Monday, 19 September 2011

Shift - Em Bailey (2011)

I bought this because I read some rave review and it was like ten bucks. Mistake. I liked the cover and the premise was kinda intriguing. But seriously, shapeshifters? The supernatural thing is getting old, and if you're going to use it, it has to be done well. The Australian author has previously written children's books and this is her first YA novel, and it is clear through the simple vocabulary and structure. I felt that all the parts of the book that could have been good, were way too obvious to provide a good twist. Perhaps her branching out into YA fiction was a bit premature and her command of sublety needs improvement.

I don't like this book. It's not meaty enough and when I read the last page all I felt was disappointment. Olive is on some sort of medication, but is never explained what and why (though I'm thinking some sort of TCA.) I was happy to read the "..well-written, tightly plotted thriller.." but that sure was an empty promise. Twilight packed more of a punch. I looked for some other reviews who voice the same negative opinion as me, but I couldn't find any, but that's not persuading me to change my stance.

Olive used to be popular, until she tried to kill herself. Now she has one friend Ami. But it turns out that Ami is actually imaginary. Katie, her old friend is the stereotypical Mean Girls-esque bitch. Then this new girl, Miranda shows up. Olive finds her mirrored eyes and shrunken appearance unsettling, and befitting of the computer age (and just like Twilight) she Googles her apprehensions. Lo and behold, Miranda is a shapeshifter who feeds off people like a parasite. She feeds off Katie, she becomes Katie and this leads to Katie's death. Lachlan, the new guy, is showing interest in Olive, but Olive just backs away. Olive is also obsessed with this band Luxe and Miranda uses that as her opening. She plans to use the lead singer Dallas, who she assumes Olive is in love with to make her jealous and open her up for a parasitic feast. Fatal flaw = Olive loves his music, not him. So Miranda's attempts are fruitless. Turns out, Lachie is Dallas' younger brother. Miranda starts to latch on, but she doesn't assume full power, due to the fatal little flaw. Miranda has a party and Dallas passes out. Miranda's lack of care shocks Olive out of her little trance. Miranda then tries to drown Olive, but Olive pulls her under. Then Lachie comes to the rescue and they be the bigger people and save Miranda.

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