Slide by Jill Hathaway.

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Paperback, 250 pages
Published March 1st, 2012
IBSN: 9780007446377

Vee Bell was diagnosed with narcolepsy years ago. Which, as it turns out, is not cute and hilarious – think Rowan Atkinson in Ratrace – but basically like passing out. But here’s the thing about Vee’s narcolepsy: when she passes out, she finds herself in someone else’s head, seeing what they see. She calls it ‘sliding’ and she’s never really thought of it as more than a hindrance.

I can never get used to the feeling of looking through someone else’s eyes. It’s as if each person sees the world in a slightly different hue. The tricky part is figuring out who the person is. It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle – what do I see, hear, smell? Everything is a clue.

Sliding isn’t just random, Vee has to be touching something that the person she slides into has imprinted on emotionally. Nobody knows. When Vee tried to tell her dad, she got psych sessions. Her best friend Rollins thinks that she has severe OCD. She is all alone with her big secret and everyone else’s icky little secrets that she is unwillingly privy to.

Until the night of the cheerleaders death, Vee didn’t think her gift could be of any real use. Everyone says that the cheerleader killed herself, but Vee was there – behind the eyes of the killer – and she is the only one who knows that it was murder. Now, despite the police being involved, she is determined to find the real culprit. She already has a few suspects . . .

Slide is Jill Hathaway’s first novel and I enjoyed her writing style. Vee is a likeable character who has had to deal with some horrible stuff, both in her actual life and the things she witnesses when she slides. She seems real and her gift was always written about in a believable way.

As well as the thriller aspect of things, you also have a little romance, a couple of mean girls and some family dynamics thrown in. My only issue with the plot was with the resolution of the killer. I think it was maybe too easy, a little too neat. But for a novel that’s only two hundred and fifty pages long, that’s okay.

I am a little dubious about this being a series – especially if all the books are about Vee tracking down murderers. It’s one of those situations where I think: how many times can one high school girl realistically run into psychopaths? I had similar feelings about the Body Finder series, but that power is different because it has everything to do with dead bodies, unlike Vee’s. But I will have to hold judgement until I have read them. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see Vee develop her gift – and the newfound aspects of her ability.

Read this young adult thriller if you enjoyed The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting or Switch by Carol Snow. If you feel like going the extra mile, throw on some nineties music – Oasis, Pearl Jam, Nirvana – to match Vee’s tastes.

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