By Mary Eisenhart,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fast-paced story of teen who can see from a killer's eyes.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Vee's mother was fascinated with the physics of black holes, and the subject -- and other issues of physics -- comes up for discussion now and then, along with the '90s music and pop culture of which she was also very fond.
Family love and loyalty carry Vee, Mattie, and their father through some very tough and scary times, although they don't always make the right choices. Vee also learns from experience who her true friends are.
Positive Role Models
Vee is strong, resourceful, and brave in unusually challenging circumstances. Her father, though remarkably clueless about what's happening in his own family while he's out saving the world, learns from his mistakes before it's too late. Vee's friend Rollins proves his worth in many ways, to her and to his own family.
Violence & Scariness
There is quite a bit of violent death, whether by suicide, murder, or accident, in Slide, and a real threat of more to come. There's some mildly gory description of dead bodies, but no actual physical violence taking place. Near-escape from a date-rape attempt.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some romantic kissing between Vee and Zane. The scene in which the loathsome jock Scotch, who had previously tried to date-rape Vee, got cheerleader Sophie pregnant isn't described, nor is there great detail about his later encounter with cheerleader Amber, but it all causes trouble -- as does Amber sending nude pictures of Sophie to the whole football team via cell phone. There are a couple scenes of characters helping ill family members bathe and politely averting their eyes.
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Frequent use of "s--t," "crap," "douche," "bitch," and similar swear words.
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Products & Purchases
Disparaging mention of commercial food products like Twinkies. Mention of '90s music and pop culture (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) in a positive way, as it tends to be Vee's connection to her mom.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mattie, Vee's younger sister, runs with a hard-partying crowd, and Vee has to worry about her drinking too much. Access to alcohol doesn't seem to be a problem at this high school. Rollins smokes cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that both teens and adults behave questionably in Slide. Kids drink alcohol, often to excess; some boys are quite predatory in their relationships with girls, and Vee narrowly escapes being date-raped during one of her narcoleptic episodes; mean-girl behavior abounds; extramarital affairs by adults leave wreckage in the next generation; there's murder, attempted murder, and suicide. Sixteen-year-old Vee has been the designated adult in her family since she was 11, when her mother died and her father became physically and emotionally absent. She has better judgment than many adults to keep herself and her sister safe, but that doesn't always keep trouble away.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
High school student Sylvia (Vee) Bell is dealing with a lot of issues. Since her mom's death from cancer, Vee has been a surrogate parent to her younger teen sister, Mattie, because her surgeon father is always either saving lives in the operating room or helping survivors in support groups online. Vee has also been diagnosed with narcolepsy, but instead of sleeping during the episodes, she \"slides\" into other people's minds. During one such episode, she's appalled to see the body of her sister's best friend through the eyes of the girl's unknown killer. But, since the only time she confided her mysterious ability to anyone, her father packed her off to a psychiatrist, Vee is in a quandary about what to do when the girl's death is called a suicide, and more death on the cheerleading squad follows. Also, there's a hot new guy in school who's taking an interest in Vee, much to the annoyance of the popular girls -- and Vee's best friend, Rollins.
Is It Any Good?
The fast-moving plot keeps the reader intrigued. Author Jill Hathaway, a high school teacher, really captures the toxic environment of back-stabbing mean girls, philandering teachers, sadistic administrators, and jock sexual predators, all through the eyes of a smart, odd, pink-haired teen who's doing her best to keep herself and her family safe. Vee is a strong and appealing character, and if the supporting characters are sometimes a bit cartoonish, they're also recognizable as people you've probably met in real life.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how it would be to see the world from inside someone else's head -- and have to explain what you'd seen to someone else afterward.
What should happen to so-called friends who send nude pictures of other girls out on the Internet? What are the consequences of sexting and cyberbullying?
How can grieving adults sometimes leave grieving kids to fend for themselves?
- Author: Jill Hathaway
- Genre: Mystery
- Topics: Friendship, High School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray
- Publication date: March 27, 2012
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
- Number of pages: 256
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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