Book Review: Shift by Kim Curran

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Shift (#1) by Kim Curran
(Started: July 26, 2013; Finished: July 27, 2013)

When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he's not so average after all. He's a 'Shifter'. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he's ever made. At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world starts to unravel around him he realizes that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed. In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands. (From Goodreads)
Review: 4 stars
Shelf: Goodreads, Shelfari
Available at: Amazon
This was supposed to be posted yesterday but due to connection problems I had to postponed it for today. I apologize for that. Anyway starting this off with the cover, I think it was very strong and tasteful. I like how it showed the protagonist appearing from the blue light which I think signifies change or the shift.

Shift. Whenever I saw or heard this word, it always remind me of shape-shifting. Sorry Supernatural fan over here and the fact that I didn't read the description beforehand. But still it means change and in this book, it involves one's decisions and its consequences that affect one's life. I know that most of us have read similar stories regarding the topic of going back through time to change an event to result to something better. In Harry Potter, we all know that Hermione used a Time-Turner to go back through time to save Buckbeak. In the Daughters of the Moon series, Catty has the ability to revisit the past and even the future for the same reason. With Kim Curran's Shift, Scott Tyler was a Shifter and has the ability to change a decision that he made before. Take note also that he can ONLY reverse his choices and events that he is involve in unlike those other stories that I mentioned that had a wider range of scope.

With this said, it made me fear that the story might get confusing and complicated as it goes on but I'm happy to say that Kim Curran proved otherwise. She was able to keep me on the ground and kept my head from blowing off. I love how she explained shifting in a scientific sense. She really did her research and made sure that there were no loopholes that might frustrate the readers. As mind-boggling as it may be, I like the idea of an alternate reality. It shows us that there is really such a thing that's why we regret and have "what-ifs" at times. Despite it being under the fantasy or sci-fi category, I really appreciate it for partially being realistic. I think the way the author makes us realize that we have different choices and it all have subsequent consequences. That's why it is really important to rationalize every single decision in order to not commit a mistake, and if it's inevitable, at least it's minimal. Moreover with the plot, I was able to easily embrace the story because the author, like I said, explained everything in detail making no room for questions, and if there was one, it will be about what will happen on the sequel. The pace and flow of the story was just perfect to get me hooked and to be able to finish it in a day. I seriously wasn't able to put it down. I brought it with me when I ate my breakfast, lunch and dinner, while going up and down the stairs, and just read through it the whole day. The only thing that made me somehow raised my eyebrows was the ending, specifically on how Scott beat the villains towards the end. I think it was too easy. But to see it in a different light, I didn't see it coming and there was another revelation that I look forward to encounter and to be elaborated on the next book. I think the events that had transpired were unpredictable and it's great because I love it when a story surprises me. I love how it made me think this way but ended with another. It tickles the brain and the reader's curiosity. Although, I just hope for more action sequence to be able to really show and explore the characters' ability to Shift. I'm also interested on why Scott has a stronger grip with his memories and/or alternate realities.

Now on to my favorite parts to discuss: settings and characters. It was obvious from the very start that the world was set in England because of the colloquial terms used by the characters. It was really refreshing for me since I've been reading books set in the USA, particularly New York. I needed a new environment and culture (as if I was really there, but I just have to use my imagination, right?) and this made the whole book more fun. I sometimes slip to reading it with a British accent. LOL. Well, you know what I mean. The introduction of Tyler's family made me think of Skins and the siblings reminded me a bit of Tony and Effy. ARES made it more interesting. It was proper to create an institution that will train and control such powerful ability so that it will be put to good use. This too also made me think of X-Men when they were all gathered by Professor Xavier. Also one of my favorite places that was described was Aubrey's place I think it was really special.

With the characters, I was attached five characters, namely Scott Tyler, Aubrey Jones, CP Finn, Jake Bailey and Sergeant Cain. Scott was not the typical macho male protagonist that usually includes abs. He was a grade A student who admits that he has no physical capabilities and muscle to use, and he was a nobody. Like I said on my other reviews, I like underdogs because I can really relate to them. I also felt like that at times and for these heroes to actually prove that they can be someone someday was an inspiration. I think it was also interesting that that he was so awkward, shy, emotional and a scaredy cat at times. I know it should be a turn-off and it is weird but I think it molds his character and these are attitudes that I think he should overcome. I like the mystery that envelopes his character because it leads to self-discovery and gives space for improvement. I'm excited to see if he will develop greater abilities. Aubrey depicts somewhat the manic pixie dream girl attitude. She is a tough cookie to crack and has a strong facade so others will not see her weaknesses. I love how feisty she is and how dominant her personality is that she overpowers Tyler most of the time. Yay for girl power! I like the budding romance of these two but I would like to keep it to the minimum and focus more on the whole world of Shifting. It's exciting but I don't want the whole story to revolve on it. CP and Tyler, the kids I am so fond of. I love how they're ironic personalities compliment each other. They have this fire that I would love to see on the next books. I told you I was so attached to them that there were some parts in the book that I cried because it involved them and there were also times when I felt like a proud reader because they were so brave. Last but not least, Sergeant Cain was an intimidating character that I eventually learned has a soft spot for kids. I wish I could say more to make you understand how his character touched my heart but I will reveal too much. All of them showed various emotions that I was able to feel as well while reading the book. I was crying then laughing the next and even blush at the most sweetest things. I hope that on the next book, they will encounter stronger and fiercer villains. Like I said, the ending looked too easy and didn't even give much of a challenge to the protagonist.

Therefore, Shift is a twenty-four hour read with so much promise and excitement. It is a story with fresh ideas and a world that young adults would definitely enjoy. It is also one of the books I will never put down while reading and will surely read again in the future.

Here's the trailer! Watch it here:

For the quotes I got from the book, please visit my Tumblr:

Happy Reading Everyone!

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