Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: Slide

SLIDE (Slide #1)
Jill Hathaway
Paranormal-ish Young Adult
256 pages
Balzer + Bray
Available March 27th
Received through Teen Book Scene for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.

Slide is a story that draws us in quickly, making us feel vulnerable on a level rarely experienced while reading and binding us to Vee as we tread precariously through the strangeness of her life. Not only do we have the vulnerability we typically feel as passive observers to fictional action–stuck outside the pages with absolutely no ability to direct or alter what’s unfolding before us–but with Vee’s story that usual vulnerability is compounded by her ability to slide into the minds of others without effecting change while she’s there. Thus, we find ourselves observers of someone who’s an even more intimate observer of others, leaving us helpless not just on a single default level but on a far deeper level as well, and making the reading experience a kind of fascinating exercise in facing our own impotence.

Vee is a young woman whose gift superficially seems like it might be something we’d like to experience, but the more time we spend with her, the more her ability takes on a darker, almost sinister edge, turning us all into unintentional voyeurs invading the privacy of others without their consent. Her sliding also leaves her body starkly exposed, her mind unable to protect its physical form while occupied in the mind of another, and we therefore feel an intense need to protect her despite our deep-seated knowledge that we are unable to do so. Still, Vee’s safety–emotionally and physically–becomes important to us, and we envy the strength she possesses to deal with such unusual circumstances and the horrors she is sometimes subjected to as a result.

Though Vee is a heroine it’s extremely easy to root for and we are rapidly swept away into a world where seeing is not just believing but also experiencing, the overall feeling we are left with upon finishing is one of slight disappointment. Ms. Hathaway has written a gorgeously dark story with characters who have problems and pasts that keep us riveted to the pages, however, we are denied deeper, richer access to them. Reading this story is a bit like being children in a candy store–we want nothing more than to touch and taste everything within reach of our greedy fingers, but the firm hand of our parents restrains us, their authoritative voices reminding us we are to look only while fully indulging in nothing. There’s an intriguing relationship with Rollins of which we only get a brief flash, just as there is a great deal of pain and loss in Vee’s own past that we get a little snippet of when everything comes together at the end, but those tiny tastes, however delightful, make us feel the absence of something weightier all the more keenly.

Overall, Slide is a very quick and entertaining read, one that is done just well enough that we can’t help but want to immerse ourselves a little more thoroughly in the world and its characters, thereby causing the inability to do so to affect us more than it might in another book. Ms. Hathaway is certainly an author going on my “authors to keep track of” list, and I look forward to whatever she releases next.

Rating: 3.5/5


  1. This is one I'd been on the fence about reading, and thanks to your review? I'm definitely going to be reading Slide! I could use a quick, entertaining read and this sounds perfect!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  2. It seems like I've been seeing a lot of mixed reviews for this one. Still, it seems like this one is an "almost": it has everything in place for a great read, just doesn't quite get there. I guess that qualifies as a "maybe" on my tbr then :) Thanks for the review, Jenny!

  3. this sounds fab. I will have to add this on my list. great review ! x


  4. Sounds fascinating. I like the darkness of this story. It's interesting that Vee's paranormal power has such a danger too her. Usually our paranormal creatures are uber powerful.

  5. I found this a fun and compelling fast read! Vee indeed was easy to like and I enjoyed following her desperate with to uncover these killings. The ending totally caught me by surprise and I never expected that ending! I'm eager to pick up the next book too!

    I agree though, some things could have been explored a bit better, but we get another book and I hope there we get a little deeper into the issues!

  6. Slide was definitely a one-sit read -- I really enjoyed this one!! :) And I loooved Vee too! Even though I kind of wish that things could've been a little more in depth like you did (because of course I'd want to know more about a girl who I'd want as a BFF!), it was still really faced-paced and so easy to get absorbed in! I don't know if it was just me, but my final guess was not who it was LOL! It was a stunner for sure! x)

    Amazing review, Jenny! I'm definitely watching out for Jill Hathaway's new books too -- she has a great hand at writing mysteries! :) <3

  7. I love when authors get on the "to keep track of" list! That means they weave a mighty good story!

  8. Oh I need to read this soon. I love having a quick read tucked under my belt, ready to go and fortunately I do have this one ready and waiting for me.

    The concept of sliding sounds interesting and I'm kinda anxious to see what it's all about even if the full investment into characterization might be a teensy bit less than I love.

    Thank you Jenny for your lovely words.

  9. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Jenny! I'm picking it up today so I'm quite excited. Getting on your author-tracking list is definitely a good grade as well! Great review. :)

  10. Jac - Glad you're going to give it a try! It was a fun book, I just wanted to know the characters a little better, though maybe that will come in book 2:)

    Aylee - Exactly. It was a super quick read, we just stayed a bit more on the surface with the characters.

    Lalaine - Hope you enjoy it!

    Alison - I really liked the darkness too. I started out thinking her ability might be cool to have and then almost immediately changed my mind.

    Danny - I'm really excited for book 2 as well, I hope we get more Rollins:) More everything really. I'm greedy.

    Mimi - One of my criticisms for most books it seems is I want to know more. More about the characters. More about the world. More about their secrets. And I'm not good at waiting for the author to spread those things out through the series as a whole. It's a reader flaw I think:)

    Felicia - Exactly! She's definitely on there!

    Asheley - Oh good! I can't wait to see what you think of it! You always write such a thorough review:)

    Rebecca - AWESOME! I'll be keeping an eye out for your review:)

  11. I love the premise of this book, but I'm disappointed to hear about the disconnectedness you felt in the book. I'm going to wait and see if I can get this one from the library.

  12. Paranormal"-ish" Ha! This sounds like a book right up my alley, despite the fact that the relationships are not quite what you would like them to be. It's a great premise anyway!

  13. I read this a few weeks (months?) ago, and agree that it was a very quick and entertaining read. I am definitely looking forward to checking out more from this author. :)

  14. I am on the fence on this one, I read some early negative reviews and now I am seeing some positive ones. It sounds good, dark story, sliding into minds, but I am not excited about shallow characters. Still, I will keep it on my radar. Thanks for your thoughts as always Jenny.

  15. Rummanah - I wasn't disconnected per se, I was really interested in what was going on, I just felt like I was only hovering on the surface of the characters instead of sinking beneath their skin:)

    Pam - I didn't really know how to classify it. She has her "gift" but the rest of it reads like a contemporary novel, hence the "ish":)

    Christy - I read it a while back as well for the tour, so I don't remember my reaction all that well aside from what I wrote:)

    Heidi - I'm hoping we get a little more depth from the characters moving forward, but it's a solid and enjoyable mystery:)

  16. I've been seeing reviews for this book all week. Clearly I missed the cool boat. LOL

    Sorry to hear the story was a bit lacking. That kid in a candy story ready to grab everything in sight but unable to feeling is not fun. I've been there. But the "gorgeously dark" writing certainly caught my attention.

  17. Thanks for taking the time to read and review SLIDE, Jenny. And also for helping host the blog tour. :)

  18. I could do with easy and entertaining right now.The book i am reading mostly annoys me

  19. I've been seeing lots of reviews for this one and they seem to be pretty positive. I think I'll definitely have to pick this one up!

  20. Oh sounds like a book to become involved in and yet still lacks in depth. Hm... still, it being a quick and entertaining read still has me curious. I love it when you find authors to keep track of! Another plus for this book!

  21. I liked this book! I love going through another person's mind to see what they are really up to.

    Thanks for the review Jenny :)

  22. I loved this one! I rated it a 4.5! I thought it was such a fun idea and I loved the characters and the fast pace of the story. Can't wait to read more!

  23. Brilliant review, Jenny. You spot things I would never have considered! :D I enjoyed this one too and loved the mystery, but I did have some trouble connecting with Vee. Other than that, I definitely liked it. :)

  24. "we are rapidly swept away into a world where seeing is not just believing but also experiencing, the overall feeling we are left with upon finishing is one of slight disappointment. Ms. Hathaway has written a gorgeously dark story with characters who have problems and pasts that keep us riveted to the pages"

    That right there makes me want to read this, despite all the negatives you've mentioned. And the ones mentioned by many other book bloggers. I just hope it won't be so drastic for me, and I'll have a reaction similar to yours. Pleasant, but not overly impressed. :)


  25. Great Review Jenny! I can see there is something lacking there, you describe it so well. Her supernatural ability isn't one I understand. Maybe if I read it, I might. But this one I've not been interested in. But I will keep an open mind about anything else she writes. Thanks for the review!


  26. Thanks for the great review !! I'm really reconsidering reading this one now ... :)

  27. Those darned parents, always keeping us away from the good stuff! This is a very intriguing premise and I can see how it might be fun to be in the MC's place, at least for a while.

  28. This book is popping up all over the blogosphere today! Nice review (as always) Jenny.
    I like the concept of her being able to slide into other people's minds.