Friday, 5 August 2016

Shift by Em Bailey

Title: Shift
Author: Em Bailey
From: Netgalley
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: 1st September 2011
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, Summer COYER 2016
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Netgalley): Mean Girls meets Gone Girl - a gripping, dark, psychological thriller for YA readers, perfect for fans of We Were LiarsThere were two things everyone knew about Miranda Vaile. 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 hasn’t always been a loner – she used to be the school queen-bee. But that was before her breakdown. Now she can only watch as new girl Miranda latches on to her ex-best friend Katie, talking like Katie, dressing like Katie and even going out with Katie’s boyfriend.
And then Katie dies. Everyone thinks it was a tragic accident. But Olive isn’t so sure. What if Miranda really is a killer . . ?

I honestly felt completely underwhelmed by Shift. I think the best place to start in explaining that is to quote from the Goodreads synopsis, which is different from the one on Netgalley; A chilling psychological thriller that tears through themes of identity, loss, and toxic friendship, Shift will leave readers guessing until the final pages.

So having read the synopsis on Goodreads I was definitely expecting a thriller, something fast paced with twists and turns to keep me on the edge of my seat. But honestly I don't think I got that at all. For a start there appeared to be some paranormalish elements. I was wondering at one stage if they were simply part of Olive's imagination/hallucinations because of her medication, but it was never actually made clear so I'm left feeling a bit disatisfied with that part of the story. 

There was a twist that took me by surprise, and that was the twist related to Olive's best friend, Ami. I didn't see it coming at all and I think that was the point where I did sit up and take notice and wonder if maybe everything wasn't quite what it seemed. Unfortunately it wasn't sustained so well. 

What I did like was the way that the author wrote about Olive's mental illness. It was first person narrative, so the reader is aware of Olive's thoughts. I thought that the author managed to make Olive seem simultaneously strong and weak, and her illness really came through at times. 

I didn't want to give up on Shift at any point, but neither do I feel the need to scream and shout about it.