Slice of Cherry

Reader: Meghan K
Age: 16
Title: Slice of Cherry
Author: Dia Reeves
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub Date: 1/2011
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Slice of Cherry is the second novel by Dia Reeves to be set in the fictional town of Portero, Texas. This would have been really useful information going in. Nowhere in this book is there any indication that this book is the companion to Dia Reeve's first book, Bleeding Violet. Not having read Bleeding Violet put me in a bad place for reading this. Elements of the setting were casually introduced and never touched on again. I didn't know what to focus on and spent a lot of time being confused by the unexplained details (Why do the Porterones wear silver keys? Why are there monsters? Why does no one react to the aforementioned monsters? Are these types of flowers real?) to pay much attention to the story.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I enjoyed this book, but I'm not sure why. There were a lot of interesting, good ideas, but none of them got enough screen time. The book was unfocused and didn't really have a real plot. I ended up liking the book, but while I was reading, I felt like I was only doing it to see if the author would ever explain anything (she didn't). The author's handling of teenage sex and sexuality felt real, but I didn't care enough about any of the characters involved to really enjoy the book.
Did you finish: Yes
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I was kind of disappointed with the book. I was expecting a quasi-realistic story about two girls trying to conceal the evidence of their gruesome extra-curriculars (being serial killers). I was completely blindsided by the fantasy elements of this story, and I felt let down. I wanted a look at the psychological and emotional impact of murder, and at the fragmented mental state that would lead a person to kill, and about the impact that it would have on relationships. The main characters were underdeveloped and lukewarm. I didn't feel that their murderous side was sufficiently developed, and the author spent too much time on their boring love interests. I wanted blood, dammit, and even the murders didn't deliver. The girls did most of their killing in a (really under explained) parallel universe, called the Happy Place. The residents of the Happy Place did most of the dirty work. The murders that the girls did do were glossed over. I am aware that I sound a wee bit sociopathic, but I wanted more blood. This felt like an almost sanitized murder book.
Cover: I adore this cover. It's simple and evocative, and I feel it really captures to mood of the book. Props to whoever designed this.
Age Range: 14 to 18 and up
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

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