Monday, February 27, 2012

Hathaway, Jill: Slide (Slide, #1)

Expected publication: March 27, 2012
Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
YA Paranormal/Supernatural, 256 pages
Acquired and read: Through the lovely ladies who run the Debut Author Challenge Tours; read within twenty-four hours

Challenge? 2012 Debut Author Challenge

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.

Vee Bell is narcoleptic.

But contrary to popular belief, she isn't sleeping her life away. Every time she falls asleep, she gets a vision from the last object she touched, through the eyes of the person that touched it before her. (Quite the chain, isn't it?) Of course, this little ability isn't always a gift. Vee's life got turned upside-down when she realized the worst about her ex-best friend during a school dance. And now, it's happening again.

Only this time, she's witnessed a murder.

Awesome premise, right?

Okay, time for the painful honesty. Was this book one of my "this debut was SO worth all the pain and toil and going out to the mailbox to fetch it (ooh, my shins)" titles of 2012? ...No. But it could have been.

First, let's start out with the kudos. Vee is one of those characters that can actually wear the label "Unique" without looking like a Tumblr hipster - you know, one of those kids who gets a Tumblr and takes blurry shots of the soda machine and soulful looks in the distance because that's the way to looking hip? (No offense to anyone who has a Tumblr. I am the last person to start stereotyping anyone on the way they behave.) She's narcoleptic and she dyes her hair the color of Pepto-Bismol (we don't actually get to see how she pulls it off...) and hoards her mom's old collection of 80's music.

Yes. Her mother is dead. So much for avoiding the cliche, but I guess you can't get it all.

There is also a love triangle. Gah. I hate that phrase. Triangles are pointy and sharp and no matter which way you grab 'em, you know you're going to get cut - so why bother rooting for one guy? With my luck, usually it's the loser. Fortunately for me, I wasn't too into this triangle, which included Rollins (the best friend - of course) and Zane (the new, smoldering "too good to be true" hottie that is mysteriously attracted to pink hair and randomly falling asleep in the middle of class...). If you've already read Fracture, I think you'll be able to figure out what's going to happen - that doesn't count as a spoiler, does it?
Of course, since this entire drama is set in high school, we also need the general over-helping of hook-ups, secrets, and embarrassing pictures forwarded to every single guy on the football team. Again, we refer to the Golden Rule of YA: thou must not forget the appropriate amount of teenage hormones.

See, when it comes to these type of rules, I'm a bit of a rebel.

I think my main issue with Slide was the ending. So there's a mystery. A killer's on the loose. The next target is being stalked. And then, hold on...the killer is [SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER]?! But I thought for sure it was [SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER]. Wait a minute, who is this person anyway? The majority of the conclusion went over my head. Suffice it to say: I do not envy Vee her life. Everyone has a vendetta against someone else.

To sum it up, Slide is like that mug of green tea (or coffee - I know there are some people out there who actually like the stuff) that you make fresh and warm in the morning. It smells good. You can't wait to take a sip and start your day off on the right foot. And then, you get caught up in your e-mail or your phone calls from last night and you completely forget that cup waiting on the counter. By the time you remember and add your sugar, it's cold. Lukewarm if you're lucky. And it just doesn't taste the same.

But that's the way reading rolls. You gain some, you lose some. And there's always a chance to make a fresh cuppa if the last one wasn't to your tastes.

Warnings (Or, unwanted seasoning that Kaye does not want in her tea): What is every American teenager up to when the 'rents aren't home - at least, according to Oprah and Hollywood and the Great American YA Novelist? Key word: hormones. Hooking up, breaking up, language. One girl was pregnant when she was murdered. Also, it seems like every single adult Vee looks up to is having an affair. Is it something in the water?


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