Rose's Reviews > Shifting

Shifting by Bethany Wiggins
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Feb 07, 2012

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bookshelves: young-adult, ya-winter-challenge-4-2011, supernatural, romance, paranormal, debut-author-challenge-2012, pretty-cover, urban-fantasy
Recommended to Rose by: Goodreads recommendations
Read from January 22 to February 04, 2012 , read count: 1

In the aftermath of reading Bethany Wiggins "Shifting," it makes me wish that there were far more offerings in YA literature that would derive from different cultural groups, because the product of such would make for not only fascinating stories that spark the imagination, but also incorporate examinations/spotlights of characters of variant backgrounds. I love a good shapeshifter story, and I appreciated the fact that Wiggins uses touches of Navajo legend to create the backdrop of this novel. It's a story that kept me eagerly reading through it, though noted with a few qualms in consideration.

Maggie May is a young woman who's lived in her fair share of foster homes and seems to have a troubled past based on her record of suspected prostitution. Yet when she moves to Arizona to be under the wing of her new foster family, she's struck with the label of being the "new girl" of an underprivileged background. In these considerations, Maggie vows not to allow herself to get too attached to the people/environment surrounding her.

Maggie May makes a firm impression among the student body at her school after beating the school record time in her gym class, besting popular hottie Bridger O'Connell's record as well as his father's. This doesn't earn her friends considering Bridger is one of the most popular guys at school, but it earns her enough attention for Bridger to ask her out to prom. What occurs from there is the gradual unveiling of Maggie's abilities, and the fact that there are forces pursuing her on behalf of those abilities as well as a past that she's never known.

Maggie's a character I definitely rooted for in the beginning of the book, with her fiesty attitude and willingness to fight in the face of adversity. She doesn't let people walk over her, and when the mean girls of the school bring out their claws, she bites back - hard. There are some tough moments for Maggie in terms of fitting into her school environment, and those moments made me feel for her more considering she's caught in the crossfire of things. It was also good that Maggie and her guardian are given center stage in their steadily developing relationship, even as Maggie's abilities come to light.

But at the same time, I think some of that fight scales back in the second part of the novel where the romantic elements take center stage, and I wasn't sure how I felt about Bridger after some conflicting events came to pass. I won't mention them for account of spoilers, but I would say it centers on one of the novel's turning points, and when a secret of Bridger's reveals that Maggie and him are a bit more alike than they see themselves. What he does to Maggie in one spectrum before that point made me raise my brows - not for pleasant reasons.

Also, there's a power/status differential between Bridger and Maggie that complicates their relationship - I could understand that being an issue on one level, but I don't know if it should've been revisited as many times as it was.

Still, I have to say that the elements of the novel dealing with the shapeshifting, legend and action dynamic were nice, and the novel, as a whole - is engaging. I would certainly read more from Wiggins in the future.

Overall score: 3/5
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Reading Progress

02/03/2012
15.0% "To finish or not to finish this book before I go to sleep. Urgh. Difficult decision, but I think I'm going to go as far as I can, at least until my eyes start blurring. So far I'm into the part of the book where the shapeshifting is just starting to rear into focus. Seems like Magdalene's the new girl who isn't making the best first impression, but it's more for what she's able to do rather than not. Reading on."
02/04/2012
35.0% "Made it this far last night before I totally knocked out from a long day. And at this point, I'm pleasantly engaged with the story. Reading on and hope to finish sometime today."
02/04/2012
50.0% "At this point in the story, I'm thinking Bridger has a secret of his own that he's not telling. I think I have a good idea of what it might be, but I'm going to sit on my hands to find out because I could be wrong."

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Jessica-Robyn (new)

Jessica-Robyn Been curious about this one. I wonder if the pretty cover is more a spell of doom then anything else though. :|


Rose I'll let you know how it goes, Jessica - this is probably one of the books I've most been looking forward to for quite some time. I agree, the cover really is pretty. o_O


message 3: by Jessica-Robyn (new)

Jessica-Robyn I'm glad you liked the book, from what you say it definitely sounds like something worth grabbing. And anyways, shapeshifting mythos is always interesting. :)


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