Shift - Em Bailey 4.5 Stars

I absolutely loved this! I just grabbed this at the library because it was available, and I was sick of waiting on titles, and now I'm so glad I did! I went into it not really knowing what to expect because none of the people I follow have read this (and I hope that changes after this review because it's a great book!), and usually I prefer to go into things knowing a bit more about what to expect, but it was fun to be taken by surprise for once.

The story is about Olive who has some quirks and some kind of issue that happened in her not so distant past. She was the beta to the alpha female and then she found herself on the outside after her Incident leaving her one friend; Ami. Ami is the perfect friend for Olive because she doesn't judge her on how much she's changed, or how weird any of her thoughts might be, but one day a new girl comes to their school and everything is thrown into chaos for Olive and Ami.

Miranda Vaile was rumored to have killed her parents, and when she arrives at the school the alpha female initially shuns her. Slowly but surely Miranda works her way into not only being part of the clique, but becoming the new alpha herself. There's something about her though that Olive and Ami just don't like, and even though it is completely illogical, they can't help but wonder if she is some kind of shape shifter and liken her to a parasite. It does seem as though Miranda is almost stealing the life force of her new best friend though now doesn't it?! It isn't until Ami encourages Olive to confront Miranda that things take a turn for the worse. And let me tell you, I so did not see that twist coming! At all.

I found this book to be creepy enough to thoroughly entertain me but it doesn't strike me as a psychological thriller the way the synopsis claims it to be. It was glaringly obvious about what was happening to Olive and I did get a little annoyed with her for not picking up on things sooner, but she is a damaged girl and was trying to do what she had been advised to do (by her therapist) so I can understand some of her blindness. I loved Lachlan a great deal, and Ami, Toby, and even Olive's vegetarian-hippie mom with her terrible foods. I wish I had some inkling of what happened with the teacher though, that is something I was waiting to know and never got, but it's a minor complaint.

I would recommend this book to people who like a slightly creepy story, or who love twisted/dark/hurting characters. Olive is hurting a lot through this and my heart broke for her a couple of times (with her last scene with Ami being one of the worst). All in all I thought that this was paced fairly well, written in a believable voice, and completely entertaining.