What parents need to know
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.
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.
Families can talk 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.
How can grieving adults sometimes leave grieving kids to fend for themselves?