Jill Hathaway 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.
Pink haired Vee has lived with her abilities since puberty, developing coping strategies to avoid sliding, and keep her abilities under wraps, often to the detriment of her health and her emotional relationships. Vee is desperate to share her secret with her best friend Rollins, but the last time she opened up about her abilities she was swept into therapy and branded an attention seeker.
With no one to turn to about her abilities and unable to explain her knowledge of Sophie’s murder, Sylvia actively encourages her ability in an attempt to discover the identity of the killer herself.
Slide touches on some huge themes including teen pregnancy, sexual assault and child carers. While the author isn’t able to explore these issues in depth, the way she sensitively and deftly handles bereavement within the book makes me feel confident at her ability to tackle these other issues in her future work.
I particularly identify with one scene in the book where Vee expresses her desire to be able to talk to her, long dead, mother about sliding; wondering if she had the same ability and how she managed it. As someone who lost her mother in her teens I can identify with the feeling of utter loss over missed conversations, which for me have been triggered by the birth of my own children.
While I wouldn’t say that Slide contained a great deal of romance, the warm and friendly new boy Zane and Rollins, the best friend with a big secret, certainly keep things interesting.
The pacing and suspense of the novel ensured a late night and that I finished the book in one sitting. While I guessed the culprit about two thirds of the way through this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel and I was pleasantly surprised by twists I didn’t see coming. Verdict: I’m pleased to discover that Slide is the first of a series. I’m looking forward to seeing where Jill takes the story and I’m particularly interested in how Vee’s abilities develop. Reviewed by Caroline