Currently Reading: Shift
He stopped and turned to me, his face only half illuminated by the light spilling from the garage into the small parking lot. "It's more than a good idea," he began, "it's necessary. As your best friend, it's my job to make sure you take advantage of an opportunity like this. You will never again see the inside of a jail cell, Eagle," he said solemnly. "We both know that it's likely I may once again spend a night in the slammer—rich men's sons are obligated to get at least a DUI or something. My dad would probably be disappointed if I didn't. But I won't allow you to let your moment pass you by."
Author: Jennifer Bradbury
Synopsis: College freshman Chris Collins didn't expect to be greeted in his dorm by an FBI agent wanting information on his best friend, Win. But then, he didn't expect Win to split near the end of their recent cross-country bike ride, either. Agent Ward would like to know where Win went, and Win's father would like to know even more. Chris isn't sure he cares, but when he realizes he might be able to find out, he has important decisions to make—secretly, and in a hurry.
Notes: Wow. A reasonably clean YA tale from a male first-person perspective.
My favorite thing about this book: The characters of Chris and Win, especially by the end. I liked their personalities and their development, and while I felt like I had a pretty good idea of the basic answer to the mystery involved, that didn't matter because the characters and their relationship were much more interesting.
Also interesting to me: Chris's bike trip goes through Concrete, Washington, which I know. Then it takes a side jump up the Chuckanut Drive, which I've driven. It winds up in Anacortes, where I lived for over ten years and briefly met Jennifer Bradbury.
The book was paced like a mystery novel, with jumps back and forth between timelines. The overall feel, however, was more of an easygoing summer adventure story. I liked that, too. There were a few points where my suspension of disbelief was challenged a little bit—some of the FBI agent's conversation, for instance--but everything about the bike trip was interesting and believable.
Between good humor, some intriguing thoughts, and wanting to know for sure what happened to Win, I basically read this in one sitting. Chapters 26 and 27 were my favorites. But I can't say why without spoilers.
I'm pleased to see that the author has a new novel, Wrapped, coming out in May. Hmm...
Recommendation: Read Shift on a quiet afternoon or evening, and dream of summer.