Sunday, July 11, 2010

Review: Shift by Jennifer Bradbury

Title: Shift
Author: Jennifer Bradbury
Page Count: 245
Summary: (from author website)When Chris Collins and Winston Coggans take off on a post-graduation cross-country bike trek, Chris's hopes are high. He's looking forward to seeing the country, dodging a dull summer at a minimum wage job, and having one final adventure with his oldest friend. The journey from Hurricane, West Virginia to the coast of Washington state delivers all those things... and more.

So much more that when Chris returns home without Win at the end of the summer, he's certain their 10 year friendship is all but over. But when an FBI agent begins asking questions—and raising suspicions about Chris—he learns that saying goodbye to a friend like Win is never as simple as riding away. Shift offers an adventure story and a missing persons tale spinning around a single question: What happens when you outgrow your best friend?

Review: I picked up Shift because it was in the new books section of my library, so I thought it would be a good current read. However, it came out in May of 2008 so it definitely wasn't as current as I thought.

Nonetheless, Shift was a great read! It was very short, but Chris's voice was so strong that it just kept me glued to the page. I would've read it all in one go had I not been interrupted by life (AKA work and The Sims 2). I think the books that catch me the most are ones with good voice. For instance, I just started reading The Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and I can't put it down because the voice is so real and interesting.

My main problem with Shift, however, was that there was no sense of urgency in the plot. The jacket summary made it seem as though this book is a mystery, which it really isn't. There isn't much doubt about where Win is once Chris starts looking for him. It's more of a coming-of-age story and I thought it was really interesting that the main character was in college, because you don't get to read much about college life in YA.

The chapters were alternating flashbacks about their trip on their bikes, which I loved. It didn't glamorize the trip, but it did make it seem really fun and adventurous. I looked forward to those chapters more than the present-day ones. I kind of wish the book had been longer and just about the trip.

Overall, I enjoyed Shift. I was impressed, but I wasn't blown away.

Overall: 3.5/5 stars

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