ARC Review: Slide (Slide, Book One) by Jill Hathaway

Slide (Slide, #1)Slide by Jill Hathaway
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Book Descripton (via Amazon):

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.

*****

Slide features an intriguing idea though the results left me with mixed feelings. The concept is awesome, but the execution? Yeah, not so much. The writing is serviceable, neither bad nor great and it didn’t draw me into the story straightaway. Both the way it is written and the storyline reminds me of some of the books I read as a pre-teen/teen way back during the Pleistocene epoch, otherwise known as the 1990s, with authors like Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Diane Hoh, Lois Duncan, Richie Tankersley Cusick, among others. It especially seems to fall right in between Pike and Stine. While the writing is more mature than Stine’s, it’s not quite as sophisticated as Pike’s. The mystery is weak, and by the end, seems pointless as it’s totally anti-climactic, over in a flash, like it was written just to finish the book up, and absurdly contrived. The whole ending is totally ludicrous and unbelievable. The clues leading up to it are obvious and not incorporated into the story well at all. These clues were so glaring they all but had a flashing sign pointing to them in cartoon-like fashion whenever they fell into the main character’s path. Sylvia a.k.a. Vee wasn’t written as a dummy, at first, but boy she was an absolute idiot about those clues and putting two and two together, or really much of anything until it slapped her in the face. While Vee is sympathetic, I can’t say I felt much of anything for her, and even less for anyone else in book because of their lack of depth. No one is explained in any detail, either personality or looks, motivations, or whatever. Just a brief shallow summary if lucky. Speaking of…. What has happened in books today where there are no descriptions of how anybody looks, except “I have pink hair,” “his blonde hair,” or some other toss away adjective? I’ve seen it over and over again and all I’m left with is the visualization that these people have no faces, much like that episode of Doctor Who (The Idiot’s Lantern). Frankly it’s all rather creepy.

I feel like this could have been a great book if it was longer (the copy I read is only 250 pages of at least 1.5 spaced lines) and had much more depth. Add in a couple more suspects, motivations, etc., and maybe a little more information on Vee’s “sliding” powers. Unfortunately it’s only an “okay” read that’s easy and moves at a rapid pace. I didn’t hate the book by any means, it’s just not one that’ll stick in my head for more than a few days. On the plus side I love the cover composition and colors, so kudos to the artist(s). This works fine as a standalone, but is now part of a series, for some unfathomable reason. Frankly, I’m getting sick of every book that comes out, most usually in the YA genre, becoming a series. It’s ridiculous how few standalone books there are anymore. Still, even with all my grumbling about the numerous series and everything else, I think I will check out Impostor, the second book in the Slide series, as it sounds interesting. Who knows, this might have just been the stepping stone to bigger and better things. Although if Vee is as stupid as she was in this one, I’m outta there.

2.5 stars

Originally Reviewed: October 16, 2012
Received: Amazon Vine

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9 thoughts on “ARC Review: Slide (Slide, Book One) by Jill Hathaway

  1. Hey, you did it, you wrote a review! Yay! LOL Seriously, great review. I remember looking at this book when it came up in Vine and thinking it sounded interesting, but some instinct made me shy away. I’m not saying I recognized that it would be mediocre, but with such a unique concept, you really need a strong writer to pull it off. And it sounds like Jill Hathaway doesn’t fit the bill. Oh, and great use of a Doctor Who reference. 🙂

    • A review? Heck, this is my sixth one since Thursday and I have plans for at least two more this week. You should really be congratulating me on having the concentration to read, or more aptly, on finishing a book. 😀 I don’t know what it is, but after I sent your package, it seemed like the tension left my body. I had been taking the phosa stuff, but it was only my third or so day by then and I wouldn’t think it’d work that fast. Anyway, I don’t know what happened that made me all ready to review, but I’m glad that it did! That state of mind hasn’t exactly lasted, but the last two nights I’ve had trouble sleeping, so hopefully I’ll be Super Brain in no time again! Or at least Super Almost Has a Brainwave, which would be an upgrade. LOL 😛 Thanks, I don’t regret getting Slide (IIRC I got it off of the Last Harvest list), it wasn’t terrible, just didn’t live up to the premise’s potential. While Hathaway might not be the strongest writer, I still think if it had more depth it could have been pretty decent little book. There’s so much crammed into it in such a small page count that it whips by without leaving an impression. What I didn’t put in my review that I wish it had was more danger and suspense, it just didn’t have any. I admit, I had to look up the Doctor Who episode name, but that always pops into my head when I read yet another book without any, or much of any, physical descriptions. Almost every newer book I read has none and I just don’t know how to picture the characters. Give me something to go on, authors! >{

      • Wow, your sixth? Sorry, but this was the first one I’d seen–I had no idea. Go you! LOL That’s so weird about sending off my package and immediately finding your review-writing mojo. *scratches head* Oh well, whatever works. ;D And, hey, that’s a good sign! The phospha may not have taken complete hold, but it’s obviously starting to work, so just imagine how well you’ll be doing in another couple of weeks… watch out world, Super Brain is on the loose! 😀 You may have left out the lack of danger and suspense, but you did comment on how weak the mystery was, so we still get an idea that the plot is lacking those elements. You know, I hadn’t really noticed that particular trend, but, upon thinking about it, you’re right–authors these days don’t seem to be very big on giving us physical descriptions anymore, which is so stupid. Unless they think that that’ll make it easier for some Hollywood hack to turn their novel into a bankable screenplay–no physical description of the hero means you can cast any young hard-body! Oy. *rolls eyes* I like using my imagination, but I also like knowing what the characters I’m reading about look like. :/

      • Well I don’t know how you would have seen my other reviews, unless you stalk my Amazon profile, but then why the heck would you? Sending your gifts was the last big thing I really had to do, so I think that’s why the tension eased. Sure, I had presents to wrap for my mom and come Christmas, some baking and cooking, but those aren’t anything major. That’s what I’m hoping. 🙂 Although, I still don’t think Super Brain is an option, but if I could read and review all the books I have for Vine (and other products I have to review) in a timely manner, then I’ll feel free as a bird. You know, one of those not caged. :/ I know, I’ve read lack of any physical descriptions in YA, romances, mysteries, etc. C’mon, I at least need some general outline, I don’t want to imagine every little thing up from scratch. Oy, indeed. Not to mention, there have been plenty of actors cast in movies that look nothing like the book’s description. Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade comes to mind.

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      • Sorry, but no, I don’t stalk your Amazon profile. Why haven’t you also been posting the reviews to Goodreads, though? That’s usually how I know what you’ve been up to. 😉 Ah, got ya. I can see how that would work–after all, tension can do a number on brain function. I wish I could say the same happened to me, but my mojo hasn’t returned yet. Then again, I ran out of my phospha a while back and haven’t been able to afford to order any more just yet, so my brain has been slowly puttering to a full stop. 😦 Yeah, I’d really like to work through my backlog and get those reviews out so I can experience that caged-bird-newly-freed feeling. ;P Oh, I know, there are hundreds of instances of actors being cast for parts who don’t resemble the characters from the novel on which the movie was based. So I don’t get why, all of a sudden, it’s become this big thing to not describe any of your characters, beyond “Her blue eyes” or “His brown hair.” I mean, I know I’ve read writing books which say not to go overboard on the descriptions–you know, no page-long rhapsodies going into minute detail–and somehow that’s been translated into “Don’t describe anyone! At all!” What the hell?

      • I guess because I was under the impression that Goodreads was only for books and they wouldn’t take too kindly to reviews on other products. o_O <—That's me looking at you oddly. LOL Honestly, did you really think I had read and reviewed six to eight books from Thursday to Tuesday? Do you remember to whom you are corresponding to? I am relieved, on your part, that while you may be going through phospha withdrawal, that you have no more school draining your brain cells. ;D I hope it recovers some. I agree with you (and I guess in return, me, so good news there :P). Frankly at this stage, the more description the better. I can skim long descriptions, with none, I have to make everything up. That's not a readers' job.

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      • Well, no, I hadn’t thought you’d read and reviewed six to eight books, but I didn’t know what the ratio was of books to other stuff. So there! o_O Now I look oddly at you! LOL Then again, I look odd anyway, so I really can’t help it. ;P Yeah, I think, now that school work isn’t sucking what little mental energy I can create away, I’ll be able to attack some of those reviews, but I still really need to get back on the phospha. The difference in my mental clarity and output is amazing; since I started taking it, I’ve never been off it for this long before and I’m telling you right now, me no likie it! 😦 So then we’re all in agreement, even with ourselves–fabulous! *said in a high-pitched, overly-theatrical voice* ;D The thing is, this lack of description might be worth it if the author spent all their time creating a knock-out, utterly enthralling story, full of captivating characters and brilliant dialogue, yet that never seems to happen. So, then, why not put a little more effort into describing your characters? What’s it going to hurt?

      • Umm, okay, still not sure what any ratio has to do with me remarking on writing six reviews, but I’ll give you a pass since I know your brainie not workie so wellie. LOL I hope the phospha affects me so well when it truly starts working. And I sincerely hope I can afford it every month because I’m on so many other supplements, the price is already too high. No, I’ve read books I’ve enjoyed but still been annoyed by lack of physical descriptions. True, I’m more likely to forgive the lack of descriptions if the story and characters capture my attention but I still notice it. I have no clue. What is wrong with these authors and the editors that don’t say anything about it? Lack of description could work in some stories, like those that have a more literary slant to them, but in your average, everyday book? Descriptions please.

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      • Because you only said you’d written six reviews, not how many of those reviews were for books. That’s the ratio I’m talking about. *pttthhhbbbb* LOL But, yes, I appreciate the pass. 😛 I know what you mean; I swear, some months, it seems as though I have to trade off supplements because I can only afford so much. Note to self: Never trade off the phospha, it ain’t worth it! 😯 Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that I haven’t read entertaining books that also happened to lack description, just that that lack of description would be understandable if the author put all her effort towards the rest of the story elements. I don’t know what’s going on with these authors and editors, but, if we’re lucky, it’s all a fad and soon the descriptions will start flowing again.

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