Slide by 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 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.
This book was, for me, the definition of a three star read. It was entertaining, easy to read, and quick, but it also had no substance whatsoever. Like, literally not a single message it tried to convey (that I discerned, at least). But, it also wasn’t a bad book by any means.
The writing was decent for a YA book. It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t terrible either. I think it could’ve used some better editing, but the editing also wasn’t egregious either.
The main character, Vee, was borderline ~not like other girls~, but she never perpetuated that belief, really. Yes, she feels different from the popular cheerleaders, she has pink hair and listens to 90s music, she isn’t popular or preppy. But there were reasons behind those feelings. I won’t go too much into it to avoid spoilers, but there was a reason she distanced herself from the cheerleaders, and a reason she dyed her hair pink. I was expecting some intense girl-on-girl hate, and there wasn’t really any. Vee doesn’t have any girlfriends, but she also doesn’t have an unfounded hatred for the other girls in her grade, which was also refreshing. I also really enjoyed the relationship with Vee and her sister, and I thought their dynamic was interesting.
The eventual love interest, Zane, was such a bad character, though. He has one of the most pretentious lines I’ve ever read:
“God, it pisses me off when teachers suck all the life out of literature. Do me a favour. Read Gatsby again, but read it outside, under a tree, at dusk. It’s a completely different experience.”
Like, my man, I agree with the sentiment of the first part, but chill. Reading Gatsby outside under a tree really won’t change that much. Unfortunately for Zane, this was the only time he really had a personality. Y’all know the sexy lamp test for female representation in movies? If you can replace a woman with a sexy lamp and the plot remains unchanged, it’s bad representation. That’s how I felt about Zane. If he was a cardboard cutout that Vee dragged with her, the book wouldn’t have changed at all.
Vee’s best friend, Rollins, was a bit better. He was also a pretentious highschooler. He wears leather pants, makes an angsty zine, does sharpie art, watches horror movies. I give him a pass, though, because he is a highschooler, and he was at least a real character with a real personality.
I think the weakest part of this book was the plot. I enjoyed reading it and the idea is super interesting, but the resolution was super weak, and we never get an explanation of Vee’s ability to “slide.” I didn’t like the way the “whodunnit” ended because I should go “yeah that makes sense” not “…..oh okay I guess”, which is what happened. I also wanted to know more about sliding. Is Vee the only person who can do it? Why can she do it? There were so many questions, all of them unanswered. Maybe they’re answered in the second book, but I’m not going to read it so I still don’t know.
Finally, the last thing I wanted to say: Vee mentions she has pink hair EIGHT TIMES in seven different chapters, and then that her hair is back to it’s normal colour in the epilogue. EIGHT. Does that not seem excessive to anyone else? Why did she have to mention it so many times? Who thinks that much about their hair colour?
Anyway, ultimately I did enjoy reading this book. It was entertaining and had a lot of good elements. But it also had some weak points that could’ve been massively improved. I think if you have this on your TBR, I wouldn’t prioritize it, but I also wouldn’t immediately delete it if it still sounds interesting to you.
But have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Is it on your TBR? Let me know!