Bailey, Em. 2012. Shift. Great Britain: Electric Monkey.
Rating 5 stars
I often read books before I go to sleep every night, because that’s how I roll since I was a kid. If the books are not interesting enough to keep me awake, I don’t mind because those books still help me to beat my sleep deprivation. As you may guess, the amount of books that keep me awake through the night is, of course, far more many than the books that don’t. But, books that keep me awake AND haunt me in my sleep are quite rare, I believe.
This book. This book is one of those books that makes me lost my sleep time, and when I did sleep, it haunted my ugly dream. I admit, I had a nightmare after I read this book. It jabbed me right in my supposedly brave-heart.
I enjoy this book so much. I can’t believe that NONE of my Goodreads friends have read it (or maybe they just don’t put it on their bookshelves, I don’t know).
In Great Britain, Shift is published in 2012. But it has been out there since 2011, first published in Australia. This book needs more readers! I need to spread my amazement.
So, this is another novel with mental-illness theme. I read many novels of this kind lately, by accident. I didn’t actually plan to read about mental-illness so much. I guess it messes with my brain. Oh well.
Olive Corbett tried to drown herself after her father walked out of her life. She became a mess, crazy. But, she is not crazy anymore, or so she thinks. She obediently takes her meds and listens to what her therapist says. She still has a hard time to make friends, but she is content with only one friend anyway. Ami, the girl that look like her and understand her more than anyone. One day, their school receives a new girl who is rumored has killed her own parents, her name is Miranda Vaile. At first, Miranda is unnoticeable. She is so bland, she blends with shadows. Then, she sets her eyes to the school’s prettiest girl, Katie. And starts imitating her. Only Olive and Ami who notice that this Miranda girl is a danger in disguise.
What I really like about this book:
It’s not a series. ‘Nuf said.
The writing style. It flows nicely, the pace is just great, all is revealed in the right time. But, most of all, it’s a unique, distinguishable, smart writing style. I certainly will keep my eyes open for Em Bailey’s next novels.
And I laughed good-naturally in many parts of this book. I seriously needed to take a moment because when I laugh, my eyes squint so much, I can’t see a thing. This is one of my favorites, when the male main character, Lachlan Ford, asks Olive to a school’s formal.
The characters. Have you ever read a book with characters that you can’t blame for whatever mistake they do? Because perhaps you can imagine yourself being in their shoes and you feel like you would do exactly the same thing? They are just so believable and you find yourself are sure that those kind of people are probably exist? Well, I felt that way with Shift.
Miranda, the villain in this novel, was totally creeping me out. If I were Olive and has to deal with her, I most likely will ask my parents to transfer me to another school immediately... oh wait, Olive asked that too, but everyone just thinks that she is crazy (again) for being scared of the sweet harmless Miranda. I couldn’t run away from her. I wouldn’t have enough guts to kill her. I was helpless. I ended up having nightmare about it. Seriously. You read it yourself, then you shall understand.
Obviously, I love Olive and Lachlan. Even their names are not YA-novels boring common names (Chloe, Phoebe, Lilly, Alex, Noah, Ethan, meh!). It’s refreshing. Their relationship is just sweet and I don’t think it is rushed or anything. Then again, it's not a novel with strong point of romance (in my opinion though), so it wouldn't really bother me if the romance between Olive-Lachlan is even suck. But it's not suck!
"Match? Who says we have to? We're not shoes." -Lachlan
What I think could be better:
The ending. Maybe I’m heartless, or not kindfull enough, but I want a more dramatic ending with blood and rage and anger. But, if it goes the way I want it, that will be out-character for Olive and Lachlan. So... I don’t mind with the ending after all, I guess. I'll stick with a five-star rating for this book.
I checked on Goodreads, and found that people either absolutely love it or hate it. I’m not trying to say that Shift is so good it can change your life and perspective on things, but this is a gripping good written novel with great characters and interesting story that you might enjoy just in one sitting, plus you don’t have to endure any suspense for the sequel because it is not a series!