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Shift

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  2,740 ratings  ·  444 reviews
Olive Corbett is not crazy. Not anymore.

She obediently takes her meds and stays under the radar at school. After “the incident,” Olive just wants to avoid any more trouble, so she knows the smartest thing is to stay clear of the new girl who is rumored to have quite the creepy past.

But there’s no avoiding Miranda Vaile. As mousy Miranda edges her way into the popular group...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Hardie Grant Egmont
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2012 Debut Authors (Young Adult & Middle Grade)
194th out of 971 books — 5,754 voters
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26th out of 208 books — 327 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aik Chien 인첸
Wow. This book practically threw me off balance. The story itself is amazing with a lot of twists and turns. If you've read my IMM 25, you would probably know that this book is soaked wet, and I spent hours drying it. And that was when I couldn't help but took a peek... and instantly, I was hooked.

Our main character Olive is a beautiful, witty, sarcastic but problematic teenage girl. Ever since her father left, she has not been the same as her old self. She is convinced that she is the reason of...more
Vanessa
Shift by Em Bailey was an extraordinarily gripping read. I loved every moment of it and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for future works by her.

The story follows the life of Olive, a girl who, following a recent breakdown and suicide attempt, has been put on a course of medication and therapy. She integrates herself back into a routine by attending school and working at the local cinema.

However, she no longer has any friends. Except for Ami. Olive's old best friend, Katie, has now ditche...more
Beth
1.5 stars

Easily my biggest disappointment of 2012 so far.

I was so excited for "Shift." So excited. I love psychological thrillers and horror novels, and "Shift" sounded like it had a nice combination of both. Besides, look at that amazing cover! It's beautiful and so evocative and creepy.

I read it quickly. I'll give Bailey that. But, in all fairness, I was on a five-hour flight home from Turkey.

The only thing that saved it from a one-star rating was a twist at the halfway point that I totally d...more
Isamlq
1.5/5

Subtlety is not this book's strong suit... so, this wasn't that much of a psychological thriller. Obviously there’s a history here with everyone aware but having the same go unspoken. Yet, with the big ginormous hints littering the path toward the reveal, there really was no thrill for me in this one. At points, I even felt a little insulted by how it seemed someone had taken my hand and positioned my just so, as if saying, ‘see this? this is the way things went down; and that? that is why...more
Brandi
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 qui...more
Jennifer Tran
Oh... My... God. There are almost no words to describe my state of mind after reading 'Shift'. Em Bailey should be applauded, and I am definitely grateful for her impeccable writing skills that never once failed to leave me questioning my own sanity.

This genre wasn't one I'd usually take to, but this book just begging me to read it, and so I did. I was pleasantly surprised.

All the characters were written so well- Miranda always left me wondering. Was she just a psychotic girl, suffering from he...more
Tony
Miranda Vaile is the strong point of this young adult novel. It is well worth reading for her alone. Miranda is offered to us, on the one hand, as a supernatural demon and on the other as a rolled-gold bitch who is disturbed and rageful, but also charming to the nth degree. For good measure, she can also be seen as the symbol of a destructive inner voice, enticing one unlucky girl into anorexia. Whatever she is exactly, Miranda has the psychopaths’s ability to pinpoint and play to our longings,...more
Kita
Okay, so I decided I'd give this book to someone else before I reviewed it. Just because, well, I wasn't sure whether I wasn't getting it because I am stupid, or whether I wasn't getting it because I wasn't SUPPOSED to get it. Turns out, either we're both stupid, or it's just one of those books.

You know the ones I'm talking about... the ones with the fantastic writing, brilliant prose, life-like characters... those books that leave you SO... UTTERLY... CONFUSED!

So basically, the story settles it...more
Rachael
There are spoilers. This is an intelligent discussion of the text. Deal with it.
Wow.
This book was intense and very taught, although it became a little too neat towards the center when Olive stops suspecting Miranda of being "evil" and just becomes buddy-buddy. But then again, with Olive suspecting that Miranda is something insidious, isn't that how this story should go? Letting your guard down and letting the insidious in because you no longer suspect it?
The story is that of Olive Corbett, a gir...more
Ria [The Beaucoup Review]
I felt so let down by this book. I had been SUPER excited to read it, and I had heard such good things. But there were too many things lacking for me.

The story line. Original. Amazing. I should have loved it. But other than the base story-line, of Miranda 'becoming' other people, none of the smaller story lines fit. I felt as though the romance between Lachlan and Olive was completely forgotten about, and then all that was talked about. Which was a shame because I really liked Lachlan and wou...more
Kai (Amaterasu Reads)
Review posted at Amaterasu Reads

Em Bailey's chilling psychological YA thriller debut is sure to make readers think twice about letting people get close too much. The bonds of friendship is stretched tight up to the breaking point in this shuddery tale of one girl's identity and her struggle to find out who she really is deep inside.

Olivia Corbett's life is a wreck. She used to be best friends with Katie, the most popular girl in school. She used to be pretty, outgoing, with a happy family, but...more
Tammy
5 stars out of five. For a reason:

Shift by Em Bailey is one of my all-time favourite books. It's full of gripping twists that will never leave you bored.

The first half of the book will make you love Olive. The second half will have you mentally screaming at every decision she makes! (But I won't give away anything)
Lachlan is such a sweetie and so is Luxe (the romance sides to the book) yet this book is far from your usual romance story. Yep. There's even death.
Murder.
Psychologically mental peopl...more
Eleanor
I am so disappointed by this book. I loved the first half of it - an interesting, taught psychological thriller about a mean, dangerous teenager called Miranda who may be a real person, or could just be a metaphor for something else. Who is real and who isn't? Yay, we also get to go to the coolest sounding ball in YA history. So controlled, so well planned, there's a psychological depth to it, like I should know how the pieces fit, but I can't quite figure it out. I couldn't read fast enough. I...more
Hannah
Woah. That is all I can say. This book is absolutely phenomenal in every aspect. While I was on holidays I went to a book shop looking for something to entertain me on my upcoming 6 hour drive. This book was reccomended to me by a woman there. Now I usually don't go for the supernatural stuff but I gave it a go. This book was an exception. Absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!!
You feel so drawn to the characters and as soon as you have read the first two pages you will be filled with anticipation and your ey...more
Bec ♥ Live for the ones you love ♥
This book freaked me out at first to be honest, but I really liked it. It was interesting and I just didn't know what to expect. Even now that I've finished it I have no idea what Miranda actually was or what to expect...
Lydia
THIS BOOK IS SO SO GOOD
Paula  Phillips
When I picked up Shift , I had no idea what it was about - just the cover seemed to attract me and I thought Hmmmm , that looks like it could be good and OMG it definitely was as I found myself hooked from the very first page , I could not put it down - once I got started , I wanted to read to find out what happened next. In Shift, we meet Olive Corbett , she used to be one of the popular chicks , the one who had it all until tragedy struck and she found herself in an institution. Returning back...more
Mahina
This was one CREEPY book! Half way through the book I was in this state:
Photobucket


Despite it's obvious creepiness I couldn't put it down.

So Olive was this typical once-popular-now-loner kid with issues, but what those issues were was not so clear in the beginning. At times I was totally frustrated with her and I was screaming at the book what are you doing??? and yes I was totally scared of the people in the book!
Photobucket

I just had chills all over! and by the time I finished I was doubting my own reality
I'll b...more
Dani (Pen to Paper)
Full review and Guest post from Em Bailey at Pen to Paper.

Shift was, at least for me, a fairly confusing novel in a couple of ways. However, both of these ways are positive, if that makes any sense.
The first confusing thing about the book is the genre. It masquerades itself as a kind of YA contemporary fiction, but it definitely has a strong fantastical feel to it. I say 'fantastical' and not 'fantasy' because we can't be sure whether what we're looking at it reality or not - hardly anything is...more
Watermelon Daisy
FIRST IMPRESSION:
My friend, Shayna, gave it to me to read. Well, lend. But it's the same thing, so I had to check it out! Psychological thrillers always make me smile. Mainly because I love how there's mystery, but more of a "mental" mystery going through the story.

WRITING STYLE:
I liked the writing style! I found myself dragged in by the awesome writing! Also, I loved Olive's thoughts. And this was written in first person, which I always love in books. I usually find first-person writing gives...more
Anna-Lisa
Amazing book! I totally loved that story and the awesome characters!


*** german review ***

Inhalt: Olive hat eine schwierige Phase in ihrem Leben hinter sich. Nach einem längeren Klinikaufenthalt geht sie wieder zur Schule und nur ihre Freundin Ami versteht sie. Ihre ehemals beste Freundin Katie, das beliebteste Mädchen der Schule, ist einfach nur fies zu ihr. Dann ist da plötzlich Miranda Vaile, die Neue, die angeblich ihre Eltern getötet hat. Miranda, ein unscheinbares Mädchen, heftet sich an Ka...more
Taneika (Flipping Through The Pages...)
(This is more of a 4.5 star kind of book)

Every time I've seen Shift in the store, I've always picked it up and put it back down and it wasn't until my housemate and I discovered a mutual love for YA that I actually read it because she lent it to me.
You need to read this. It was edgy, gripping, original, funny, emotional, frustrating and it had everything that makes a great novel.

It's a story about a girl named Olive, who is now a little messed up in the head and on medication after a failed su...more
Nikki
What a diamond in the rough shift turned out to be! It was an absolute amazing read. I loved it from start to finish. I honestly didn't have all that much hope for this book I mean the synopsis sounded awesome but I didn't expect the awesomness that shift actually turned out to be.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I felt Miranda had the perfect amount of mystery and she was really creepy to me it was brilliant. I really felt for Olive I could relate to some aspects of her life and I...more
Kirsti
Jan 18, 2012 Kirsti rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA fans, Paranormal fans, Books with a twist fans
Recommended to Kirsti by: goodreads
Alright, so I picked up on the 'major twist' so early on it wasn't funny, but it didn't totally spoil the book for me. If you read a lot of this type of fiction, I guess eventually it jumps out at you. What I did like was the idea behind the story, that of 'shape shifters'. Also, Miranda had a kind of substance of her own before she started sucking it from every one, enough backbone to know who she wanted, what she wanted, and pick targets.

The romance factor was so-so, another reason I dropped f...more
ALPHAreader
Miranda Vaile was infamous long before she set foot in the small suburb of Jubilee Park. Stories about Miranda were swirling in the weeks prior to her arrival – stories about her life in Europe, the crazy aunt she was coming to live with . . . and the fact that she had killed her parents.

The attention and attraction of Miranda is a reprise for Jubilee Park’s resident psychotic – Olive Corbett. Olive, whose family life has disintegrated in the wake of her ‘mistakes’ and recovery from circumstance...more
Laura
From reading everyone else's reviews about this book it seems people either love it or hate it. Me? Yeah, I didn't like it very much. I picked it up just randomly from the book store because it was half price (i'm actually glad I didn't pay full price for it really) and also because it sounded like it would be really good, and the cover is pretty awesome too. But it was officially just the weirdest book I'd ever read, it was so strange.
Also I was pretty disappointed to find out that the back of...more
Sarah
(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
Teenager Olive has almost no friends, and is picked on by the most popular girl – Katie, who used to be her best friend.
When Miranda starts at Olive’s school, Olive takes an immediate dislike to her, but she somehow ends up becoming Katie’s new best friend.
Olive and her friend Ami wonder if Miranda is some sort of evil shape-shifter, trying to take over Katie’s life, but discard the idea as just fantasy.
Something is wrong with Katie though, and Olive can’t sha...more
Val
I have never read anything quite like this young adult fantasy.

Olive is trying really hard to take her meds and go to therapy and help out at home by cooking and watching after her little brother but after a new student comes to town, her life is turned upside down for the second time in just a year. The first time the "incident" occurred and after that Olive dropped all her old friends and took up with a new one, Ami much to Olive's mother's dismay.

Now Miranda, shows up at school, rumored to...more
Devon Clifford
Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Until it isn’t.

Em Bailey’s scarily realistic Psychological Thriller, Shift, is a novel tackling the issues of identity theft, mental illness, depression, toxic friendships and murder.

The story follows a girl, Olive, and her struggle against the world and her mind.

After attempting suicide and dealing with her family crumbling, Olive Corbett is alone in the world, with only her best friend Ami to get her through every day.
When new girl Miranda comes to...more
Tsana Dolichva
Review originally posted here: http://tsanasreads.tumblr.com/post/21...

Shift is full of psychological drama and there is blurring of reality so you’re not always sure what’s real and what isn’t. It’s also a book about mental illness about being weird and about dealing (or not) with those things.

I really loved it.

Honestly, there was only one aspect I disliked about it and it’s not the sort of thing that would bother everyone. The author is Australian (this is her first YA book, but she has writte...more
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Shift By Em Bailey - Starting September 24th 20 13 Sep 26, 2013 05:11AM  
Who the hack is Miranda? 20 44 Jan 12, 2013 01:51AM  
LOVE IT! 8 24 Aug 22, 2012 10:11AM  
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Em Bailey is an Australian living in Germany where, despite having been a vegetarian for many years, she now enjoys the occasional Wurst. Em used to be a new-media designer for a children’s television production house and is now a full-time author. Shift is her first YA novel, although she has written a number of books for children under the name Meredith Badger.

When she’s not writing, Em is gene...more
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“I am weird, and you know what? That's OK. So are most interesting people.” 65 likes
“I believe in grey...Some things aren't straightforward. Not everything is true or false, real or imaginary, black or white. It's not that simple.” 14 likes
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