Slide by Jill Hathaway
Balzer + Bray, 2012
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 distant lately, 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 tells the story of Vee, a girl who has the ability to “slide” into the minds of others if she touches an object they touched. Mostly she sees humdrum things, like teachers sneaking liquor, her sister crying, etc. All of that changes, however, when she slides into the mind of a killer right after they’ve murdered her sister’s best friend, Sophie. The murder is considered a suicide, and only Vee knows the truth. As such, she takes it upon herself to use her ability to slide in order to figure out who is responsible for Sophie’s death.
I literally devoured this book in a matter of hours; I started it yesterday afternoon, took a couple hours off to do other things, and then finished it in one fell swoop. I found the story completely engrossing; not only was the premise fresh and new, but I really enjoyed reading through Vee’s eyes. She is a narrator who isn’t perfect; her ability makes things difficult for her, and she’s also basically the parent for her younger sister, Mattie, due to her mother’s death from cancer several years before and a father who works long hours and is never home. She’s also dealing with some things that happened in her personal life prior to the start of this book, including a fall out with the “popular” crowd. I enjoyed Vee’s voice, but also appreciated her flaws. While I thoroughly enjoyed the supernatural happenings in this book in terms of Vee’s ability, it was her relationships with her family and friends that really drew me in and kept me reading; the mystery and suspense were first rate, but Vee’s humanity was the big draw for me personally, especially when it came to her and Mattie.
I also appreciated the plot twists and turns, and how the author brought each about. I was constantly guessing regarding who was responsible for Sophie’s death, which is always a good thing; I love books that keep me wondering what’s going to happen next. This is the first in a series, and I am really looking forward to the future installments.