Shifting is set in modern day New Mexico and follows a foster child by the name of Magdalene,or Maggie, Mae Mortensen who has a peculiar secret. She changes form with the moon, but doesn't know why or how, and can't ask anyone lest there be severe consequences. The people she encounters in Silver City, New Mexico will determine her life, her death, her everything.
Maggie Mae Mortensen is a young teenage girl in her senior year of high school. She has pale, white skin and long, black hair that falls down her back. Her eyes are a contrasting green with golden flecks around the pupil. She is an average height and is lean due to her love for running and her extraordinary speed.
Underneath the physical aspects of Maggie Mae, she is very complex. Both her heart and soul have been effected by the damaging events in her past. She has been passed between more foster homes than she can count and all together, they have left more than just physical scars. She is extremely guarded and cautious and has trouble trusting others. Despite this, she is a strong, brave girl with a kind personality. But there is a side to Maggie Mae that no one other than herself knows - she was born with a gift. She can shape shift into any animal she desire at any time, but this special ability is also a curse. Maggie is set apart from ordinary people and has no one to confide in. This leaves her terribly lonely and constantly on edge that her secret will come out.
Looking past the attractive and wealthy exterior, Bridger O'Connell has a lot going on in his head. He doesn't want the cookie-cutter life his parents have laid out for him or the cookie-cutter wife. He's friendly and outgoing, but he's also guarded and secretive. He has the ability to turn into an eagle and the power to feel what others are feeling within a certain proximity. Like Maggie, he cannot share his secret, but unlike her, he does have a long line of ancestors that share his gifts.
The Main Conflict
The main conflict that Maggie Mae faces in the story is the question of why and how can she turn into any animal. As the story progresses and she experiments with her abilities, her questions begin to be answered, especially with the help of Bridger O'Connell. Her mother was a shifter and her father was a skinwalker, making her a rare hybrid, called a mirror. Other conflicts spring up because of her rarity, like being hunted by skinwalkers.
"I learned to run fast and hit hard," - Maggie Mae (pg. 6) I think this shows that Maggie is tough and strong. It also shows she has been through way more than any girl should.
"Oh, no. Are those tears coming from my best sprinter? You can take a fall on the hurdles and not even blink, but when you get a little chilli in your eye, you cry?" The coach asked Maggie after she got made fun of and had chilli thrown at her. This really shows that sometimes emotional pain hurts more than physical pain and despite being strong, things can still get to you.
In my opinion, Shifting was a fairly good read. It's not my favorite book, but it wasn't terrible. It was pretty interesting and the characters were developed nicely, but the whole plot seemed very predictable and cliche. That being said, the overall story had a good message. I recommend this book to anyone who likes romance or supernatural creatures.