Author: JILL HATHAWAY
Genre: CONTEMPORARY YA
Published: March 2012, BALZER AND BRAY (HARPERCOLLINS)
Source: Around The World ARC Tours, no other compensation given for an honest review
Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.
Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.
Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.
Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.
There's something about the concept behind SLIDE, the perceived seizure or fugue state where the person experiencing it isn't really in a seizure or fugue state, that really appeals to me. I think it's that edge of speculative fiction that I like, that edge of something else, even in a wholly contemporary world. Vee's narcolepsy that allows her to body share seems really cool to a science fiction loving reader like myself, while the mystery about her sister's friend's death intrigued me.
One of the sub-genres that I wish would show up more in YA is mystery/suspense. Jill Hathaway presents a good one here. Her main character, Vee, finds herself in the middle of something that she feels compelled to investigate further, but can't really share her concerns with others. Hathaway spins out the story well, exposing different things that are going on, exposing different people's secrets.
While the end wasn't that surprising, there is enough plot that I didn't get bored while reading. Again, Vee's situation and condition was interesting enough that I would have still though the concept well-written, even without the murder mystery aspect. I think the hardest thing for me to put my finger on is the exact reason why I liked SLIDE so much. The writing was good. The concept flat out had me reading from start to finish in one sitting. Vee was a good character. Ordinarily, one of these might be good enough to have me raving. All of these would definitely have me raving.
The truth is that I read SLIDE almost like I would a book that I bought for myself, and not one that I was planning to review. When I read books for review, I tend to take mental notes and do a fair bit of dissecting. It's almost like I plan an argument. This is why I liked or disliked. When I read books for pleasure, I try to turn off the critic and just enjoy. That's what I unintentionally did with SLIDE. I just plain enjoyed it.
4/5 for plot
4.5/5 for characters
4.5/5 for language
My Rating: 13/15 (4 stars)
Highly Recommend, if you liked:
Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
Fracture by Megan Miranda
Always A Witch by Carolyn MacCollough
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