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4.7 7
by Em Bailey

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A psychological thriller with a hint of the paranormal, Shift is perfect for fans of Mary E. Pearson and Lois Duncan.

The rumor mill is spinning when Miranda Vaile arrives at school along with whispers that she murdered her parents. But Olive Corbett wants nothing to do with the new girl. After "the incident," Olive's been the subject of too much


A psychological thriller with a hint of the paranormal, Shift is perfect for fans of Mary E. Pearson and Lois Duncan.

The rumor mill is spinning when Miranda Vaile arrives at school along with whispers that she murdered her parents. But Olive Corbett wants nothing to do with the new girl. After "the incident," Olive's been the subject of too much gossip, and now she just wants to take her pills and stay under the radar.

But even from the sidelines, there's no ignoring the fact that there's something not quite right about Miranda. How can this mousy girl step right into the popular group, become the queen bee's best friend, and slowly seize control herself? It's almost parasitic.

But who would ever believe crazy Olive, the girl who has a habit of letting her imagination run away with her? And what if Olive is Miranda's next target?

Also available in hardcover (978-1-60684-358-1) and electronic book (978-1-60684-359-8) formats.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Olive keeps it simple: take her meds, keep a low profile at school, stay away from the ocean (with its horrible memories), and try not to cause trouble since she’s pretty sure her selfish, unruly behavior is what made her father take off six months ago. But then strange and mysterious Miranda Vaile shows up at her high school, and Olive’s safeguards start to crumble. Miranda begins insinuating herself into the life of Olive’s former best friend, Katie, but only Olive and Lachlan, the handsome new guy in town, think anything is odd. Bailey builds her first YA novel with precision, drawing readers into a complicated world where things are not at all what they seem. In a story that is as much about friendship and redemption as it is about second-guessing reality, Bailey creates characters that have depth and authenticity. As Olive’s nemesis, Miranda is as creepy as they come, and readers will wonder to the very end what to make of her shifting personalities. Olive’s story comes to a satisfying conclusion, one that will be hard to forget. Ages 12–up. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—After her suicide attempt, Olive shuts herself off from most of the world, transforming from one of the popular kids to an outsider. She drifts through high school, mostly hanging out with her mum and kid brother. And then orphaned Miranda moves to town, along with the rumor that she murdered her parents. Though she's bizarrely unremarkable, she forces her way into the in-crowd and slowly takes the place of Olive's ex-best friend and the high school's queen bee, Katie. As Olive tries to accept that romantic overtures from handsome new guy Lachlan might not be just a cruel joke, she struggles with painful memories of her dad leaving her family and worries about Katie. She slowly realizes that Miranda is a "humanoid shifter," a being that can "take on the characteristics of other humans," until the shifter has become the person he or she latched onto, leading to the victim's death. When she's done with Katie, Miranda sets her sights on Olive. This psychological, supernatural thriller is creepy and fresh. Bailey spreads revelations throughout the story while simultaneously building suspense. The unhealthy relationships are disconcerting and just as intoxicating for readers as they are for the characters. Teens will be hooked after the first page.—Emily Chornomaz, West Orange Public Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
The intriguing plot points and themes on offer here could easily power several novels; frustratingly, none is fully developed. Olive Corbett, the mentally fragile, unreliable narrator, dresses bizarrely and mutters to herself. A social outcast at her Australian high school, she takes refuge in the music of an indie band, Luxe, to drown out feelings of guilt for her father's departure and her brother's nightmares. The arrival of new student Miranda Vaile, rumored to have killed her parents, is a welcome distraction. Lackluster Miranda is inexplicably taken up by Olive's former best friend and A-list queen bee, Katie, whom Miranda dominates, then eclipses. Meanwhile, despite her issues, Olive's pursued by hunky Lachlan Ford, who ignores behavior that would give most boys pause. Following a plot twist that won't surprise alert readers, the school setting all but disappears as Miranda pursues an obsessive friendship with Olive. The untidy plot leaves a plethora of loose ends. Did Olive take refuge in mental illness to escape her popular-girl persona and make a fresh start? Why does Miranda choose Olive? Is Miranda a parasitical shapeshifter? (The prospect of celebrity shapeshifters who use their status to stoke jealousy and draw power from sycophantic, wannabe victims presents rich possibilities that remain largely unexplored.) If the pacing is too leisurely for suspense, sheer inventiveness should keep readers turning pages in this debut for teens that serves up half a delicious meal. (Paranormal suspense. 12 & up)

Product Details

Egmont Books (UK)
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Em Bailey is originally from Australia but now lives with her family in Frankfurt, Germany.  Shift is her first novel for teens. Visit her at Em-Bailey.com.

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Shift 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very..odd book. There were plenty of twists to keep me excited and some huge secrets that SHOCKED me. I love the way the main character is stromg enough to see what is really happening. My only problem with the book is that i find the ending unsatisfying. There were a lot of unansweref questions and you start to wonder if maybe the author just didnt know how to finish. All in all it has good characters and a perfectly creepy plot. It was worth reading since i stayed up till 1am to finish it. If you enjoy books that make you think, gasp, and smile then you would enjoy Shift. There were times i was so afraid for the main character but she alwas overcame her troubles with courage and brains. Good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book could make it big... It was very interesting, had just enough action, drama, and feeling, had just the right characters, setting, mystery suspense, and feeling of real life scenarios When a new girl arrives with a haunting past and fragile reflection in the mirrior no one can believ the rumors. But does she seem a little strange to anyone else, following behind people, watching from corners, copying actions,standing up to the most powerful people in the school without blinking an eye, and making teachers run through the woods half crazy after having detention with her... .... As power and strength seem to be filling her up does the other surroundings and people seem to be losing touch with there true selfs.... What is this new girl doing? If you liked this book i recommend Before I Fall Cold Kiss The Butterfly Clues Wintergirls Or The adoration of Jenna Fox
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book might be boring in the begenining but as soon as you hit the middle of the book. It gets so good that when your finish with this book you hope em bailey makes a part2. And you start to wonder if maranda was really maranda. And you will find out what im saying when your finish with the book. Hope you like it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first started reading this book i thought it was gonna be all about Miranda Vaile and the murder if her parents. But oh no. Every time I stopped reading I could not stop thinking what would happen next. It was so interesting i spent three hours straight reading this book. The mistery,the romance, the sudpense. It just leaves you wanting more. The middle of the book where she goes back to the hospital and i found out Ami want real. It really mind blew me. I had to process the whole thing and finally understood. This book is awesome. I DEFENITELY recommend it to other young adults
sheltisebastian More than 1 year ago
Excellent! I just could not put it down!
Suzie_Beth17 More than 1 year ago
had me second guessing myself
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Huge craggy mountains. Deep within its heart is the StarCave where the medicine cat speacks to StarClan. Very little prey runs here.