NetGalley Review: Slide by Jill Hathaway
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/slide-e1325401389801.jpg” pos=”left”/]
- ISBN-13: 9780062077905
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray
- Publication date: 3/27/2012
- Pages: 256
- Age range: 14 years
- Review Source: NetGalley
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.
My Take on Slide:
Sometimes the books we choose to review can be a hit or a miss with our expectations. Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe I just didn’t believe the concept. Either way, Slide is one of those books that left a sour taste in my mouth, one that I can’t seem to get rid of no matter how hard I try. I wanted to fall in love with the author, her unusual concept, and the characters she created; however, none of those things happened and I am left sitting here thinking, where did she go wrong?
The ability to “slide” into another person and live life through their eyes for a few moments seemed very intriguing at first. When we are initially introduced to Sylvia (Vee) and her ability, readers are given the impression she has come to terms with her gift and learned how (to a certain degree) control when she slides. It’s never explained why she can slide, how she obtained her gift, and I found it very difficult to believe that she never tried to control it (as far as who she slides into and when) before this story in her life takes place. Neither am I fully convinced she’s the only one in the entire world with this gift, like some sort of anomaly.
It has been my experience with the paranormal; if someone has a special gift either a) someone has heard of it/wants it or b) someone such as a mentor will come along and guide them, show them the ropes, introduce them to a new way of life and/or the world of the supernatural. I believe this is my main issue with Slide. If we are going to believe her gift is “paranormal”, then HELLO we need some elements of paranormal. Heck, I would have even bought the story if Vee found some information that showed her mother had the same condition. In my opinion, any sort of explanation would have been better than none at all. Other than, “oh here I go” and ‘oh I’m back in my body again”. Needless to say it was a tab bit off-putting.
Another issue I had with Slide is the predictability. Any person with basic deductive reasoning skills will be able to guess who the killer is many pages before the end, especially after Vee discovers a certain secret about one of her family members. In a murder mystery there should always be a few things to “throw” the reader off the trail of the killer. Instead what we are given in Slide, are clues and events that lead us directly to the culprit. Now I will say the reasons for the murders were very surprising, a little bit shocking, and maybe even downright disturbing. And the only reason I kept reading was to see how Vee was going to catch said person. Even then I wasn’t fully satisfied with the ending – which was abrupt with the unnecessary epilogue – and I feel cheated for giving myself over to this novel which had so much promise with a big whodunit that failed to pull me into the story.
Despite not loving Slide I did like the overall message of the book. Hidden deep within this mystery novel are the issues that many teenagers face today. Grief, suicide, loss, denial, rape, betrayal, infidelity, and death, all are present and weigh profoundly on our characters. These are very difficult subjects for anyone to deal with and I think I should give Hathaway some credit for attempting to bring such heavy subjects to the forefront of our minds. Our characters reactions to each situation were very believable and had I been in their situation, I may have reacted the same way to a certain degree.
Overall, Slide is a good novel. It does have its shortcomings, but nonetheless the theme is powerful and emotionally compelling. Though some of the characters were better written than others, I still enjoyed Vee as a protagonist. In no way is Hathaway a terrible writer. In fact, I am interested in reading more of her work in the future. Maybe if she writes just a paranormal novel, or a simple murder mystery. I think Slide would have worked if it had been just one or the other. *Sighs*
If you are looking for a short fast-paced read that deals with serious teen issues then give Slide a try. If not, you aren’t missing that much and maybe you should wait for Hathaway’s next novel.
2.5 out of 5 Controllers