Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Slide

Series: Slide #1
Published: March 27th, 2012 by Balzer + Bray
Pages: 250 (Hardcover)
Goodreads | Amazon | Indie
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 will stick with me for a long time. Not because it’s a great mystery or paranormal novel, but because of how prominent the elements of family bonds and forgiveness are. Each of the novel's characters has to work through his or her own set of personal and familial tragedies. They all have to find ways to let go of their pasts, to forgive themselves and each other in order to find what is truly important and what's worth living for.

As far as the mystery goes, there were a few jaw dropping moments... evident by Bill screen capping me when I was reading while on Skype... but it wasn’t the chilling or intense thriller I was craving. Instead, Slide ended up being a much deeper story. Honestly, I forgot a couple of times that I was reading a paranormal book because it reads so much like a contemporary - delving into family dynamics, suicide, depression, and vengeance. Vee’s slides are there, but they aren’t a huge part of the book. Now, while I see this as spicing up an otherwise contemporary novel, I understand how this can frustrate other readers because there were times when I wished her ability was more prominent.

I absolutely loved how close Vee and Mattie were. Guys, there is some serious sisterly love going on in this book. Even though they have very different interests and friends, their love and loyalty to one another always comes first. Since their mother died of cancer, their dad has basically become a walking shell of a person. He tries to be there for his daughters, but it’s difficult for him. So Vee is left to take care of her sister. Which she does without a complaint. However, even though Mattie is SO damaged during this novel, she still worries about her sister and does her best to be there for Vee too. The love this family has for each other is unwavering, and I love how well the relationships were created.

The only thing I did not like about Slide was the ending. Everything seemed to come together at the very last minute. It didn't feel crammed or rushed, but the whole reveal and finale happened in like 20 pages. The answer to the overarching mystery made a lot of sense, and I definitely didn't see all of it coming, which is what I want in a mystery… I just wasn't satisfied. Jill came up with a great way to pull together and end many of the novel’s subplots, while at the same time creating some leeway for more character development and relationship building. But there were parts I wished she would have fleshed out. Like Vee’s last slide! Why did it have to happen like that?! :( As soon as my excitement rose and I started turning the pages faster and faster, it was over. 

When I finished it, I didn’t know that Slide is the start of a series. While I would love to see what happens with the characters, I’m not quite sure if the novel really needs a sequel. I for one am perfectly content with the story’s ending. But if Jill has more in store for us, I'm down. Beautifully written with a captivating storyline, Slide is very much a novel about a broken family trying to be whole again. It’s a great book for lovers of contemporary, and those a bit hesitant about paranormal. 

Rating: 3/5 stars
As a mystery and paranormal book, I was disappointed with the big reveal as well as the lack of info on Vee's slides. As a contemporary with a little extra magic, I loved the family aspects and the bond between Vee and her sister. Give it a try, but check it out from the library.

- Alysson

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