Monday

Shifting

I don't usually do any sort of review on my blog. There's a few reasons. One being I'm terrible at it. Also, I feel like if I'm close with someone, I may be a little biased, or even feel pressured to give it a little better review than I normally would have. The biggest reason is probably that I'm afraid I won't like it, and I don't want to put that out there.

That said, you all can be assured that if I do discuss a book (clarifying that I've read it), it was fantastic.

Two weeks ago I won SHIFTING, by Bethany Wiggins, on Angela Felsted's blog. I was bored the Saturday after it arrived and late in the afternoon decided I'd sneak away and start it. I finished it at 2AM.Could not put it down.

I've "seen" Bethany around the blogosphere over the past few years, but we never really crossed direct paths. I hadn't realized she'd recently released a book (late Sept.). Boy, am I glad she did.

SHIFTING blurb:

After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she's eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she's determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O'Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it's not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

Full of romance, mysticism, and intrigue, this dark take on Navajo legend will haunt readers to the final page.

My (not so well-written) review:

I preface by saying, I'm not a big YA reader. I rarely read paranormal - and when I have it's been King or Koontz for the most part. Very different stuff.

The pacing is very good. I can't recall skimming anything - always a good sign. Even so, a little less than mid-way through I remember wondering what it was that was keeping me riveted. Nothing *catastrophic* had happened. Lot's of culminating events - but no one Big Thing. I still can't put my finger on it, but whatever it was, it worked - well.

Maggie Mae is a phenomenal character; her overall arc in this story, amazing. We see her go from inwardly scared, but oh-so resilient, to facing up to her fears and becoming an adult. In the beginning (from the opening scene!) we see that she's cut herself off from people. By the end, she has developed multilevel-ed relationships with many other characters in the book. All of which are masterfully written so as not to seem contrived in any way. Her relationship with Bridger (yum) has its own terrific arc.

(I'm highly character driven, so this book was like ice cream for me in that aspect. Nom.nom.nom.)

I'm a voracious reader, and there are very few book I rate at 5 stars - even 4 is pushing it with me. This one is a 4.7.  - due to a couple remaining questions I had with one or two things that took place. And, if I weren't a writer, I'd have given it 7 out of 5 stars - I know my fellow writers get that. ;-) If you are a fan of paranormal, you'll love this book. If you aren't a fan of paranormal, chances are you'll still love it.

I saw a review on Amazon from someone (who said they didn't care for Twilight) that said something along the lines of if you didn't like Twilight, you'll love this book. If you did like Twilight, you'll really, really love this book. I thought that summed it up pretty darn well.

20 comments:

DL Hammons said...

I've known Bethany here on the blogs for quite awhile, but I've not read her book (not a YA reader). It really pleases me to read a positive review of her work by someone I trust and respect. I am so happy for her!!

And that was a great review Tara! I got a good feel for what the book was about and where its strengths lay. :)

S.P. Bowers said...

Thanks for the review. I'll definitely look it up.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like characcter driven stories as well.

Anne Gallagher said...

I've heard about that book. I don't read YA especially paranormal, but this sounds exceptional. And thanks for the review. You did a great job!

Linda G. said...

Now you have me intrigued...

Deniz Bevan said...

I'm with you - it's hard to give 5 stars to a book, since I figure the highest rating should be for classics only. But a well-written character-driven story will sounds good to me!

Slamdunk said...

Sounds like time well spent Tara--glad you enjoyed the prize.

Old Kitty said...

I love your enthusiastic review!! Thanks for this and the info and links to this book. Sounds like Maggie Mae is a truly amazing mc! Take care
x

Bethany Wiggins said...

Wow. Totally humbled by your review. Thanks!

LTM said...

oh! I can't wait to check this one out. I'd heard of it before, but now after your review, I'm REALLY interested! Thanks, Tara! :o) <3

M Pax said...

I'll have to add this one to my list. Thanks, Tara.

Kelly Polark said...

Thanks for the great book recommendation!
I'm not the best reviewer, but I do love to sing praises of books that I love especially by blog friends!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Sold. :D

I've been curious about the book. I'll definitely read it once my TBR pile has diminished a bit more.

Alleged Author said...

I thought your review was quite unbiased. I am a HUGE Koontz/King fan, and I found I might read this novel. That means you did an excellent job (as did the writer)!

Angela Felsted said...

Yay, I'm so glad you loved it. The pacing was amazing, and there's something to be said for that.

Every "Walker" book I've ever read has had a nice, fast flow to it. Bethany's was no exception. Your review was great.

Anita said...

Well, it sounds like you're a pro reviewer, even if you don't usually do them! The book sounds very interesting...will research. Thanks!

Talli Roland said...

Great review. I've heard a lot of good things about this book!

Hannah Kincade said...

I did not like Twilight, any of them. But this sounds pretty good. I might check it out.

Madeleine said...

I so want to read this book now! I did enjoy Twilight, too.

Carol Kilgore said...

Great review. Thanks.