Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shift” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,620 Ratings  ·  526 Reviews
"There were two things everyone knew about Miranda Vaile before she'd even started at our school. 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 used to be the school queen-bee. But that was before her breakdown. Now she's the class loner, and can only watch as new girl Miranda latches o
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 7th 2012 by Electric Monkey (first published September 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shift, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyLooking for Alaska by John GreenPaper Towns by John Green
Best Stand-Alone Books
191st out of 520 books — 721 voters
Tagged by Joseph M. ChironThrone of Glass by Sarah J. MaasObsidian by Jennifer L. ArmentroutShadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoOf Poseidon by Anna Banks
New Books I Would Like To Try
152nd out of 169 books — 122 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
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
Oct 18, 2012 V rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, fiction
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
Jul 20, 2012 Isamlq rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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
Apr 10, 2016 Taneika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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
Nov 24, 2012 Rowing rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one CREEPY book! Half way through the book I was in this state:

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!

I just had chills all over! and by the time I finished I was doubting my own reality
I'll b
Jennifer Tran
Dec 01, 2011 Jennifer Tran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 18, 2013 Brandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-own-this
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
Mar 29, 2015 Tony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Eloise Morthen
2.5 out of 5 stars.

Shift was a really easy and enjoyable read, I loved the idea of the book and a few of the characters were great (Ami, Lachlan and Toby especially). However, the main character Olive was an IDIOT! At first I liked her, but she makes the wrong decision in regards to Miranda and Lachlan EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!!!!!

I found the whole toxic friendship thing quite realistic and relatable (in regards to Katie, not necessarily Miranda). One big drawback for me was I guessed the big twist
Nov 19, 2011 Kita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 17, 2012 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are spoilers. This is an intelligent discussion of the text. Deal with it.
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
Jul 21, 2013 Tamsin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
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.
Psychologically mental peopl
Liz Barnsley
Hmm. TOTALLY not what I was expecting. Although now to be fair I'm not sure WHAT I was expecting. The reason for the 3* rating is that to me it feels like a fair one. Some parts of this book for me were facepalm 1* and some parts of this for me were sheer brilliance 5*

Nothing like sitting on the fence...

Anyway on the plus side I read this cover to cover in one sitting, it is an addictive tale and one that has many surprises. The main story revolves around Olive, who is recovering from a breakdo
Feb 28, 2013 Laura rated it did not like it
Shelves: disappointing
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
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
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
Jan 28, 2012 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
It's good to read some Australian fiction again! Like most YA books, unless the characters are forced into adult type roles by extraordinary situations, I know I would have enjoyed this more as a teenager. I don't love reading about high school settings and teenagers anymore. Hence the 3 stars.

This book made me feel uneasy the whole time that I read it, but I think that's the point. I couldn't pinpoint exactly where it was going, except for one subplot. I'm a sucker for an unreliable narrator an
Sandra (Page by Page)
So, I was absolutely amazed by this creepy novel, and NONE of my Goodreads friends have read this?!

It's not even newly published novel (2011!)
Review's on the way.

---Updated (20/11/2014)---

What I really like about this book:

It’s not a series. ‘Nuf said.

The writing style. It flows nicely, the pace is just great, all is revealed in the right time. But, most of all, it’s a unique, distinguishable, smart writing style. I certainly will keep my eyes open for Em Bailey’s next novels.

And I laughed good
Rebecca Jane
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...
Rebecca Fox
Mar 02, 2015 Rebecca Fox rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Shift by Em Bailey *3 stars*

I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book but this book really took me by surprise. It's not something that I would normally read but I powered on and continued to read. The first part of the book was really slow and took me a week to read. But the second part I read in two days . The book is full of secret and is a continuous guessing game . Some of my guess we're right some were wrong, but , theses mysteries which is the reason why I continued to read the boo
Jan 25, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Probably one of the best things I enjoyed about Shift was the supernatural/natural aspect of it. Was Miranda actually a shapeshifter (the proper term really should be energy vampire, or something, rather than shapeshifter) or was it Olive’s meds? It could really go either way. Miranda is either literally sucking the life out of Katie, or it’s just a toxic, parasitic relationship. Either way, Miranda is a terrible person. It could be taken as either supernatural or natural, and that just makes it ...more
Victoria Kay
May 16, 2016 Victoria Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paula  Phillips
Jan 24, 2012 Paula Phillips rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dani (Pen to Paper)
Jun 06, 2012 Dani (Pen to Paper) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
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
Watermelon Daisy
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.

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
Apr 05, 2012 Anna-Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 22, 2011 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 18, 2012 Kirsti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
YA Buddy Readers'...: Shift By Em Bailey - Starting September 24th 20 13 Sep 26, 2013 05:11AM  
Who the hack is Miranda? 20 50 Jan 12, 2013 01:51AM  
LOVE IT! 8 24 Aug 22, 2012 10:11AM  
  • Only Ever Always
  • Psychic Detective Yakumo Vol. 4 (Suzuka Oda)
  • Apartment 255
  • Triple Ripple: A Fabulous Fairytale
  • Cat Girl's Day Off
  • How to Keep a Boy as a Pet (Circe Shaw, #1)
  • Alaska
  • Night Beach
  • A Pocketful of Eyes
  • All I Ever Wanted
  • The Shadow Girl
  • Pig Boy
  • Kill the Possum
  • Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children
  • Have You Seen Ally Queen?
  • Six
  • Dangerously Placed
  • Torn
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 about Em Bailey...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“I am weird, and you know what? That's OK. So are most interesting people.” 75 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.” 23 likes
More quotes…