Thursday, February 3, 2011

YA Lit Week Three: Shift - Jennifer Bradbury - 2008

Part of YA Lit course, week three.

Course Theme for the Week: Independence: The Journey (2-9-2011)
Title: Shift
Author: Jennifer Bradbury
Year: 2008
Publisher: Atheneum
Date Read: 2-3-2011
Overall: * * * * * (5/5)

GoodReads Blurb: Imagine you and your best friend head off on a cross-country bike trek.

Imagine that you get into a fight — the cheap s.o.b. won't kick in any cash.

Imagine you stop riding together.

Imagine you reach Seattle then come home alone, still p.o-ed.

Imagine the FBI is now at your college dorm.

Imagine finding out that your former best friend never made it home.

And imagine that he had actually been carrying over $20,000 in cash with him.

Imagine your world shifting....

A tour-de-force about biking, friendship, and the depths of loyalty by a debut novelist who has in fact biked cross country.

My Review: I hadn't planned on reading this book for week three of school, but my library didn't have True Confessions of a Heartless Girl when I was checking out books last week. I had mixed feelings when I started reading Shift, but I ended up really enjoying it. Sometimes I find a hard time getting into stories with male protagonists, but I liked that the chapters switched back and forth from Chris and Win's time on the road and present time. Also, I am always surprised at how well female writers can write strong, likable male characters.

I liked the parallels that were made between Chris and Win's journey on their bikes and their journeys within themselves. The further the two got from home, and then from each other, the more they grew into the people they are going to be for the rest of their lives. It felt like their friendship had to break in order for them to become new people and then they could reform their friendship as people they both liked and respected.

I think an important message this books sends is that it is ok to not do what you're "supposed to" in regards to your future. College isn't always the right decision, sometimes some time away is needed, and your own happiness is far more important than anyone else's sometimes. I liked that Chris and Win knew they would be friends forever, and that Win knew Chris wouldn't let him down and would find him in the end. I liked the mystery of it all, that Chris really didn't know where Win was until he thought hard about it and got some clues. The FBI agent was a great addition to the plot too. By the end, you could tell that he no longer wanted to what Coggans wanted, that he felt inside that it was the right thing to do to leave Win alone and let him be.

To Purchase: Amazon

Currently Reading: Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph
Currently Listening To: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (read by Carolyn McCormick)

Books Read in 2011: 16

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