Book Reviews

Shift by Em Bailey book review



There were two things everyone knee 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 was that they were dead because Miranda had killed them.

Olive used to be the school queen-bee. But that was before her breakdown. Now she’s the class loner, and can only watch as new girl Miranda latches on to Olive’s ex-best friend Katie. Soon Miranda is talking like Katie, dressing like Katie – even going out with Kate’s boyfriend.

And then Katie dies. Everyone seems to believe it was a tragic accident, but Olive isn’t so sure. What if the wild rumours are true? What if Miranda really is a killer…?

As the blurb states; Olive is now the class loner. She’s on the outside now after the “Incident” as her psychiatrist calls her. Her supposedly best friend Katie has told everyone and now everyone in the school is laughing at her. Except for her friend Ami…

Then comes Miranda. The new girl whose living with her Aunt Loopy Oona, the germ freak. The rumours surrounding the new girl makes Olive quite intrigued about her but something isn’t quite right about her… she’s pale and weak and has scraggly hair. Not only that but her eyes seem to look like mirrors…

Then she becomes best friends with Katie and Olive has to watch as her former best friend deteriorates right before her eyes.

Then there’s Miranda… she’s starting to look like Katie, dress like Katie and she’s fooling around with Katie’s boyfriend but when Katie suddenly dies, Miranda starts to go back to how she looked before.

Olive is on to her. She knows what she is and she knows she has to stat away from her but when she gets caught up in Miranda too can anyone save her? Or will she end up going down the same route as Katie? Or can the new boy Lachlan save her, not only from herself, but from Miranda too?

The book was dark. Really dark. Olive’s “Incident” is quite sad. You learn about it later on in the book and it puts a lot of things about her into perspective. And when I learnt the truth about her friend Ami too I was definitely shocked. Because even though I had an inkling about her it was still shocking to have it confirmed.
Olive is quite a complex character and you do find yourself wondering whether its the truth she’s seeing or if its a figment. I did like Olive.  She was weird but strong too in her own way. You can understand why she chose the coping methods she did because its always easier to blame other people than it is yourself.

Katie… at first I thought she was a bitch but when you see her through Olive’s eyes you can see that she’s actually quite lonely and that she’s like the way she is is because she misses Olive. (You learn things fron Katie when Olive visits her)

Miranda… jeeze! She has ISSUES! But reading about her kept me hooked. She could go from sweet and innocent to psychotic in seconds. If what was revealed about her is true or not then it explains everything thats happened. She needed guidance from people and she never got it. Loopy Oona gets it right when she talks to Olive about her. In a way you feel sorry for her and in a way you hate her too.

Lachlan. Hello! I liked how the author had him go for Olive. It goes to show that being weird can pay off at times. Lachlan wants to protect her from the first time he meets her. He wants to be the one she turns too anf he wants to be there for her. Despite the numerous times Olive knocks him back! I like how he stuck to it though. And he always seemed to be the calming force in Olive’s life.

Anything wrong with it? At times I couldn’t get around how easily Olive became friends with Miranda, despite the fact she had all this evidence that Miranda had killed Katie. She saw what happened to Katie but not what she was doing to her. Then again it was psychological so maybe in some way I can understand that too. It just bugged me at times.
Also I wanted to know more about Dr Richter. There was something behind that perfect facade of hers but nothing came about it.

It was a good book. Gripping and enjoyable. For her first novel it was a brilliant read and brave to jump into the pyscological end because most new authors go down the paranormal or dystopian route.

Its recommended to anyone who likes darkness to their story.


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