Review: Shifting by Bethany Wiggins
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.
SHIFTING is a riveting and magical novel that had me glued to the pages for hours! The Navajo legends that are included in the story were fresh and something I haven’t seen done in the YA genre before. However, the one thing that irked me was the romance between the two characters. Frustrating and cliched, it is your typical girl meets boy, girl falls for boy, girl denies that she is falling for boy, and boy leads her on romance. While really irritating, the mythology and plot line make up for it.
Maggie Mae has been dealt a bad portion of life. She has been in foster homes since she was 5, and has had numerous run-ins with the law that she can’t help. Indecent exposure takes on a whole new meaning with shapeshifters! Maggie was very easy to relate to, and I loved how strong she was despite the challenges she faced in life. I did get annoyed by how much she constantly looked down on herself due to the fact that she was poor and didn’t dress right. Accept the fact and move on!
Bridger is the typical guy who everyone in school loves, is rich, and has the looks of a model. I really did like him at first, despite the fact that I wasn’t so happy with how unoriginal he was. While he was cold and aloof at first, he eventually warmed up and stood up for Maggie when no one would. But then things started going downhill. He played with Maggie’s feelings, acted like he wanted a relationship with her, but when his parents come back in town, he tells her that they can only be friends. This really irritated me and I lost what little respect I had for him
Despite my complaints, I actually enjoyed myself while reading the book. There is a little mystery and the shape shifting was fun to read about. I would definitely love it if I could shape shift! The Navajo legends were fascinating and I gobbled up all the information! And then there was Mrs. Carpenter, Maggie’s new foster mom and my favorite character. She was so awesome and I cannot brag enough about her!
Overall, SHIFTING is a fast and well-paced read that a majority of readers will enjoy. I look forward to more novels from Wiggins.