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.
Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.
Sylvia, or "Vee" is the main character and she has a lot on her pink haired plate. (Btw, chicks with pink hair totally rawk! *wink* *wink*) Her family consists of Dr. Dad who saves babies by day and fixes gourmet meals by night for Vee and younger sister, Mattie (that is, when he's home, which isn't a whole lot lately.) Vee used to be part of the "in" crowd but all that changed last year and now it's Mattie who eats at the cool kids table with her two BFF's Sophie and Amber.
Vee usually "slides" after she touches something, a sweater, a glass, a bracelet, a book, etc. that has been touched by another person. (Any item that has had an emotion transferred onto it.) She's not a fan of her ability and she can't control when or who she slides into and once she's in their mind she can't control their body. One time, she slid into a teacher who was making out with a bus driver and as much as she wanted to make them stop, because it was one of those *I think I just threw up in my mouth* kind of moments, she couldn't do anything but wait the episode out. *shivers* To outsiders, it just appears as if she's passed out or fallen unconscious for a few minutes. If they only knew.
Her behavior has caused her to be treated as an outcast by most of her peers and made her a target of others. As a result, Vee has put up a wall to protect herself and the only person she lets in is her BFF, Rollins.
Mmm...Rollins... (Sorry, I got distracted for a second.) He's the perfect compliment to Vee and her pink hair, with his leather jacket, pierced lip and mutual affinity for vintage music. He runs his own version of the school 'zine and is always there for her. (He's pretty much a knight in shining leather and jeans.) The only thing she can't share with him is what truly happens when she experiences one of her "episodes". She tried telling her Dad the truth once but he wasn't buying her brand of crazy. What happens if she tells Rollins and he doubts her too? She couldn't live with another disappointment or stand the thought of losing her one true friend.
When Sophie shows up dead and everyone is convinced she killed herself, Vee has no one to turn to with the truth. How would she explain to the police that she was there but not really there? Yeah, cuz that makes all the sense in the world. She wants to tell Rollins but something about the way he's been acting holds her back. Then there's Zane...blond, beautiful, Zane. *sighs* He's the new guy at school and he.is.HAWT! All the girls are after him but hits it off with Vee. They enjoy spending time together and she knows the closer she gets to Zane, the farther apart she and Rollins will be.
Things become more complicated for Vee when another body shows up and it appears her sister Mattie may be the next on the list. She also uncovers a secret her father's been hiding, one that threatens to destroy what's left of their already fragile family. Her sliding increases both in frequency and urgency but will it be enough for her to catch the killer before it's too late?
Vee was a wonderful protagonist. While her transformation from prep-to-goth was stereotypical on the surface, her reasons behind the bright pink hair and 90s grunge music really pulled at my heartstrings.
"I was tired of looking in the mirror every day and seeing her, missing her.
Dyeing my hair couldn’t disguise the other parts of her that lived on in me, though. The way my laughter borders on cackling when I find something hilarious, just like hers did. The way my skin refuses to tan, no matter how many hours I spend in the sun."
A truly complex and emotionally layered character, I loved watching how different Vee’s relationships were with everyone in Slide, but that her ability to keep them grounded was a constant. Passing out in school didn’t stop her from comforting Sophie, who was throwing up in the bathroom. Dislike for Amber’s attitude didn’t stop Vee from consoling her as she fell apart at Sophie’s funeral. Hurt over his emotional distance didn’t stop Vee from trying her best to ease her father’s worry, even if it meant lying to him about the truth behind her narcolepsy. It seemed that every person in her life depended on her for something, and she was always able to set aside her own issues in order to be there for them. And not once did she use her angst, over her mother’s death or her father’s negligence or her friends’ abandonment, in order to excuse her behaviour.
But the absolute best part about Vee was her relationship with her sister, Mattie. Their relationship was so similar to my relationships with my younger sisters growing up, that it was almost like deja vu. They had their moments of sister bonding, where Vee shared her memories about their mother since Mattie was too young to have made any of her own, and they had their moments of sibling rivalry. But most of all, it was obvious that they loved each other. Vee did everything within her power to keep Mattie safe from the person harming her friends, but there was nothing she could do to regain Mattie’s childlike innocence, and it physically hurt her to see her baby sister carrying the burdens of someone much older. Their relationship was everything a sibling relationship is – passionate, fragile, messy and beautiful – and more than anything else in Slide, it truly resonated with me.
I also really enjoyed watching Vee’s ability to slide evolve, from something completely out of her control, to something she used as a tool to catch a murderer. Her hints that her mother might have had the same condition really piqued my curiosities.
"I remember her falling asleep sometimes while watching television or during dinner. When she woke up, she’d have the strangest little smile. I’d give anything to know what happened to her while she was asleep. If she was like me. If she slid."
Just when I began to accept her sliding as fact, she would throw out a comment that had me wondering how she got it – was it genetic? Would her mother have been able to explain more, if she had lived longer? Or was she touched by the paranormal? While I would have liked some explanation, the mystery surrounding Vee’s condition added a level of suspense that any explanation would have ruined. As Slide’s plot progressed, I really like watching her try to take control of something that she had mostly lived in fear of, and that she did it with such honorable intentions.
But as much as I loved Vee, and regardless of how intriguing I found her ability, Slide’s plot was a little too predictable for my liking. The high school cliches – popular girls are cheerleaders (and bitches), the hottest guy that every girl falls for is a jerky jock, the popular teacher who’s loved by the student body is the teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student – were abundant and noticeable. Even Vee and her best friend Rollins were cliched, being the goth girl and the new guy who became friends because everyone else at the school snubbed them. And honestly, I think I could have gotten past the cliches if the murder-mystery had been fantastically done. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. With clues dropped left and right, there were the obvious paths (which I saw right through, because they were so obvious) and then there was the not-so-obvious-obvious path, which led right to the killer. Considering how quickly Vee put certain clues together, I was frustrated with how blind she remained to the killer’s identity, until the killer all but bit her. It made for a pretty anticlimactic ending, considering everything that was revealed I had guessed early on in the book.
As a whole, I really enjoyed Slide. Vee as a protagonist was written well enough that I was able to mostly ignore a lot of what was bothering me – namely the stereotypical YA treatment of high school and an overly predictable plot. With enough thrills and suspense to keep me reading, I would recommend Slide to anyone who’s looking for a quick read, with a great protagonist, and a relatively likeable plot.
In the story cheerleaders are turning up dead. It seems to be suicide, until Vee a pink haired girl comes along. She watches the first "suicide" through another person's eyes. She tends to do that when she sleeps. She can "Slide" into another person by touching something of importance to that person that they emotionally imprinted on. Sounds exciting right? That's what I thought. Until I read it.
As hype as the synopsis explains the book, I wasn't impressed. I was expecting way more action and suspense. It just seemed bland. I like to read big descriptions (not too much, but enough to give me a good picture in my head), not something that tells exactly what is going on in the book. I use that description the author uses to draw every bit I can about the character, such as their feelings. I couldn't connect with these characters whatsoever.
I did like the ending though. It came to something I definitely wasn't expecting and its pretty hard to trick me. (But then again, I was going through alot at the time... ) So, all in all, the beginning was a little boring but the ending made it a little easier to swallow. Because of this, I will give the next book in the series a chance.
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
ARC received by Balzer & Bray (Harper Collins)
Release Date: 3-27-2012
The Sisters Say: A breath of fresh air
If you have ever found yourself tossed around in a sea of tumultuous trilogies of the same old angels, demons, witches, powers, and other such paranormal phenomenon; then, Slide by Jill Hathaway just might be the life saving breath you need. Don’t get me wrong; I do have a love affair going with certain YA books, but it’s nice to see something new every once in a while.
Jill Hathaway puts an interesting twist on the idea of possession. Instead of possession being dark and evil where the victim always ends up hurt in one way or another, Hathaway uses the idea of possession as something other than a curse. Vee, her protagonist, has narcoleptic episodes where, when she passes out, she slides into the body of another person. The storyline gets interesting when Vee slides into the body of a murderer, standing over Sophie’s (her friend) body with a knife.
I find Vee’s powers interesting because I haven’t seen possession portrayed in this way—where the possessor is the good guy. However, I felt like Hathaway didn’t dig deep enough into Vee’s powers, and I found myself wanting more. I wanted to see her really test her powers, and more importantly, I wanted her to have to rely on her powers in a climactic event—but that event never really came around for me. But, this is only Book 1, so maybe she didn’t wanted to leave something to be discovered about Vee’s powers in future books.
Besides the interesting twist on possession, I liked the dimensions of the characters, mainly Vee’s family. Their family continues to be broken again and again, and I liked to see the real reactions that each character made—they hide from their pain. Instead of facing it dead on (like so many heroes and heroines do), they break down first; and I really felt like their family was believable, like that’s how a real family would react to such tragedy. Because of this, I think Jill Hathaway would be a brilliant contemporary author, but for a paranormal thriller, I was a little bummed.
A lot of the reviews of Slide were positive, saying that it was a twist and turn ride, but for me, it was very predictable. I mean, I knew who the killer was before I was 50 pages into the book, and that’s really depressing for me. I still enjoyed the book because I wanted to see how Vee was going to figure it out (because she, apparently, doesn’t have my gut instinct) and how she was going to save the day.
So overall, this book was interesting and I can see how it would appeal to many readers, but it just wasn’t for me. For me, the interesting powers and dynamic relationships were not enough to override the predictability and anti-climactic ending. If you’re looking for a quick read that’s different from the plethora of angels, demons, and witch books already out there, then give Slide a try. It might surprise you, but at the least, give you a whiff of something different.
Hathaway ratchets up the tension throughout and keeps you guessings as you hurtle toward the climactic ending. I loved how she made this personal with an allusion to the mother and wove in and out between the relationship with Vee and her father.
In addition, there's an intriguing love triangle with suspects that include Vee's love interests. I also enjoyed how music played a role with the story.
I really liked how the author described how Vee ‘slides.’ It was really clearly conveyed in just a few words, and I felt that opening with a scene in which Vee slides really gave us a good feel of what it was like, how it works, and what exactly Vee sees and feels. It’s also original, and filled with endless possibilities. With an ability like this, anything can happen!
But while I liked how we came to know how sliding works, it frustrated me that we didn’t know any background information on Vee and her ability to slide. The author didn’t tell us anything about how she came to discover sliding, how she got the ability to slide (was it hereditary? Did something happen to her? What?), how she discovered how it works, etc. When adding factors into a story, they need to not only make sense, but they can’t just be ‘there.’ In other words, a ‘who,’ a ‘what,’ a ‘where,’ a ‘when,’ and a ‘how,’ needs to be addressed. But they weren’t when the author talked about Vee’s sliding ability.
Also, I felt like the way the author portrayed high school and all it’s students was off. Everyone seemed to snobby, too superficial, too self-obsessed, and too clueless. Vee, Rollins, and Zane seemed to be the only rational, normal teenagers in their high school, which is pretty hard to believe. Okay, there can be some people who are too superficial, self-obsessed, snobby, and so on, but while there are those kind of people everywhere, there’s also decent people everywhere; nice people. But it didn’t seem that way in Vee’s high school.
I liked Vee and Zane’s relationship, though. Despite Slide‘s short length, it didn’t seem too fast or rushed. They were a sweet couple, too, and you could tell that Zane genuinely felt for Vee. There were a couple ‘aww’ moments that made you want to melt into a sugary puddle, and ones that made you really smile.
But I kind of felt bad for Rollins, as his feelings were really obvious from the very beginning, and Vee and Zane all but flaunted their couple-status in front of him. Then Vee goes on to be suspicious about him for leaving and acting all strange, and all I want to do is slap her, because it’s so freaking obvious that he isn’t sneaking off to kill anyone while she and Zane makes googly eyes at each other.
But while the pacing was great at the middle and the beginning, I felt like the ending was too rushed. Vee and Zane – without giving away any spoilers, it all all happened too quickly, and she got over it and all but forgot way too quickly. Also, while the murderer reveal was really shocking (the ‘why didn’t I think of that? That makes so much sense!’ kind), I felt like the author brought in the big reveal too soon. We could’ve done with a few more murders to build up on the tension and the suspense, and a couple more slides to mix everything up. At one point in all my favorite murder mysteries, everyone seems like a suspect. That’s the most tension-ridden, suspense-filled part – my favorite part. But I felt like the ‘big reveal’ was brought in too soon, and so the author didn’t really have time to hit that part. Bummer.
But overall, it’s a pretty good story – a suspenseful murder mystery containing a pink-haired heroine, some awfully sweet scenes, and an awesome ability. If you like murder mysteries, Slide might be a story for you to take a look at.
Within the first few pages, we are thrust right into one of Vee's 'episodes' and experience and feel everything that she does when she slides. It's intense and so visual! I really felt like I was sliding right along with her.
The plot - so mysterious and suspenseful! I'm usually really good at figuring out the 'who did it' person right from the beginning, but Hathaway was so very good at giving out the hints and then throwing in few twists to throw me off track!
Vee's family dynamic seemed to be what most authors are going for these days, single parent home, siblings that kind of get along... but I really like the way Hathaway did it. Even though Vee, her sister Mattie and Dad didn't have much communication, they all still loved and cared for each other very much. In my opinion, most families are like this. Which makes their relationship realistic and more relate-able.
And of course, the romance! I adored Zane, not at first though, he seemed a bit too perfect, but nonetheless, he was too sweet and cute not to like... and of course, the BFF! At first I just didn't get it - Rollins was so standoffish and too much of a 'guy' at first. But once I got further into the book, he started to grow on me and I just knew that there had to be more to him than what he was fronting... and then, with the help of one of Vee's episodes, I finally got to see what Rollins was going through in his life - everything starts to click together and I couldn't help going all soft for him too. He had every right to be and react the way he did, I love him... and I loved the ending... and... oh my, so hard to keep this review spoiler free!
Slide has it all: suspense, mystery, love... It's a definite must read for 2012!