Shift by Jeff Povey – Blog Tour!

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Summary from Goodreads

Get ready for one apocalyptic detention. These misfits are going to save the world!

Meet Rev, Billie, the Ape, Johnson, GG, Carrie, the Moth and Lucas, a motley crew of bickering teens who find themselves totally alone in the world after a strange power surge hits their classroom during detention. With no answers as to why or how the rest of the world has disappeared, the mismatched group is soon facing a bigger nightmare than they could ever imagine… Standing between them and the only way home are lethal duplicate versions of themselves, super powered teenagers who will kill anyone who gets in their way. Our unlikely heroes must somehow work together to save themselves… or they’ll never see home again.

Shift is the first in a fast-paced, page turner of a series, filled with action, adventure and humour. Perfect for fans of Michael Grant, Charlie Higson and Antony Horowitz and for anyone who loves Misfits or Shaun of the Dead.

Paperback, UK paperback, 320 pages
Published April 24th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

My Review

I love, love, loved Shift. I took me by complete surprise and had lots of great little qualities that I really enjoyed!

There is a lot of dialogue in Shift, which is actually one of it’s big positives. With 8 teens guiding the storyline, it was important that each had their own voice and you could tell them apart. Every character rocked in the individuality department and could very easily be picked out from the crowd. They are truly the biggest bunch of misfits and I found something I loved in each one.

My favourite character has to be the Ape! OMG, he is a frustrating knuckle head! He’s slow on the uptake and is just a big…ape! But, you can see little hints of something deeper in him and I think he just wants to fit in. He is also fierce and will protect his group at all costs. There was a heartbreaking moment for me in the book and it was because of him. 

The storyline itself is one that has been worked and reworked quite a bit, but Jeff Povey makes it his own. The characters, emotion, danger, mystery and laugh-out-loud funny moments sets it apart from the crowd. I loved seeing our bunch of unlikely hero’s battle for survival after what looks like a power surge hits their detention class. They end up being the only ones left in what looks like the world…until they stumble upon their other selves that is!

The pacing is very fast and I just flew along for the ride, flipping those pages like a maniac – anyone who reads it will be compelled to do so.

Shift is one hell of a memorable first book from Jeff Povey, who I think writes fantastically. The cast of stand out characters make Shift the big winning read that it is. I really can’t wait to go on the next action filled adventure…I miss my Ape already! Just wait till you guys meet him…..

4.5 / 5 Stars

Guest Post

GG

Outrageously camp
aren’t usually the words you’d use to describe a fictional hero. I think, and this is only surmising, that there probably aren’t that many bona fide never-say-die heroes who paint their nails yellow and worry about their look like GG does.

I have many gay and lesbian friends and I looked to them for inspiration for this character. I found that for the most part they have all reached a stage in their lives where they have been through the angst that their sexuality has either inhibited them with or brought to their door in the shape of non-acceptance. They have come out of the other side of that and walked as tall as anyone. I think those initial struggles will always be a part of who they are but because I haven’t lived through that I didn’t honestly know how to write a character who was in the midst of that struggle, at least one that would be convincing. I was hoping that GG had accelerated through any dark crisis he may have faced and what we are seeing now is his total delight in just being himself.

GG stands for Gay Gay, and it’s a direct reflection of his happy contented self and his sexuality. For me he is the character with the funniest lines and the most positive disposition and he is vital in keeping these books fresh and funny.

In a world of potential doom and death he reveals that for all his campness GG is no Fairy Queen fluttering and flapping on the sidelines, he gets stuck in with the best of them. His dad’s a train driver and has taught GG (illegally) how to drive a train which is a skill that saves the gang. I’m not trying to idealise or skate over homosexuality for the sake of presenting a happy clappy gay character, I just felt that GG was so alive and so wonderful that I couldn’t and wouldn’t bring him down.

I’m also not saying for a minute that GG’s homosexuality is a walk in the park for him. The Ape is uncouth towards him and his stream of one liners don’t always hit the mark, but GG has the ability to rise above everything, and it is this ability that forms the true heart of his character. He is a survivor and a fighter and when the chips are down you’ll be glad he’s not only there to keep your spirits high but he can also advise you on your wardrobe. He’s also the best BFF you

could ever wish for. He has a soft spot for the Ape and deep down in the Ape’s burly psyche you’d probably find that he is touched by that. Not that he would ever admit to such a thing. “No homo” would be the Ape’s response.

I obviously love all of the characters but I think GG is the one who made me realise that you can mix heart-stopping danger with humour. It comes from a naturally amusing boy and here are a few of his funnier moments:

“Stop the train GG.”
“I’m not stopping for that thing. It hasn’t bought a ticket.”

“They can use phones?” Billie says.
“With those talons? That’s touchscreen hell.”

GG sits up in the giant bath. “Jump in. There’s room for a football team. With any luck.”
“I think our original world gave birth to this one.” “Who’s the father?” GG asks.

To sum GG up, I’d say the books wouldn’t be half as much fun without him. I hope you love him as much as I do.

About the Author
 
Jeff Povey is an award-winning screenwriter.  As well as several original TV dramas and feature films he has also written over 150 episodes of Eastenders and for Casualty, Holby, Grange Hill and Silent Witness as well as co-creating the recent By Any Means.  Shift is his debut teen novel.

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