Monday, March 26, 2012

Slide by Jill Hathaway

Thank you Net Galley and HarperCollins (Balzer + Bray) for this galley! I devoured this one so fast! It comes out tomorrow and I’m thinking I might need to go buy it. What this book does so well is mix together the tough stuff teen literature sometimes focuses on and the supernatural, my favorite stuff teen literature focuses on!
The whole school knows Sylvia (aka: Vee) is epileptic, and people seem to almost be used to Vee’s episodes. But what no one knows is that Vee isn’t really epileptic; what she actually does during her episodes is “slide” into other people. And she learns a lot about people she would rather not know.
She learns a secret her dad has been keeping for years. She learns why her best friend never invites her to his house. She learns about the affair of a teacher. She learns that people cheat, plot, murder, rape, and so much more. And the worst thing is she’s there in people’s bodies while they are doing these terrible things and she has no way of controlling any of it. She can prevent herself from touching objects that are important to people. When she touches a glove or a T-shirt that belongs to someone, she can slide.
Vee lives with her younger sister, Mattie, and her father. Their mother died from cancer not too long ago. And a nice chunk of the book deals with how families can grow (and not grow) from loss. Another big part of this book deals with bullying the extent to which teens go to get what they think is theirs. Because Vee and her ex-best friend liked the same boy, Vee was ostracized, made fun of, and almost raped. And while a huge part of me hated Vee for not telling anyone about being almost raped or about any of it, another part of me understands her reluctance to share anything. I mean she told her father about her “sliding” and he sent her to a therapist who made up stuff about her dealing with her mom. If anything, I learned the worst thing you can do is tell someone who is suffering that what they are suffering isn’t real and that in fact they are crazy! Because, now Vee doesn’t tell people anything, not even her best friend. She just can’t deal with any more people (or therapists) telling her she’s wrong.
The best friend, Rollins, is obviously in love with her. And then there’s the new boy Zane, creating a love triangle! Oh, and it doesn’t help that Mattie hangs out with all the people Vee used to hang out with, including the guy who wanted to rape her and the friend who was going to let it happen. Rollins and Vee became friends the moment he rescued her unconscious body from Scotch’s (that’s the guy’s very promising nickname) unwanted hands.
But, the book really takes off when Vee slides into the body of a murderer, someone who just killed a friend of Mattie’s and made it look like suicide. And unfortunately, more teens are killed as well. And poor Vee and Mattie have already dealt with so much loss. It’s up to Vee to figure out who’s killing these girls because she’s the only one who doesn’t believe they’re all killing themselves. She just can’t tell anyone how she knows this.
Vee slowly learns how to take more control of her abilities. And she does start to share a little bit more with people like her sister. Unfortunately, before the book ends, there’s more death that the sisters have to deal with. There’s a lot of family drama, some romance, a crazy story of revenge, mystery, death, and a bit of a supernatural element.  I think my favorite thing about the book is how I was able to watch Vee slowly grow and come to terms with her loss. I loved watching her learn about her sliding. And I loved how much she cared for her sister. But, most of all I loved how she was finally able to talk with someone at then end, and to let someone in, because as the story progresses it becomes painfully clear that every character has someone they can rely (except for Vee).
I feel like the ending was rushed a little bit. But, I definitely think it was believable. I did find myself wishing that Vee would have shared a little bit more with more people. And I definitely want a certain guy to get in trouble for something, anything, but that never happens. Though, I guess Vee has will get there eventually. Baby steps. Also, Vee seemed to have a bit of a caffeine pill/drug problem. The girl was popping them like candy because they were the only things capable of keeping her awake longer and preventing her from sliding as easily. But, still, I feel like this wasn’t supposed to be a big deal, like it’s not a problem that a teen is self medicating, and most certainly overdosing on caffeine pills.
This book moves so fast! I picked up on the clues a little faster than Vee did, but this didn’t bother me too much. I really did end up loving this. I give it a 9/10.

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