Slide by Jill Hathaway

Sometimes you read the synopsis of a book and you think ‘that’s brilliant!’  The premise of the story is something completely different and you want to start reading it straight away.  Slide by debut author, Jill Hathaway, was one of those books and I couldn’t wait to get into it (especially after I saw the great cover!).

Sylvia “Vee” Bell hates that, like her deceased mother, she has narcolepsy. But this embarrassing condition is nowhere near as bad as what happens during these episodes: when Vee passes out she actually slides into somebody else’s conciousness and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. This is how Vee finds herself in the head of a killer, standing over a classmate’s slashed and murdered body.

When another cheerleader turns up dead, Vee realizes that someone is killing off her sister’s friends. Suddenly everyone is a suspect, and Vee finds herself enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies and danger. She must face up to the fact that she can trust no one-not even the family and friends she thought she knew.”

Slide is a fast-paced thriller that keeps you guessing until the very end.  If narcolepsy wasn’t hard to deal with by itself, Vee also has this terrifying ‘gift’ that she also has to deal with.  Vee is a likeable character who has to cope with her condition by herself because everyone she has tried to tell thinks she is lying.  Her sliding often happens quite unexpectedly and she can’t stop it.  She often can’t tell who’s head she’ll end up in and it means she sometimes finds out the deepest secrets and fears of people she knows.  I really liked how Jill Hathaway made the connection between sliding and objects with some sentimental value attached, which meant that Vee’s sliding wasn’t just random.

Jill builds up the tension throughout the story, right up until the chilling climax.  Vee is the only one who knows the truth, but she can’t tell anyone she knows, and she’s afraid to talk to anyone in case that person is the killer.  I hadn’t picked the killer so the finale was even better.  My favourite part of the story was Vee’s realisation about her gift, as it gave her some hope that she could save her family.

Slide is a fantastic debut from Jill Hathaway and I’ll look forward to reading more from her in the future.

4 out of 5 stars

Slide Book Trailer

Slide by Jill Hathaway is about a girl who can ‘slide’ into other peoples bodies for a brief time.  She has narcolepsy and when she passes out she slides into other people’s heads and ends up seeing through their eyes.  Then, one day she finds herself in the head of a killer, who is standing over the body of one of the girls from her school.  I’m only 50 pages in and the story’s already gripped me.

Brother/Sister by Sean Olin

Some books you can only read when you feel in the right mood, and other books have the power to affect your mood.  Sean Olin’s latest book, Brother/Sister got so inside my head that it started to affect my mood.  It has to be one of the darkest, most disturbing Young Adult books that I’ve read in a long time

The brother and sister of the title are Will and Ashley and each chapter alternates between their points of view.  Sean Olin grabs you from the first paragraph,

“How many times do I have to say it?  Yes, I see the picture.  You’ve been shoving it in my face for, like, the past forty-five minutes.  And, yes, I understand what it is.  It’s a body, obviously.  It’s a dead body.  I’m not blind, okay?”

Both Will and Asheley are being interviewed by the police and it’s clear that they have something to do with the dead body.  Through their interviews we hear about their lives and their decisions that have lead them to this point.  Their parents have never been good role models.  Their mum has mental health problems which have lead to drink and drugs so she’s always in and out of rehab centres.  Their dad decided he couldn’t handle their mum and just up and left one day.  For a while now they’ve only had each other to look out for them and Will is the protective older brother.  He loves his sister and he’ll do anything to protect her.  When Asheley’s boyfriend forces himself on her, Will lashes out and does the unthinkable.   Asheley struggles to keep it together and Will really starts to spiral out of control, believing that people will find out what he’s done and try to take Asheley from him.  But at what stage does Will’s love for his sister cross the line?

Brother/Sister is a dark and disturbing story about the relationship between a brother and sister and the lengths they will go to to look out for each other.  Sean Olin takes the reader to some dark places and just when you think the character’s situation couldn’t get worse, it does.  Sean does an amazing job of getting inside his character’s heads and showing the reader the different sides of these characters.  Both Will and Asheley have authentic voices and, even when Will was at his most unstable, I still empathised with him.  Although I found the story disturbing in parts, Sean’s writing style made me want to keep reading to see how it would end.  If you enjoyed Jenny Downham’s You Against Me, try Sean Olin’s different take on the brother/sister relationship.