Review: Slide by Jill Hathaway

Publication Date: March 27th, 2012
Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins
Format: ARC, 250 pages
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
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.

I’m having quite a conundrum. While I can appreciate the originality of the whole sliding business and the suspenseful whodunnit mysteries patent in this book, there is a certain disorganization in the plot events that was unable to hold my initial enthusiasm over this book. I can understand the need to give us a taste of what sliding was like for Vee but I thought that the author didn’t quite succeed in providing a cohesiveness to the events necessary to have a smooth, well-told story.

I found that Vee spent so much time agonizing about what she should do than actually doing what she’s supposed to do. I can understand her reluctance to a degree. After all, the realization that she had the ability to change things came late in the game. She didn’t actually decide her course of action until there was only about less than a quarter left to the book. And even then, the author just kind of glanced over the fact, it wasn’t really discussed in a detailed manner. A great quality of a murder/mystery novel is the methodical way in which it was solved. Unfortunately, Slide was lacking in this department. A lot of the fact finding hinges on Vee’s abilities so really, the clues were mostly to the letter that they leave less to the imagination of the reader.  I’m a bit disappointed in the randomness of her ability as well.  There wasn’t any scientific or even any mystical explanations given. It was just…there. 

The predictability factor in this book was also too transparent – and I’m not talking about the eventual murderer. I thought that the author tried too hard to sway me into believing the credibility of the obvious suspects that it hindered my enjoyment of actually solving the puzzle right along with Vee.

There was an over all coldness – aloofness with all the characters here. It’s difficult to sympathize to anyone when it seems like they don’t really want you to feel anything for them. That’s pretty much how I felt about everyone in this book. The characters failed to grab me. Most of the reviews on Goodreads were liking Vee to Veronica Mars. Unfortunately, I’ve seen nary an episode so I can’t really say whether or not I agree. I have griped about the high school stereo-types over and and over again and Slide was full of them. But. BUT. Slide’s use of these typecasting is forgivable because the story actually revolved around the high school society echelon.

To summarize, this book just didn’t hit the spot. It was a good read but not a great one.

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