Read from my TBR pile
School student Sylvia (known as Vee) has a secret. She suffers from a form of narcolepsy, which everyone at school knows but what they don’t know is that when she falls asleep, she has the ability to slide into someone’s mind. There are some restrictions – she has to be touching, or have touched recently, something that they’ve owned. Something that they’ve imparted emotion into. When she’s in their heads, she sees through their eyes whatever they are experiencing at that moment as a passive passenger. The one time she tried to tell someone what happened to her, she was put into therapy. Since then Vee has learned to keep her little ability secret from everyone, even her best friend Rollins who knows that she’s hiding something from him.
This time, something is different – Vee has slid into the mind of a killer and she’s powerless to prevent the murder. All she can do is wait until she comes out of the slide to raise the alarm. The murdered girl, Sophie, is one of her younger sister’s best friends, a girl that had been taunted prior to losing a lot of weight and now, is still quite often bullied by her so-called friends. It’s been made to look like a suicide and Vee comforts her guilt-stricken and devastated sister, who is blaming herself for forcing her friend to suicide. Only Vee knows that it was murder but she can’t tell anyone without making herself sound crazy.
Then another girl, also a friend of the first victim and Vee’s sister, turns up dead. Everyone is a suspect and Vee is beginning to wonder just who she can trust – Rollins is hiding things from her and it was his head she was in the last time she saw the second dead cheerleader alive. There’s only Zane, the attractive new kid who likes spending time with her, to make her feel a bit of normalcy. Trouble is the people you think you can trust often turn out to be the ones that surprise you.
I’ve seen this novel around recently and ended up finding it at a good price with an online retailer so I added it to an order. A couple of days ago we had a beautiful summer day – it was warm and perfect, I was home alone with the baby, who was asleep after having his latest round of immunisations. I ripped through this, and another book in the afternoon/evening. Perfect reading weather and this book was very short and quite an easy read.
Slide for me, was one of those novels that sits firmly in the middle of the spectrum – it was ok. Not fabulous but certainly not bad enough not to finish it. I loved the idea – slipping into other people via a connection to them through something they’d held? Awesome. Especially the way it was handled, in that the person had to have been feeling heightened emotions at the time of handling whatever it was of theirs that Vee touched, or they had to really feel passionately about it. And I think that also, for a teen, there’d be nothing freakier because that’s not the sort of thing you can just tell someone. Vee tried it once and it didn’t go well for her! Plus the whole idea of being a passive passenger as someone goes about their business? Huge potential for creepy, like the time Vee was about 12 and slid into one of her teachers who was being kissed by their bus driver. And even worse than that? Sliding into a killer who had just finished murdering your younger sister’s friend, a girl you feel desperately sorry for.
I feel as though all the groundwork was laid with this novel but there was something lacking in the execution but I can’t overly put my finger on what it was. Perhaps it was the fact that Vee felt a little too good? She was forced to basically be a mother to her younger sister and help her grieve when really she wasn’t equipped for this, their father should have been parenting but was emotionally distant from them. I’m tired of reading about distant parents and siblings forced to step up. Vee’s sister is portrayed rather negatively at the beginning of the book, a popular girl, a cheerleader who with her other friend, picks on the first victim and is then devastated and wracked with guilt after her death. Vee spends a lot of time comforting her as her sister does a rather dramatic turn around from semi mean girl to recluse full of remorse.
There’s also a semi love triangle going on between Vee, her best friend Rollins who is currently being all mysterious and secretive and the new, gorgeous boy in school Zane, who immediately takes a liking to Vee for no apparent reason whatsoever. I have to admit for half the time I didn’t realise it was a love triangle and everyone seemed creepy at some stage or other but I didn’t feel as though Vee had chemistry with either character. And I did feel the ending was quite predictable from very early on in the book.
I read this assuming it was stand alone but apparently there’s a sequel coming so possibly it could just be a set up book, introducing Vee’s gift and the characters – there’s some good, solid foundations for something quite different and fresh but I think the bar needs to be raised a little. As I said, I finished this one easily, I found it very even in terms of pacing and information, there were no real heart racing scenes for me, no real desperation to find out what was happening. It seemed quite final when I finished the book so I was surprised to discover a sequel. I’m still on the fence whether or not I’ll read that when it’s published yet.
Book #221 of 2012