27 March 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Slide by Jill Hathaway

Release Date: 27 March 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Goodreads description:
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. 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.

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 Thoughts...
When this book showed up on NetGalley, I was quite excited because the premise sounds so unique--not your typical YA murder mystery! I'm a major sucker for a contemporary with a slightly paranormal twist (because let's be honest--Vee's sliding is not exactly normal).  Vee can't really control who she slides into--it has to do with that person leaving some kind of emotional imprint on an object that Vee touches.  When she slides into a killer, the stakes are immediately raised because not only did Sophie not kill herself as everyone suspects, but Vee knows the killer somehow, even if she can't figure out how.

The characters in this novel were very well done.  I immensely enjoyed Vee, even though I really wanted to just give her a little shove when she didn't tell Rollins the truth. She's a really tough chick and I liked that she was a little out there with her pink hair and "narcolepsy." She's also hiding a lot of pain that those around her can't/don't really know about and I thought that it made her character have a lot of depth. I thought that Ms. Hathaway also did a really good job making her side characters interesting and dynamic, especially with Vee's family. I thought her sister and father had a lot more to them than you could see at first glance.  Maddie is a lot less of the shallow girl she seems at first, and her father obviously has a lot of pain and secrets that he's hiding.

As for the mystery, well, I had a pretty good idea what was up fairly early on, but that didn't stop me from enjoying every aspect of the story.  I think even after you figure out what's going on there's still a lot of learn about the motivations and it would be hard to guess where she's really taking the story.  The writing is very well-done--succinct and smooth with a realistic storyline.

Overall, I think Jill Hathaway's debut Slide welcomes her perfectly into the world of YA literature and she'll be an author to look for in the future. If you're looking for a quick YA mystery to read, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to you and I think it's one worthy of reading and quite possibly adorning your bookshelf.
*School Library Journal recommends this read for grades 8 & up.*

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