Slide (Slide #1)
by Jill Hathaway
Publisher: Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Source: Review copy
My Rating: ★★★★☆
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.
Part contemporary, part mystery, Slide introduces a concept I haven’t read about before. What if you could invade someone’s mind and see the world through that person’s eyes, even if just for a little while? And what if this invasion meant that you would completely leave your body, leaving it unconscious and defenseless, all that while? Sylvia Bell (“Vee”) can. She unwillingly slides in and out of people’s minds, whenever she touches something that the person she ends up sliding into, has imprinted on, or was important to that person.
It happens to her with books, which is why she always purchases new books. It also happens to her with money, clothes, pretty much any object that has previously been touched. People at Vee’s school have labeled her as a Narcoleptic, because that’s the condition she was diagnosed with, but no one knows what really happens to Vee when she drops unconscious in the middle of class or in the hallways. Most of the time, Vee can see it coming, and sometimes, she is able to safely make it to her bed, or a bathroom stall, in order to not physically get herself hurt. But this is not always, and Vee regularly ends up with bumps on her head from the sudden falls. She cannot control when she slides, or who she might slide into, which makes for a very OCD way of living life, trying to avoid anything someone else has touched.
During her slides she sees things she does not want to see, like her school principal sneaking in alcohol, a student-teacher affair, or a plot to humiliate another student. Nothing could prepare her though for the time she slid into the mind of a killer, right after the murder, make to look like suicide, of her sister’s best friend. This knowledge eats away at Vee, knowing that this girl was murdered, while everyone else thinks it was a suicide. She decides to be proactive and use her sliding abilities to find out who the killer is, but what awaits her is a whole world of hurt and unexpected revelations.
I really enjoyed this book, more than I thought I would. I really liked Vee’s character and felt her frustrations with not being able to be in control of her own body. I also liked her dad, because being a working mother myself, I understand what a challenge it is like to try to have a career and take care of your kids at the same time. More so, I loved Rollins’ character, Vee’s best friend in the world. I wish I had that make friend in high school who had stuck up for me when I needed it or not hesitated to punch an inappropriate jerk in the face for me. 4 stars for this book (in a Z formation).