Thursday, January 13, 2011
Review: Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
Kit and Fancy Cordelle are more than simply sisters: they’re practically the same person. The daughters of an infamous killer, the girls keep to themselves, yet are always aware that their father’s tendencies may manifest in them as well. So when they begin to kill—only those who deserve it, of course—the sisters are not all that surprised.
What shocks Fancy, however, is when Kit begins to want to branch out beyond their close relationship. The more Fancy kills, the more she tries to hold on to the way things were, the more things change. Turns out there are some things more horrifying than killing, and that may be acknowledging the real world.
Dia Reeves is like a bucket of cold water on YA lit’s face…and I mean that in the best way. Her debut novel, Bleeding Violet, turned paranormal inside out and made it fascinating, in a sexy and gruesome sort of way. Her sophomore novel, SLICE OF CHERRY, is like a twisted childhood fantasy come true. Which is to say that I LOVED it.
As she did in Bleeding Violet, Dia kind of simply throws readers to the wolves and makes you fight to understand and be sympathetic to what’s going on in the story. In a world where some YA writers seem to “baby” their readers, this is a refreshing challenge. Things are not outright explained to us, but rather allowed to unfold gradually over the course of the book’s many pages. SLICE OF CHERRY focuses greatly on the horrors of the human psyche. I mean, Portero is weird enough on its own, but Kit and Fancy’s sociopathic behavior could technically happen in any normal American town, which is the truly creepy part of this novel.
The characters in SLICE OF CHERRY are fantastically messed up, definitely out there in a caricature-like but still completely understandable way. Little time is wasted on backstory, on explanations of what made the girls the way they are. Instead, they—especially Fancy—believe so thoroughly in their oddness that they leave us no room to question how they came to be that way…and that was totally fine with me. We don’t need complicated psychiatric explanations because they are so fully realized, their bizarreness so beyond our comprehension of typical human behavior that they successfully straddle the line between the real and the macabre.
SLICE OF CHERRY is in a genre all its own. If Bleeding Violet didn’t convince me that Dia is a genius, then this book most definitely did. This book will appeal to anyone who has even a pinch of darkness to them, who ever felt like they were weird and enjoyed things that no one else seems to.
Cover discussion: It's not what I'd expected. I had wanted something darker, something that perhaps shared elements similar to the cover of Bleeding Violet. But that doesn't mean I dislike it. It may be a bit misleading for anyone who's heard nothing about this book, but I like its unusual creepiness.
Simon Pulse / Jan. 4, 2011 / Hardcover / 512pp. / $16.99
Review copy sent by Simon & Schuster on behalf of the author. Thank you!