by Em Bailey
Olive Corbett is not crazy. Not anymore.
She obediently takes her meds and stays under the radar at school. After “the incident,” Olive just wants to avoid any more trouble, so she knows the smartest thing is to stay clear of the new girl who is rumored to have quite the creepy past.
But there’s no avoiding Miranda Vaile. As mousy Miranda edges her way into the popular group, right up to the side of queen bee Katie – and pushes the others right out – only Olive seems to notice that something strange is going on. Something almost . . . parasitic. Either Olive is losing her grip on reality, or Miranda Vaile is stealing Katie’s life.
But who would ever believe crazy Olive, the girl who has a habit of letting her imagination run away with her? And what if Olive is the next target?
A chilling psychological thriller that tears through themes of identity, loss, and toxic friendship, Shift will leave readers guessing until the final pages.
Shift started out pretty well, but about halfway through the main character started to do things that were so implausible that it was almost ridiculous. Even the author seemed to know it was ridiculous, but she had no other way of furthering the plot. For instance,
"The thing that always bothered me about scary movies was how stupid the victims always seem, and how they never act on their instincts. They might say something like 'I've got a bad feeling about this', while they dither about opening the cellar door... But I did it anyway."
Yes, the main character did many stupid and irrational things that I found very irritating. However, I did care about the characters enough to be annoyed when they did those stupid things, so I guess that's saying something.
Teens might be a little confused by the British-isms in the book (Australian, actually), but I kind of enjoyed them.
Areas of concern: There are about 15 instances of bad language (not the big one), the main character tried to commit suicide before the beginning of the book, and there was a lot of bad teenage behavior like sneaking out at night, shoplifting, underage kids getting into clubs, drug use (minimal)...
School Library Journal - Grades 8+
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 12+
*Mrs. Duke definitely recommends older teens.*