Monday, 19 January 2015

Imposter by Jill Hathaway

Imposter by Jill Hathaway is the sequel to Slide, which I read back in 2012. The series (or duology, I suppose) is about a girl who can "slide" into other people's heads and see what they're doing and (spoiler for the first book) take control of their actions temporarily.
What if a killer took control of you?

Vee Bell’s gift (or curse) of “sliding”—slipping into the mind of another person and experiencing life, briefly, through his or her eyes—has been somewhat under control since she unwillingly witnessed the horrific deaths of her classmates six months ago.

But just as things are getting back to normal, Vee has a very bizarre experience: she loses consciousness and finds herself in a deserted area, at the edge of a cliff, with the broken body of the boy who took advantage of her on the rocks below.

As Vee finds herself in stranger and stranger situations with no memory of getting there, she begins to suspect that someone she knows has the ability to slide—and that this “slider” is using Vee to exact revenge on his or her enemies.
I have to say, Slide was too many books ago for me to remember much about it other than the premise and that I enjoyed it. Luckily, the recap at the start of Imposter was both unobtrusive and sufficient to orient me to the world and characters again. The story in Imposter is set about six months after Slide which, I'm pretty sure, puts it in the same school year. But instead of worrying about prom, like Vee belatedly realises everyone else has been, Vee worries about loosing consciousness at an inopportune moment. But then, instead of blacking out and sliding into someone else, Vee starts blacking out and doing things she can't remember, almost as though she's the one being controlled by another slider.

The gist of the plot is Vee trying to work out what's happening to her while dealing with the creepy guy that tried to rape her at Homecoming (the dance) and her late mother's long-lost sister, who comes visiting out of the blue. The book deals with sexual assault between teenagers a bit, but does not delve into the issue in a huge amount of depth. Hathaway showed us some different responses from victimised girls and their friends but I felt like the message she was trying to convey got lost somewhere along the way. The story pulled its punches too much, in that respect. It's easy enough to agree that "that guy is a dangerous jerk", but then another character starts feeling sorry for him because of his family situation and I didn't feel Imposter went into enough depth on that aspect.

It wasn't a very long book and certainly not one that was at all difficult to read (I mention sexual assault but neither of the girls mentioned actually know what happened and you certainly don't see it on the page). The different plot lines are intertwined nicely and there was even one slightly surprising revelation. I did think that near the end everything wrapped up a bit too quickly. The neat ending was appropriate, but some plot elements were glossed over a bit too quickly, I found.

Anyway, Imposter was a fun light read which made a nice break from more serious short stories I've been reading lately. The series overall is enjoyable, quick and easy to read, but with a few darker streaks (people do have a tendency to die or almost die and the first book was about murder). I recommend it to fans of YA looking for something to fill in some time.

4 / 5 stars

First published: 2013, Harper Collins
Series: Slide book 2 of 2 (or at least, I can't find any evidence of further books)
Format read: iBooks ePub
Source: Purchased from iTunes a while ago

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