Olive just wants to fly under the radar and stay out of trouble, but she can’t help but notice new girl Miranda. She seems kind of creepy and her friendship with Olive’s old best friend seems sinister somehow. What if the rumours are true and Miranda is somehow responsible for her parents’ deaths.
I don’t generally read thrillers, but found it difficult to put this one down as I followed Olive’s descriptions of the unfolding drama amongst her group of high school friends. To avoid giving away any clues to the plot, I’ll just say that I found the gradual revelations about both Olive and Miranda fascinating.
Shift offers an interesting perspective on mental health, toxic friendships and appearance vs. reality. The characters were complex and interesting, although I did find the ‘potential boyfriend’ character just a little too good to be true. The character-driven drama more than compensated for this, however, as did the perspective on mental health issues.
I love that the drama and suspense of this novel came from the characters as much as from the events that unfold within the novel. It is interesting to note that this thriller is the first YA novel for Em Bailey, who has previously written junior fiction including the Fairy School Dropout series and two titles for the Go Girl series as Meredith Badger.
Author: Em Bailey
Publisher: Hardie Grant , $22.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 September 2011
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult Fiction