Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Slide, Jill Hathaway

Title: Slide
Author: Jill Hathaway (author website)
Release Date: 1st March 2012 by HarperCollins Australia
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal/Mystery
My Rating:1 star2 star3 star4 star

When I first heard about Slide, my thoughts went straight to Lisa McMann’s WAKE. While I believe it would appeal to fans of this series, Slide is a very different creature. I've heard quite a few favourable comparisons to Veronica Mars, and it deserves them. I can see the similarities: we have a smart, snarky protagonist, sharp witty dialogue, murder, mystery, and some pretty dark issues for a YA audience. But Slide is not derivative and, rather than being predictable, kept me guessing to the end. Exciting and fresh, Slide is utterly gripping and a total page turner. I loved this book.

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.

Can I just say Slide has some of the best cover copy I’ve ever read. I’d normally try and give you a quick synopsis of a book from my POV. But this? It sums it up perfectly. Are you hooked yet? Excited? Guys. You should be.

I liked Vee immediately. Her open and friendly voice and unique personality (and situation) make her fun to read.  From her pink hair, to her atypical taste in music (read: awesome taste in music), she’s different, she's not your typical teenager. Somehow, where Vee could easily have felt contrived, she didn’t once come across this way. To me, Vee felt real, and I loved her for being herself. This is a girl who’s suffered a lot in her life. She should be jaded, but she's not. She knows more than she’d like to about the nature of the people around her, and this, combined with the loss of her mother, and an absent father, have forced her to grow up. She cares deeply about her sister, Mattie, while not approving of the path she’s been taking, and despite knowing what they are capable of, has a great deal of empathy for the people around her.

It's the murder of Sophie, Mattie's best friend, that kickstarts the mystery driving the story of Slide. So many clues and threads, and pieces of information kept me guessing, and, like Vee, I truly didn’t know who to trust. Jill Hathaway has nailed the pacing of this book, and knows when to move it along; speeding it up, or slowing it down for a quiet, tender, human interaction. It's enthralling.

Riveting mystery and storyline aside, one of the things I loved most about Slide was the cast of characters, and the human interactions. Vee’s love and concern for her sister shines through in their tender scenes together. The tension between Vee and her best friend, Rollins, is palpable. My heart broke a little when I discovered a secret Rollins has been keeping of his own. I kept wishing that each one would reach out, and take a gamble on trusting one another. You could feel Vee’s ache for her father’s presence and support, and the need their broken little family had for him to be there. As the book progresses, characters like mean-girl cheerleader, Amber, and jock, ‘Scotch’, develop personality (for good or bad). I came to care for characters I didn’t even like, as Vee’s caring pulled me in. Slide has a perfect balance of funny and sad, touching and terrifying, and truly tender and sweet moments.

On top of this, Slide is beautifully written. Vee's left-of-field images and descriptions are gorgeously realised, her voice unique and refreshing. Hathaway shines a writer.

Slide, again like Veronica Mars, deals with some pretty heavy issues: suicide, substance use, date rape, death, loss and grief. These issues are handled well, but I could see some concerns with Vee popping caffeine pills like they’re candy, instead of her prescribed narcolepsy medication. I understand why, and none of these activities are glamorized. In fact, I thought  these issues are all handled well, but, for these reasons, this book is clearly for older teens.

The Verdict:

Simply put, Slide is everything I want from a book. Gripping and thrilling, exciting and achingly beautiful. It dragged me in and made me feel. From page one, Hathaway had me in her thrall and still, with the last page turned, hasn’t let me go.

Books In This Series:

  • Slide (March 2012)
  • Imposter (March 2013)

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Slide was kindly provided by HarperCollins Australia via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, you guys!

23 comments:

  1. YES! Finally, someone else who loved Slide! I don't understand why people aren't liking it. Like you said, it's pretty much perfect in terms of mystery! :) Great review.
    - Lauren

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    Replies
    1. Lauren, I LOVED it. It was fun, fast, and you know how sometimes you just read the EXACT right book at the EXACT right time? LOVED Slide.

      Delete
  2. Slide is on my TBR pile for this month. I'm more excited now that you enjoyed it because I've been hearing mixed things about it. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eeee! Mesa, I SO hope you like it! I REALLY enjoyed it ♥

      Delete
  3. This sounds excellent, especially if it's anything at all like Veronica Mars!

    Thanks for the links on where to buy it too ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously, it has a lot in common. I think that, if you liked Veronica Mars, you'd be mad not to like this ;)

      Delete
  4. I love the Veronica Mars feel to this book. And I like how Vee is an odd character, different than most teenagers. Those kind of characters can MAKE a book. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eee! I love that you've read this one. You're SO right. I love the slightly less-than-typical characters. It's what made Veronica Mars awesome, and what makes this amazing, too!

      Delete
  5. OH YES I LOVED THIS BOOK! <3 Vee was such an amazing character and I kinda like Rollins too! I did like Zane but when he turned out to be someone I SO DID NOT EXPECT, I didn't like him anymore, lol. Awesome review as always, Sarah! <3

    PS: Here's a rainbow sprinkled Vegan Brownies! <3

    ReplyDelete
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    1. EEEEEEEE! CEEELLLIIIIINE! YES! I really liked Rollin's, and my heart broke for him a bit... I mean, with what he was hiding, and HAD been hiding for so long? He was such a sweetheart, and I liked that he was a little bit of a bad boy and what not :D

      I was so sad about Zane... I felt like he was kind of torn? I think he genuinely liked Vee :(

      Ooooh! *snatches* omnomnomnom!

      Delete
  6. Wow! I think I prefer the Australian cover to the US cover I've seen. This one looks so INTENSE (the cover I mean). Loving the idea of the mystery in the plot. ;) We need more mystery YA books! Vee sounds like an awesome character. I can't wait to pick this one up! I need to read it soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alice! Yes! I love the AU cover! I actually really liked the US one (so pretty and ethereal), but this is SO cool, and INTENSE is EXACTLY the right word! I really enjoyed this book. SO hope you do, too! xx

      Delete
  7. *cheers* I'm SO incredibly happy that you loved this book!! I have it on my TBR pile too and I've been thinking of putting it off until closer to the release date, but your review makes me want to read it now! I LOVE a girl whose spunky enough to have pink hair -- I've always wanted cool coloured locks, but I would never be able to pull it off LOL -- but add that to a riveting mystery, storyline, and romance between best friends?? Oh my gosh, I swear this review was written for me! WANT WANT WANT! x)

    AMAZING amazing review, Sarah-bara!! <3 I am officially SOLD on this book -- I'm definitely going to read it soon! :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Mimi! I did! I did! I so hope you love it, too! It's SUCH a wonderful book, with fun characters, and great humour, but surprisingly dark. I actually read it MONTHS ago, and I've been super excited to post my review! I really hope you love it, too!

      Delete
  8. Eeee, I think this is the first proper review I'm reading for this book! SLIDE just sounds really solid all-around... great characters, awesome pacing AND beautiful writing? I could always use some more suspense and mystery in my life (*nervous gulps*) so I'll hopefully get to this one soon!

    PS - Dude, the Aussie cover is STRIKING. I want her eye(s), please.

    Sonia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eeee! I feel special! :D
      I really REALLY liked it. It so worked for me. I LOVED Vee, and her sister wound up being real and well-rounded... and the love interest in the story took a twist I'd never expected. So hope you like it!

      And OMG, RIGHT? The cover is AWESOME. Her eyes are super cool, BUT HER HAIR! EEE!

      Delete
  9. Veronica Mars?!?!? I'm SOLD. And call me macabre, but I'm almost always attracted to books with heavy subject matter. That, and the fact that you mention the beautiful writing...well...I'm definitely getting excited about reading this one.

    The synopsis also kind of reminds me of Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eeee! Hi, Macabre! (sorry, I know I'm not funny).
      Nooo, seriously. I get what you mean. I love seeing a book handle a heavy subject matter WELL. I REALLY loved this one, and it gets surprisingly dark at times.

      Oooh, haven't read the Body Finder! Shall look it up :)

      Delete
  10. YOU SAID THE TWO MAGIC WORDS: VERONICA MARS.

    I love love love when a novel is able to keep you guessing, rather than figuring out the mystery within the first 100 pages. And the characters sounds so amazingly well-explored. I love the depth of emotions this drew from you!

    Damn, Sarah. If this book is as incredible as your review, I AM IN LOVE WITH IT ALREADY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knooooow, right? Some people say Abra Kadabra? Nope. It's V. Mars, yo. I LOVED this one :D I hope you do, toooo! And I kept on guessing wrong about who the bad guy was, and I LOVED IT! *flails*

      *pokes* please love it!

      Delete
  11. I knooooow, right? Some people say Abra Kadabra? Nope. It's V. Mars, yo. I LOVED this one :D

    ReplyDelete
  12. Beautiful review as always, I definitely LOVED Vee herself, her snarkiness and yes her taste in music rocked (literally haha) I will be reading the next book in the series for sure, and I agree I was hoping her and Rollins would you know... CONNECT. I'm hoping that happens in Imposter :D And I really loved how Hathaway portrayed her relationship with her sister, there were some amazing moments for sure, I shed a few tears when *slight spoiler here for other readers* Vee gives Mattie their mom's music collection.

    I love how you word things, your reviews are always amazing, always so envious :D

    <3 April

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, April, I <3 you. I really REALLY loved Sldie when I read. It was totally one of those 'right time' books, and just WORKED for me.

      I LOVE her and Rollins, and have high hopes for them in future books :D

      Oh, that moment... the music ♥

      Delete

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