Book Brats Reviews

Slide by Jill Hathaway

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Series: Slide (#1)
Genre: , ,
Release: March, 27 2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
256 pages
Source: ARC Received Via Publisher
Rating: ♥♥♥

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 promised me a few things in the synopsis. A murder mystery (love those). A romance (love those, too). Catty high school drama (definitely love). This was actually the first book I ever requested from HarperCollins for review, and I was super excited for it. Maybe I overhyped the book in my head, or maybe I let the hype on Goodreads mislead me, but this book didn’t live up to all my expectations. I enjoyed the book, but it wasn’t all the way there for me. While SLIDE does have an awesome premise and a unique take on the paranormal, I felt that it could have been a lot more than how it ended up.

Vee Bell is a typical high school student in Iowa. Like many young teenage girls, she has gone through a lot in her life at school – backstabbing friends, issues with boys, peer pressure, alcohol, etc. When she was 11, she lost her mother to cancer. But she has a certain secret that she carries with her. Everyone thinks she is narcoleptic, passing out at certain times in reaction to stimuli. In reality, when she passes out, she “slides” into the mind of another and becomes a passenger to their thoughts. If you saw the movie BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, it’s basically like the door to Malkovich’s brain.

This set up presents interesting opportunities, and lots of complications. She’s afraid to tell anyone, including her friends and family, but she can’t control her affliction. Vee is a strong girl who has a lot of stuff to deal with in her life, from a father that is constantly working (and hiding stuff) to a sister who is hard to control. But when her sister’s friends start dropping, and Vee slides into the mind of the killer during one of their murders, things start going bad.

SLIDE is a book on the border between contemporary and paranormal, a standalone by a debut author in a market heavy towards series  (SLIDE has actually sold a sequel since this review was written, so this no longer applies). And sadly, this story fell flat for me. The writing was fine – smooth, realistic, light on the frilly aspects that I hate. But the plot was what threw me. I have seen other reviewers comment on the predictability of the story, and I have to agree. Vee might not see the clues, but anyone with half a brain will be able to tell who the killer is the moment certain clues are revealed. With this, the conclusion doesn’t seem very exciting, and the climax is dull.

Other than that, I quite enjoyed the novel. Vee was an awesome character and her voice and POV were very clear and interesting. Her best friend Rollins was equally as cool, although I wasn’t as hot for her love interest Zane. The characters were for the most part engaging and realistic. It was just the evolution of the plot and the clues that rubbed me wrong, detracting from what could have been – an awesome, seat-of-your-pants murder mystery. When you can tell who the killer is from 100 pages out, that’s not a good sign.

VERDICT: With a predictable ending, SLIDE could have been a lot more. Nevertheless, it was still an exciting story with an awesome protagonist and signals the arrival of an author to watch in the future.


Megan (246 Posts)

Megan is the founder of Book Brats, started as an unemployment project in June 2011. She's a twentysomething writer/reader/all around nerd with a love of cats, science fiction, fantasy, and film. With her master's degree, her goal is to one day be the US Ambassador to Japan and win the Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

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  1. This is an author that is new to me. I have recently discovered murder Mysteries and am enjoying them. I look forward to trying this one.