Shift, by Em Bailey.
Overall it scored a 4/5 from us. As a whole we liked it, a few of us loved it! One of us didn't.
We liked the sweet romance between Olivia and Lachlan. It was nicely underplayed. It wasn't the instant soul altering attraction that has become almost commonplace in YA. It grew slowly. Lachlan didn't try to change Olivia, he accepted her for who and how she was, and was happy. It's nice to read for a change. Instead of one person have more 'power' than the other, they were both equally clueless as to how to behave with one another. To have two normal teens discover slowly who they are separately, and together was real and refreshing to read. That being said we felt that the romance was rather superfluous to the plot. As the main themes of the book were friendship and trust, we felt that it would have been better if Olivia and Lachlan had developed a platonic relationship instead. They obviously had a real connection, and it would have been a great opportunity to show teens that people of the opposite sex can be great friends too. We felt that Olivia needed a friend more than a boyfriend.
Through the character Olivia, the author has tried to tackle some serious issues. Mental health is a big issue with many teens and adults alike. We applauded her on trying to tackle some of these issues in this book, but felt that the different aspects were handled with varying degrees of success.
We loved the way that Olivia realised at the end that most of her problems were only in her own mind. That she wasn't to blame for her father leaving as she had believed, and that the whole school didn't know about 'the incident' and was not looking at her as if she was a crazy person! True they didn't really know how to treat her but not for the reasons she assumed, they just didn't know why she had suddenly changed and withdrew into herself. She wasn't the Olivia they all knew and seemed to prefer being on her own, so they left her alone. We also loved Amy!!! That was a huge twist that none of us could see coming! I won't spoil it by saying anything more than that, you will have to read it and find out for your selves!
One thing that we mostly agreed on was 'the incident'. All the references to 'the incident' built 'the incident' into something huge. When 'the incident' (it gets annoying doesn't it?) was finally revealed it is a bit anti-climactic. Most of us couldn't even remember what 'the incident' was. I think it was brave of the author to try and tackle such a subject, but we felt that she realised that she didn't have the space to do it justice, so it was just brushed aside, and then she swiftly moved on. Its a shame, as that being dealt with in a stronger way would have made this book amazing!
Now on to Miranda! Wow! One of our members described this book as a cautionary tale about toxic friendships. That pretty much sums Miranda up. We have all had friends that resemble Miranda in some way, and looking back we couldn't believe that we let them treat us in such ways, but we did. That's part of being a teen, learning how to deal with people. Its a fantastic concept, and one that we all enjoyed reading. The is she/isn't she aspect had most of us hooked right from the start. There was just enough of a hint of the paranormal to keep us happy, with out taking over the story. I can't really say that much about Miranda, as it would make huge spoiler alerts pop up in front of you!! So your going to have to read it to find out :0)
The thing that we all loved about this book was the authors voice. It's young without being in any way 'text speak'. It manages to convey the youthful energy that emanates from teens, without cutting older readers out from the story. It is accessible and fresh and funny! I have used the word 'Wonk' at least twice since I finished this book. Her descriptions were great. Her laughter was like sunshine was a favourite of one of our members.
As I said, overall we liked it. It was well written and tackled some tricky subjects. There is enough left open to hint at a follow up book too. It would have got 5/5 if not for a few small things. So we recommend that you go and read it!
We managed to sort out a few other things at the meeting too. It was not all bookish chat and fudge eating! (mmmm it was good fudge!) The members got their members cards that entitle them to 30% off of next months book! Our next is Starters by Lissa Price. I will be putting a separate post up about next months book in a few days, so make sure you keep an eye out for that. I for one am super excited to read this book!
We also talked about hosting a book swap. Where we will be bringing in the books we have but don't want to keep and then swapping them with each other, so we everyone goes home with new titles to read! I'm not sure when this will happen, but I will sort something out and let you guys know :0)
OK well I think I covered everything! Feel free to leave a comment if I didn't! lol Also if you have read Shift we would love to know what you thought of it. So leave a comment too!!
See you next post,