© 2008 Jennifer Bradbury
Chris and his best friend Win decided to cycle across the United States in the summer between high school and their freshman year of college — but only Chris came back, and now his first month at university is being made difficult by an intrusive FBI agent and the threats of Win’s powerful father. In Shift, Chris tells the story of his adventure across America…the story that changed his and Win’s lives, and one which is a face-paced mystery for readers.
Jennifer Bradbury seamlessly weaves together the present-day story in which Chris adjusts to freshman life coming off his cycling journey with the story of said journey, with the questions of the agent setting the stage for Chris’s recollections. When I first picked the book up, I was wary that this might be a murder mystery of some kind, but happily that’s not the case. After the first third of the book, the reader will probably have realized what happened to Win, and will thus be a few steps ahead of the FBI agent, who is operating on his own, and without official sanction from the Bureau. Such is the power that Win’s father holds over people. What matters is how what happened came to happen: Shift is less a journey across the United States, and more the journey of two young men to find themselves…by way of getting lost.
Although I checked the book out because it was the only novel in the library concerning bicycles, the humor and character development quickly captivated me. It’s targeted toward high schoolers.