
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For Jim and Julie
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There were two things everyone knew about Miranda Vaile before she'd even started at our school.
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Olive, having recently suffered mental problems, is unsure whether to trust her instincts when a new student, rumored to have killed her parents, develops a parasitic relationship with Olive's former best friend, Jubilee Park High School's "Queen Bee."… (more)

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