I recently read a book that talked about how our past lives can begin before our current birth date and end after our current lives end. Or in other words we can live multiple parallel lives. Over the years I have been places for the first time but feel like I’ve lived there for years. It’s starting to happen more and more, especially in the United Kingdom, where my ancestors are from.
Lately I have had that experience with books. Books that won’t be published for months. Books I could predict where the characters would stand a room next, what they will do and what they will say. These are books I know I have never read before and the concepts are new.
I attribute this weird experience with unpublished books to the fact we are living a parallel life. A parallel life where I am also a reader, because of course in every parallel life I love books.
M.A. George must think the same way I do. In her latest book Shift, High School Senior Peregrine (Perry) experiences vivid dreams that feel real and leave her exhausted. Perry is an artist and she fills her bedroom walls with drawing of her dreams. Perry lives with her Aunt Jessamine (Jess) and her brother Ezra, who she says is her best friend, is off at college.
In the first chapter, Perry is in a medieval land where a knight with ice-blue eyes looks very familiar. Her brother Ezra is also in the dream fighting along with Perry. This dream made me laugh out loud as Perry tries to decide if she is in a dream because it feels so real and she is trying to understand why she thinks it’s a dream while in the dream. Make sense?
Then one weekend Perry and Aunt Jess visit Ezra in college where she meets Ezra’s best friend, Max, who looks super familiar to Perry. In fact, he looks just like the guy who is all over her bedroom wall that she keeps drawing from her dreams. Max is a geeky, smart science guy with funny T-shirts, not the typical jock-type hero. But alas, a hero he is.
After experiencing a few more dreams that take Perry all over the place, including space, Ezra drops a bombshell that Perry has a hard time wrapping her brain around. Perry and her brother can “shift” to different scapes. Not different planets or time travel, but different varieties of reality. Once Perry becomes aware that her dreams aren’t really dreams, that is when the story takes off on a rollercoaster of a ride.
Ms. George just keeps getting better and better and so far I think this is my favorite story and characters to come from her imagination. She has presented a reality that some of us could be living parallel lives and it makes total sense to me.
What a fantastic job giving life to these characters. Perry is spunky, strong, quick witted yet vulnerable. I literally burst out laughing a few times. I was totally sucked into this book and the lives of the characters. I could not put this book down and leave the characters, and I stayed up WAY past my bedtime.
Well done Ms. George. I know this is a stand-alone, but I feel there is more we need to learn from Perry and the other characters. I don’t know if I’m ready to let them go quite yet. If you like this type of genre, do not miss this book.
Seventeen-year-old Perry Teasdale is a dreamer.
She’s not the kind of dreamer who waltzes through fields of wildflowers, twirling her skirts in a starry-eyed daze; or the kind who aspires to be the biggest rock star the world has ever known (not that she’d complain, if that accidentally happened). She’s the kind of dreamer who can’t get a decent night’s rest, because her sleep is flooded with scenes from other worlds—ones that seem as real as life itself.
Mind-blowing dreams may sound like loads of fun, but when they start to bleed into Perry’s waking hours—confusing the line between dream and reality, and keeping her in a sleep-deprived fog no amount of caffeine can cure—Perry’s not exactly thrilled.
Try as she might to shake the dreams from her mind, they keep gaining speed, growing ever more vivid and intense…until that hazy boundary between real and imaginary fades away, and Perry is forced to consider the impossible: Her dreams seem real, because they are.
When disaster strikes, sending Perry’s newfound normalcy into a tailspin, she takes the only logical path left: a whirlwind tour of the multiverse, scouring an ever-growing assortment of alternate realities for the missing piece—the missing person—to put her life together again.
Along the way, Perry enlists the help of an ancient wise woman (who may be a tad homicidal); a nerdy-in-all-the-right-ways mathematician (who knows all of Perry’s secrets, even before introducing himself); and a sword (because you can never go wrong with a sword).
At times hilarious—at times heartbreaking—Shift is sure to be, well, one of those two things.
Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat