Book Review: “Shift” by Jennifer Bradbury

Here’s a book that caught my eye a couple weeks ago: Shift by Jennifer Bradbury (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008).

shift cover

To celebrate their graduation from high school, lifelong friends Chris and Win decide to go on a cross-country bicycle tour…and only one returns to tell about it. What happened to Win? What is Chris hiding? What if Chris is telling the truth about his adventure?

This novel is the first by Jennifer Bradbury, a high-school English instructor from Burlington, Washington. It is an utterly compelling read — fast-paced, full of twists and turns and peppered throughout with realistic bicycling scenarios (the author is an accomplished bicycle tourer herself). The novel is aimed squarely at the “young adult” reader, but don’t let that put you off — this book doesn’t read like a typical YA novel. It’s smart and well-put-together and it lacks the schmaltziness many other YA novels exhibit. I absolutely could not put this book down, and subsequently burned through it in about three hours. The story has a satisfying resolution even as it leaves the reader hanging…

Even if you’re not much of a fiction reader, I highly recommend this book. Shift is such a strong first novel that there’s no telling what the author is capable of!

To read more about the author and to read additional reviews of the book, please visit the author’s website.


  1. Elizabeth October 10, 2008 7:38 pm 

    OOOhh… one to add to my reading list… I wonder which library I’ll get this one from….

  2. scott October 11, 2008 5:56 am 

    Sweet. I just placed a hold on it at the main branch of our public library. The best part: I get to ride my bike down there to pick it up. Thanks for the tip, Ghost Rider. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  3. Bike Jax November 25, 2008 12:24 pm 

    Hey Ghost, just finished Shift from your suggestion. Very nice read. Thanks

  4. Ghost Rider November 25, 2008 6:14 pm 

    Matt, glad you liked it — I was pleasantly surprised by the book, as I had suffered through quite a few other “YA” novels recently.

  5. Matthew Haggerty April 1, 2009 6:31 pm 

    Hey my names Matthew,
    and I finished this book a couple of weeks about and I love it, I read this book for this contest that i entered for wrestlemania 25 and i’m glad they chose your book and ill keep an eye out for your next book

    you newest fan,

  6. shanon June 23, 2009 8:59 am 

    im 14, im reading this book for summer reading and i absolutly hate it.

  7. sean April 27, 2010 1:05 pm 

    good book

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