Book Review: Slide
By: Jill Hathaway
Published By: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Page Count: 256
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Netgalley
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy, Thriller
This was so good. Just what I needed right now. I sat down and read the whole thing in one burst, and I feel really satisfied now... so it's getting 4.5 birdies from me for being a really entertaining read. I can't put it up on the same pedestal that I keep for books like the Hunger Games, but I did really love sitting down all day and reading it.
The book is about Vee, a girl who has what everyone else thinks are narcoleptic fits where she just passes out. But when Vee falls into one of these episodes, she slides into another person's consciousness - who she slides into is determined by the objects around her, and if someone experienced a strong emotion while touching it. Vee has to work out who she is viewing the world as, and she must also deal with the secrets she learns of during her slides.
One day she slides into the body of someone who has just murdered her sister's best friend, a piteous character called Sophie, and made it look like suicide. Vee becomes consumed with the desire to work out why this has happened to Sophie, because she is the only one who knows that it wasn't suicide.
Vee also struggles with who to trust as everyone in this book has a secret - some of the secrets Vee finds out about, (and jumps to hasty conclusions), making it even harder to know who to trust. She has to work out what is going on with Rollins, up until now the sweet guy who became her best friend after rescuing her from a very scary moment, and if she can really trust Zane, the hot new guy at school who seems to take a real liking to her. She also has to deal with ex-best friends in the form of bitchy cheerleaders Samantha and Amber, and her little sister who seems determined to take Vee's old spot in the popular crowd, no matter the cost. Her mostly-absent father also has a few secrets, and it is quite heartbreaking how he has left Vee alone to care for her sister in the wake her their mother's death from cancer; the girls have very little emotional support throughout the deaths in the narrative. The family dynamic certainly felt realistic... the broken family pretending to be close but secretly being relived for being apart. I was glad to see this dynamic shift by the end of the story arc.
I really enjoyed the mystery element in this read. I was trying hard to figure things out, and satisfyingly, quite soon after I'd worked it out, so did Vee. I really appreciated that she wasn't some idiot who couldn't see the obvious... so many books I have read really strive to string out what mystery they have built (becoming frustrating) but that wasn't a problem here. Nothing but satisfaction!! I am definitely looking forward to seeing more from this author, as I felt this was a perfectly balanced and pacy read.
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.