Cover image for Shift
Publication Information:
New York : EgmontUSA, 2012.
Physical Description:
1 online resource.
Target Audience:
630 L
General Note:

Title from eBook information screen.
Olive, having recently suffered mental problems, is unsure whether to trust her instincts when a new student, rumored to have killed her parents, develops a parasitic relationship with Olive's former best friend, Jubilee Park High School's "Queen Bee."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader Grades 9-12 4.3 10 Quiz 157648 English fiction.
Lexile Measure:


Material Type
Shelf Number
Internet Site XX(1005388.1) 1

On Order



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, right up to the side of queen bee Katie - and pushes the others right out - only Olive seems to notice that something strange is going on. Something almost . . . parasitic. Either Olive is losing her grip on reality, or Miranda Vaile is stealing Katie's life.
But who would ever believe crazy Olive, the girl who has a habit of letting her imagination run away with her? And what if Olive is the next target?
A chilling psychological thriller that tears through themes of identity, loss, and toxic friendship, Shift will leave readers guessing until the final pages.

Reviews 6

Bookseller Publisher Review

When new girl Miranda arrives at school, Olive and her friend Ami try to ignore the crazy rumours circulating about her past, particularly the one about Miranda killing her parents. Olive has enough to deal with in the wake of her father’s departure, but she can’t help but notice there is something a bit off about Miranda. The way she latches on to the most popular girl in school, slowly driving her other friends away. The way she becomes more and more vibrant as her new friend fades into the shadows. Olive is sure there is something sinister going on, but she hasn’t been too stable over the past year, and her mind could be playing tricks on her again. This well-written, tightly plotted thriller kept me reading long into the night. There were a number of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, making this a book that really stands out in the genre. As with Justine Larbalestier’s Liar, the reader is never sure if what they are getting from the narrator is the full story. This is an enjoyable, exciting read that will suit readers aged 13 and up who are looking for something a little out of the ordinary. Amelia Vahtrick is the children’s book buyer at Better Read Than Dead in Newtown

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-After her suicide attempt, Olive shuts herself off from most of the world, transforming from one of the popular kids to an outsider. She drifts through high school, mostly hanging out with her mum and kid brother. And then orphaned Miranda moves to town, along with the rumor that she murdered her parents. Though she's bizarrely unremarkable, she forces her way into the in-crowd and slowly takes the place of Olive's ex-best friend and the high school's queen bee, Katie. As Olive tries to accept that romantic overtures from handsome new guy Lachlan might not be just a cruel joke, she struggles with painful memories of her dad leaving her family and worries about Katie. She slowly realizes that Miranda is a "humanoid shifter," a being that can "take on the characteristics of other humans," until the shifter has become the person he or she latched onto, leading to the victim's death. When she's done with Katie, Miranda sets her sights on Olive. This psychological, supernatural thriller is creepy and fresh. Bailey spreads revelations throughout the story while simultaneously building suspense. The unhealthy relationships are disconcerting and just as intoxicating for readers as they are for the characters. Teens will be hooked after the first page.-Emily Chornomaz, West Orange Public Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Olive keeps it simple: take her meds, keep a low profile at school, stay away from the ocean (with its horrible memories), and try not to cause trouble since she's pretty sure her selfish, unruly behavior is what made her father take off six months ago. But then strange and mysterious Miranda Vaile shows up at her high school, and Olive's safeguards start to crumble. Miranda begins insinuating herself into the life of Olive's former best friend, Katie, but only Olive and Lachlan, the handsome new guy in town, think anything is odd. Bailey builds her first YA novel with precision, drawing readers into a complicated world where things are not at all what they seem. In a story that is as much about friendship and redemption as it is about second-guessing reality, Bailey creates characters that have depth and authenticity. As Olive's nemesis, Miranda is as creepy as they come, and readers will wonder to the very end what to make of her shifting personalities. Olive's story comes to a satisfying conclusion, one that will be hard to forget. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

On the toxic friend scale, Miranda Vaile is a strychnine smoothie. Narrator Olive doesnt really believe the rumor that Miranda killed her own parents, but from the first time she sees her, she senses that somethings off. "I recoiled like Id been stung. Id never seen eyes like hers before. The pupils seemed to be made of metal, hard and brightly polished." The evil new girl is a familiar type in thrillers. Nonetheless, Australian author Bailey adds the intriguing possibility that Mirandas talent for slowly sucking the life out of those she befriends is literal. Perhaps she is a parasitic shapeshifter who will, according to the website Olive finds, "latch on to people (generally those with strong personalities) and slowly drain them of their vitality and spirit" -- in this case, Olives ex-friend and former "partner in bitchiness," high school queen bee Katie; and then Olive herself. Olive has her own secrets, including an "Incident" serious enough to land her in treatment and on meds, but at least her best friend Ami looks out for her -- until, in another effective twist, Ami turns out to be not what she seems. Readers will be riveted by the slow reveal of the many mysteries (the whereabouts of Olives father; the nature of the "Incident"; Amis identity) and will enjoy puzzling through whats real and what isnt -- trying to figure out if Miranda poses a supernatural threat or if her powers are entirely human, which almost makes them scarier. christine m. heppermann (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

The intriguing plot points and themes on offer here could easily power several novels; frustratingly, none is fully developed. Olive Corbett, the mentally fragile, unreliable narrator, dresses bizarrely and mutters to herself. A social outcast at her Australian high school, she takes refuge in the music of an indie band, Luxe, to drown out feelings of guilt for her father's departure and her brother's nightmares. The arrival of new student Miranda Vaile, rumored to have killed her parents, is a welcome distraction. Lackluster Miranda is inexplicably taken up by Olive's former best friend and A-list queen bee, Katie, whom Miranda dominates, then eclipses. Meanwhile, despite her issues, Olive's pursued by hunky Lachlan Ford, who ignores behavior that would give most boys pause. Following a plot twist that won't surprise alert readers, the school setting all but disappears as Miranda pursues an obsessive friendship with Olive. The untidy plot leaves a plethora of loose ends. Did Olive take refuge in mental illness to escape her popular-girl persona and make a fresh start? Why does Miranda choose Olive? Is Miranda a parasitical shapeshifter? (The prospect of celebrity shapeshifters who use their status to stoke jealousy and draw power from sycophantic, wannabe victims presents rich possibilities that remain largely unexplored.) If the pacing is too leisurely for suspense, sheer inventiveness should keep readers turning pages in this debut for teens that serves up half a delicious meal. (Paranormal suspense. 12 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

When Olive meets new classmate Miranda, one thing is clear: There's something not quite right about that girl. Big understatement. Olive, who is coming off a failed suicide attempt, notices that Miranda has latched onto popular Katie and is starting to adopt her mannerisms, personality, and even physical attributes. After typing Mirror eyes, Weird skin, and Alien? into Google, Olive comes up, perhaps a bit too easily, with a possible explanation Miranda is a shape-shifter, and Katie is her host. Olive is wary of Miranda but, unbelievably, starts to fall for her friendship advances. At one point, Bailey likens Olive's behavior to a girl in a horror movie you know, the kind who goes into the basement and it's apt. Readers may be frustrated as Olive makes obviously poor decisions, and they may find themselves screaming at the page from time to time. Still, this Australian debut novel has an intriguing premise and enough surprises (there's one doozy in particular) to keep YAs going. Think Single White Female, paranormal style.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist