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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,650 ratings  ·  503 reviews
Some friends fade away....Others disappear.
Imagine you and your best friend head out West on a cross-country bike trek.
Imagine that the two of you get into a fight -- and stop riding together.
Imagine you reach Seattle, go back home, start college.
Imagine you think your former best friend does too.
Imagine he doesn't.
Imagine your world shifting....
Shift is a tour de forc
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Jenny When they tried camping the first night at a legitimate "campground" it turned out to be an RV park. The owner's husband referred to his wife and told…moreWhen they tried camping the first night at a legitimate "campground" it turned out to be an RV park. The owner's husband referred to his wife and told them "The lady wouldn't like that" when they asked if they could pitch a tent in the grass. He repeated it despite their offers to pay and assurances they wouldn't destroy anything until he finally chased them off. It became a joke for the rest of the trip and they never tried to camp at a "real campsite" again.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,650 ratings  ·  503 reviews

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Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I almost have a hard time believing that this was Bradbury's first book, when the second was Wrapped, which was a real let-down. Shift occasionally seemed a tiny bit unrealistic, with the two boys managing such emotional articulacy, but it was a great story well told. And - purely irrelevant but fun for me - one of my absolute favourite yarn companies is Beaverslide Dry Goods,, which is in Montana. I'd been looking at their colour cards dreaming of my next yarn order, and some of the names of co ...more
Feb 25, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Three and a half-stars. I liked this mystery/boy-finding-himself novel where college bound Chris's best friend Win vanishes on a summer cross country bike trip. Has a couple of stockish characters (the awful, overdetermined father and the FBI guy) and less would have been more in some of the weighty conversations toward the end, but I'll be looking for more from this author. Those in the book group: Could we talk about covers? This one sat in my pile too long because of the jacket. Didn't think ...more
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Chris and his best friend have decided to use the summer after their high school graduation to ride cross country from Virginia to Seattle by bike. It is their last hurrah before they have to settle down with school.

In alternating chapters, you learn that things didn't turn out quite as they had expected as Win disappears during their extended bike ride. Chris has settled down at college only to be faced with accusations that at the very least he knows where Win is and even some suspicions that
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm irritated with this book right now, so I shouldn't write a review. I just finished it, and I wanted to throw it across the room and maybe stomp on it just a little bit. This debut novel by Jennifer Bradbury is an award-winner, so who am I to give it only two stars? Because I'm wiser than all those critics who raved over it, evidently! It's too teen-angst ridden, too "I'm going to go on a long bike trip and find myself and define my relationship with my best friend who has jerks for parents a ...more
The Loft
Shifting gears isn’t as easy at you’d think. Sometimes the chain catches; other times the incline proves more challenging than anticipated. In Jennifer Bradbury’s psychological mystery, it’s a bit of both, metaphorically speaking.

Best friends Chris and Win embark on a bike trek across the country, from West Virginia to the coast of Washington. At least that’s the plan. They have just graduated from high school and are eager to test themselves and explore the world. That seems to be what Chris is
Feb 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
This journey book was unique in that the journey is one of self-awareness, rebirth, and biking cross-country. Many would refer to this as a "boy book," but anyone can relate since the pressure Win feels from his parents and life isn't unique. So, Win and his friend Chris decide after their high school graduation to bike cross-country, but what Chris doesn't know is that Win has other plans-- plans that eventually lead the FBI to Chris' door.

A curt mystery wrapped up in a coming-of-age story and
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, with its combination of page-turning mystery, buddy story, and coming-of-age tale. I found the characters well-drawn and the dialogue authentic. Definitely an engaging read.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Chris has just returned from a cross-country bike trip with his best friend, Win. He goes on to orientation at Georgia Tech but his best friend never checks in at Dartmouth.

As it turns out, the two friends separated at the end of their tension-filled journey. Chris assumed Win went on to Seattle where he was to meet an Uncle. Except the uncle was fictional—just one of many lies Win told.

Win also claims to be broke when he actually had $19,000 in cash on hand.

The FBI come to Chris's college and
Marco Morano
Jul 17, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF'ed at 23%

This book is just boring. Just plain boring.

Also, there was this weird sentence where the main character randomly called a girl exotic because she was brown and like that just kinda turned me off from this book.
Tabitha Olson
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 31, 2009 rated it liked it
"On my honor, I pledge that I have neither given nor received unauthorized help on this assignment nor have I presented someone else's work as my own."

I chose to read Shift by Jennifer Bradbury for my summer reading. Shiftis a coming of age novel about two best friends, Chris and Win, who take a cross country bike trip during the summer before college, starting in West Virginia and ending in Seatle where Win has an uncle. Chris and Win have been raised in two completely different atmospheres. Ch
Apr 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'm giving this one star and I think that might be too generous. This story featured underdeveloped characters who apparently were quite stupid.
The story centers around two friends who go on a bike ride across the country. They split up and only one comes back. Then after telling his parents and his friend's parents what happened he goes back to normal life until an FBI agent shows up to question him on his friends disappearance. Apparently his friend's parents think he killed his friend or som
Dec 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
It's yellow. There's a bicycle. The cover alone could never persuade me to pick this one up. Yet, I'm glad I did. Really glad. I enjoyed this one a great deal. I like the way this one is told. I like the story. I like the characters. I like satisfying nature of it all. She made me care. The story isn't traditionally told--it's revealed in bits and pieces. We'd have one chapter set in the present, the next chapter set in the past, etc. (This framework is a trend I'm seeing quite a bit of in my Cy ...more
David Taylor
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I finished reading the book Shift by Jennifer Bradbury about two teenage boys who take a trip on two wheels across the country just after graduating high school. This was going to be their last adventure before heading off to college. Chris and Win have planed their whole trip out going all the way from East Coast to West Coast on bike. Chris’s parents are very worried about him, while Win’s parents feel like it is a good idea. The two boys head out on the adventure of a lifetime. Unexpectedly C ...more
Sep 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
Best friends Chris and Winston take a cross-country bicycle ride from West Virginia to Washington State the summer after high school graduation. What is supposed to be one last adventure before they leave for different colleges turns into a mystery when only Chris returns home.

Chapters alternate between recounting the events of the trip and the investigation into Winston's disappearance. Chris soon realizes he is the prime supect and must do everything he can to find his friend.

Shift is an easy
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not having read a review or the dust jacket, I dove right into this book. I saw it listed on a library teen list of some sort, it was available, and so I checked it out of my public library.

At first, I thought the main characters, Chris and Win, were girls with guy names. The way they talked and behaved did not seem guy-like to me, and I never shook that initial feeling for a majority of the book. It annoyed me but not enough that I wanted to put the book down. I like the idea of a present tense
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Among my favorite types of books are those about journeys. In this case, longtime high school buddies Chris and Win embark on a cross country bike trip during the summer after their senior year. Things get complicated when Win disappears by choice near the end of the journey. The narrative shifts between Chris's freshman year of college and the summer road trip, filling in the details of the dynamics of the friendship and the aftermath of Win's disappearance. We know fairly quickly where Win wen ...more
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a great read about friendship and growing up. Win and Chris have been best friends since 3rd grade. After graduating high school, the two set out to bike across country, from Atlanta to Seattle. Chris's story begins during his first week at college, and in addition to adjusting to that new life, he has to deal with an FBI agent who is asking a lot of questions about Win. Turns out, 3/4 through their epic trip, Win and Chris have a falling out of sorts and they separate. Chris continues to t ...more
Ella Walker
Aug 14, 2013 rated it liked it
I think the book Shift by Jennifer Bradbury, is a great mix of mystery and realistic fiction. The main character Christopher Collins is an 18 year old ordinary boy, who's summer has just ended. A week before his entry into university, he is informed that his best friend since sixth grade Winston, with whom he spent all summer, has gone missing. Chris was also the last to have seen him. With the F.B.I questioning him, and school coming up, Chris is in a heigh state of anxiety.
I recommend this boo
May 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
YA Book Club Book 3. I felt a bit deceived as it's billed as (and described to me as) something of a mystery. Not so much. It's basically a coming of age story of 2 high school friends on a cross-country bike trip. There's nothing wrong with that and there is some good insight into growing up and out of friendships. However, overall, the writing is nothing special particularly the dialogue which seemed inauthentic at times.
Kim Lanza
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-ya
I met Jennifer Bradbury at a National Project event. I think it was the Inservice Institute in MA but am not certain. When I saw the book propped up on a display in our middle school library, the name clicked and I decided I had to read it. This was another binge-read!

It is an adventure story with a fresh twist and a bit of mystery. I would definitely recommend this to middle school students - - I think it would even work for fifth graders.

A good read!
Charles Woodworth
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I started this book recently. The boys are graduating from high school. They decide to ride their bikes across the country. So far, the book is pretty good. I think it would be really cool to ride a bike across the country.
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-anni
enjoyed it immensely, great storytelling that kept my attention coupled with characters that i was able to identify with. Lovely imagery, mixed with humor and a lot of wide open space. Really refreshing read that left me itching to get on a bike and go ride somewhere new.
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shift is told from the perspective of Chris, a teen who is in his freshman year in college. In alternating chapters from present day to Chris recounting the bike journey he took across America with his best friend, Win (Winston), a trip in which Win went missing in the last 50-mile stretch. Chris is being followed and questioned by men that he thinks are from the FBI and are employed by Win’s dad to find out what happened to Win and bring him home. Chris starts to receive postcards from a perso ...more
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shift is a fictional book by Jennifer Bradbury about two high school seniors that are best friends named Win Coggans and Chris Collins. It is towards the end of the year and they both had just applied for different colleges. They are at the point where they need to start deciding what they want to do with their life, but yet they are both indecisive. After Chris’s mom offers him to find a job during the summer he decides he wants to ride his bike with Win across the country. They decide to trav ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury is a book all about the understanding of people’s intentions and realizing what it would be like if you put yourself in their shoes. Jennifer Bradbury a former English teacher is a very interesting person herself being very open about her life especially the injuries she’s been through. Jennifer Bradbury in this book shows how good of writer she’s is grabbing every second of your attention chapter by chapter.
The book shift is about two great friends Win and Chris who
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I found the book to be pretty predictable. Shift is advertised as being a mystery, contemporary book. I found that because of this, I expected an actual mystery. The predictable writing left me wanting more in general and I was underwhelmed. I found Bradbury's writing to be enjoyable, fun and captivating however, the plot was sub par. I had already predicted the ending about half way through the book, which was a little disappointing. I must say that even though I found the book predictable. I ...more
Riley Conway
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
In Shift by Jennifer Bradbury, friends Chris and Win—known as Chrisandwin by everyone at school for their attached-at-the-hip nature, decide to take a cross-country bike trip from their home in West Virginia to Washington state following their high school graduation. It’s both a last-hurrah before going off to separate colleges and a way to avoid the minimum wage drudgery of a summer job. But something goes not quite as planned—at least for Chris. He and Win (short for Winston) get separated tow ...more
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Jennifer Bradbury is an English teacher living in Burlington, Washington. She and her husband took a two-month long bicycling trek from Charleston, South Carolina, to Los Angeles, California for their honeymoon, changing more than fifty flat tires along the way. She was also a one-day winner of Jeopardy! Shift is her first novel.
“Reality had a disappointing habit of not measuring up to my memories.” 13 likes
“Certain things between friends are said not because you don't know them, but because you need the other person just to say them.” 4 likes
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