Book Review: Shift (Em Bailey)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Electric Monkey

Pages: 320

Release Date: July 28th 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

There 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 . . ?

Review:

This was a creepy read that kept me on my toes throughout.

I was drawn in by the cover and description but the book went places that I didn’t expect. I’m still not entirely sure what really went on, and I kind of like that.

Our narrator, Olive, has had mental health problems in the past, and the events in this book make her question her own sanity again. It also makes you, as a reader, question her. Is she an unreliable narrator? Can we trust what she is saying? Is she just paranoid? It’s not really answered either, so you kind of have to draw your own conclusions. Olive is a really relatable character though and I really felt for her home situation and the way she blamed herself for things. I wasn’t too keen on the love story: it wasn’t bad or anything, it just didn’t feel essential and I could have done without it.

There was a plot twist part way through that I imagine was supposed to be a big thing but I caught on to it pretty quick so wasn’t very surprised at the big reveal. What I thought was going to be the whole plot of the novel ended about half way through, and then the same plot almost repeats again with another character (that might sound strange but you’ll see when you read it!) I found Olive’s sudden acceptance of Miranda a little hard to swallow at first but once you get over that it’s easy to see her getting sucked in.

It’s hard to write about this without spoilers so sorry if it all sounds a bit weird! I did enjoy this book though and am looking forward to reading more from Em Bailey.

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