The Figment Review: “Slide” by Jill Hathaway

Sylvia (Vee) Bellis the only one who knows her sister’s best friend, Sophie, didn’t kill herself. And that’s because Sylvia killed Sophie. Except she didn’t actually kill her—she just happened to be inside the killer’s body while he or she was writing Sophie’s fake suicide note.

Vee has this strange power that comes along with her narcolepsy: Whenever she passes out, she slides into someone else’s body. It all has to do with what she’s touching when she passes out. If Vee is touching something that someone else has left an emotional mark on, she’ll see the world through that person’s eyes for a few minutes.

But even though Vee knows that Sophie didn’t kill herself, she can’t reveal the truth without sounding crazy—or even like the killer herself. And even if Vee were capable of solving the mystery on her own, it’s not like she’s got a ton of free time to figure things out, because her father is almost always working and her mom died when she was little. So Vee is left alone and confused, struggling to help her sister, Mattie, grieve her best friend’s “suicide.”

On top of all that, Vee has to balance two guy friends—Rollins, her best friend, and Zane, the new guy in school–who both happen to like her. Vee’s beginning to panic: if she can’t figure out who the murderer is, will he or she strike again?

Overall, I like Slide. Jill Hathaway has an original idea, something increasingly rare, and she tells it well. I was kept guessing until the end, with several plot twists along the way.

A couple things about Slide give me a bit of pause, though. One is Vee’s relationship with Zane and Rollins. One moment, she’s just friends with both boys; the next, she’s making out with one and not speaking to the other. It feels like a standard YA love triangle, but I can’t even go fangirl crazy with “Team Rollins” or “Team Zane.” The romance in Slide feels rushed, fake, and boring.

The other is the dialogue. In parts of the book, Vee seems really mature for her age, using SAT words in normal speech. But several pages later, she’s saying things like “Most def!” or “WTF?” out loud. Vee’s voice isn’t consistent at all, and the teenage talk seems forced.

Besides those two points, however, the book is great. It is fast-paced and keeps the story moving without making it confusing. Once I got past the first one hundred or so pages and actually found time to sit down and read, I literally didn’t close the book until I had finished it. Slide is the kind of book that will make you crazy if you don’t figure out what’s going on.

I’d give it three and a half out of five stars. I’ve already recommended the book to a friend (but she won’t be reading it until after she finishes Harry Potter), and while I wouldn’t tell you to put this book first on your to-buy list, definitely make sure it gets on there. Slide gives you an interesting plot and keeps you guessing until the last page.

 

Frankie, or “thefrankie,” has been called weird but thinks original is a much better word. She’s fifteen, and (obviously) a writer. She’s been telling stories since she was three, writing since she first learned to, and wanting to be an author since Kindergarten. Her other hobbies are running, playing handbells, singing loudly off-key, taking pictures of exploded fruits (exploded watermelons are actually very cool), playing with play-doh, and hanging out on Figment! 

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