Slide by Jill Hathaway

Slide was an ebook I got off NetGalley a while back and subsequently ignored.  Not sure why, just never got around to reading.  I think I’ve been ignoring my Kindle in general.  Initially, I loved my little eReader, but now, I’m finding myself sticking to turning actual pages.

Hathaway’s novel tells the story of  high school junior Vee Bell who has the ability to ‘slide’ into another person’s body.  As long as she’s touching something they’ve left an emotional mark on, she can briefly and literally see through their eyes.  She can’t read their thoughts; it’s more like borrowing their eyes for a few moments.  During one of these slides, she realizes she’s slide into the eyes of a killer and is looking down at the dead body of one of her sister’s best friends.  Since the murder looks like a suicide, Vee must work alone in finding the killer.

I’m not sure I liked this book and I’m not sure that I didn’t like it.  A very mixed bag at best – there were things well done and parts better left undone.  The premise really initially sparked my interest.  The idea of ‘sliding’ seemed somewhat fresh and the idea of sliding into a killer seemed like a distinctly horrible problem for a high school student.  Hathaway succeeds at making Vee’s ability both intriguing and terrifying.  Vee’s voice, and many of the other high school aged voices throughout the story, are also well done.  These kids sound and think like realistic teenagers – something I often find lacking in YA novels.  It helps that Hathaway is a high school English teacher.  I love that she’s not afraid to make teachers silly and insipid and students sometimes much smarter and more mature than their teachers.

What bothered me was the mystery aspect – the whodunit.  Not well done at all.  I knew who was involved in the murder as soon as that particular character was introduced.  And while I didn’t know all the meaty details eventually divulged, nothing was surprising AT ALL.  And to be honest, none of the characters mattered much to me.  Not even the unlucky few who lost their lives among the pages.  I just didn’t feel anything for them whatsoever – never a good thing.  And since I didn’t care about them in Slide, why would I care about them in sequels?  No offense to Ms. Hathaway, but this novel should most definitely have been a stand alone.  I just don’t see how this will turn into anything other than a boring mystery procedural series.

So, for me, Slide had a story line that could have been great, but fell short.  I needed more mystery to the mystery and a bit more depth to my characters.  But at 250 pages and fairly well paced, Slide isn’t an entirely terrible read and could fit the bill when you need something simple, fluffy, and a little different than your average YA recycled plot.

Tuesday Salon:

Since I totally missed the ball on writing a Sunday Salon post, I’ll just tack on a couple extra paragraphs to this post!  Hijacking my own blog is kind of fun.

Been reading a good bit lately so that I think I can officially proclaim the end to my much too long lasting reading slump. So far in April I’ve read three books and have gotten a good bit of the way through a couple of others.  Not too shabby!  Currently reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (so fabulous) and A Game of Thrones (finally!).  I’ve been so scared to start George R.R. Martin’s series.  All the hype, the massive page counts, the fact that the series isn’t complete and time between book publication is SO. FREAKING. LONG.  Then there’s all the warnings people have thrust upon me – all your favorite characters will die – no one is safe – the twists are insane, heartbreaking, jawdroppingly intense.  Oh dear.  I’m scared to turn the pages!!!  I’ve found myself assuming that once I like someone they’ll be dead within 50 pages and this helps to manage my fear.

Still watching a ton of movies – Moneyball, In Time, Death Race 2 (don’t ask), Winter’s Bone.  Also watching The Sarah Connor Chronicles with Jimmy.  He loves the Terminator movies and I love all things fantasy/sci-fi so we are able to come together around this show.  Not having cable has been kind of fun – we’re getting to rediscover movies and shows we missed.  Plus, I’ve been watching some television programming I would have completely skipped over otherwise.  Since we’re still getting a handful of network channels free – I’m been watching some really fun stuff on PBS.  I’ve learned about blue whales, the game of Polo, Belfast’s link to Titanic, and famous people’s ancestry.  Also watched a good bit of the BBC’s newest adaptation of Great Expectations and loved it.  Gillian Anderson is a marvelous Miss Havisham.  What have you been watching?


3 thoughts on “Slide by Jill Hathaway

  1. Oh no, this doesn’t sound like the book for me. I need my mysteries fairly complex or I become bored. It sounds like the aspects of the paranormal edged out the mysyery in this case, and I can see that I would be pretty annoyed if I discovered the killer very early on.

    You have been on a reading streak! I need to read One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest soon, as I have heard some interesting things about it.

    Have not watched any movies lately, though I am thinking about checking out Midnight in Paris, among a few others. I am a little embarrassed to admit that the only thing I have been watching is General Hospital!

  2. The idea behind Slide sounds really great. I mean, who doesn’t occasionally want to see things through somebody else’s eyes? It’s too bad the mystery isn’t complex enough to make it a must read!

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