Title: “Slice of Cherry”
Author: Dia Reeves
Published: Jan 4, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Horror
Okay, okay, so this is two and a half years old. Shoot me. I bought this the week it came out because I had failed to win an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this on Goodreads. I don’t really know what it was that drew me in. Maybe the teacups? Either way, after picking it up and putting it down multiple times over the course of two years, I finally finished it today.
This had been my first foray into the Young Adult range of books as an adult, and boy, was I ever surprised. I still remember reading this on a plane and cringing when Kit and Fancy started carving people up. The imagery was…yeichhh. I never thought that teenlit would have such violent descriptions. Duly noted. Let’s move on.
So the novel centers around two sisters, Kit and Fancy Cordelle who live in Portero…Wherever. Their daddy is none other than the notorious Bonesaw Killer, which earns them a lot of grief and contempt from their neighbors. The girls can transport themselves to “The Happy Place,” – their personal utopia where all you have to do is think, and your wish will come true. They soon realize The Happy Place is also a great place to hide dead bodies. They pretty much become the perfect killers since no one can accuse them of a crime if they can’t tie them to it (well okay, they could, but you know). So, like daddy, like daughters, they begin killing people as a “service” to the citizens of Portero. How nice of them!
But then you stop and think…what’s the plot? Well, to be honest, there isn’t one. It’s kind of episodic. Kid appears asking for the sisters’ help dealing with a bully, bully is taken to Happy Place and disposed of in a gruesome manner, Fancy goes on about how much she loves Kit, Kit seems disinterested, dream diary. Honestly, I didn’t mind that much. I found the girls’ antics fun and I was having a ball reading about all these people dying. Some people may have a problem with no real, direct plot for 500 page novel, but meh, I was okay with it.
Things start to hit the rocks at the halfway point, though, which was one of the reasons why I stopped reading initially. Kit finds a boy named Gabriel to go gallivanting with, leaving Fancy pretty damn bitter, since she has a sister complex and doesn’t really feel like sharing her only sibling. Kit is just inexplicably dense when it comes to splitting her time between the two. They fight pretty often about how Gabe sucks and Fancy wants to be the only one in Kit’s life, but Kit’s all like “NO ME WUVS GABE!” instead of saying, “Sorry I’ve been a douche. Hey, let’s spend some time together so we can try to help you get over this inferiority complex you have. I mean, you already have a sister complex, and when those two mix, it’s pretty damn ugly.”
It does get ugly. Fancy pretty much puts the fear of God into the wonderful creatures of the Happy Place and makes it look like Robotropolis in terms of doom and gloom, and also manages to drive her sister away. Yay! Now we get chapters upon chapters of Fancy whining about how Kit is off having sex with some dude, and I’m forgetting how old these girls are by this time, so I’m just hoping they’re at least 16/17 and are using protection and not being stupid about it.
This is where I stopped reading for a while. It wasn’t fun reading fight after fight with these two. They’re both teens, I know, but Fancy could have at least once said, “Sorry for being a POS. I love you, girl.” Nope. Belligerent all the way. Kind of reminded me of how hurt I was when my little brother turned 14 and started discovering girls. It killed me that we weren’t best friends anymore, and I pretty much hated his girlfriends for it (and other good reasons, but that’s neither here nor there). At least I didn’t actively try to sabotage his relationships like Fancy LaLa here.
Last month, I finally picked this book up again. It’s been sitting in my “currently reading” section for long enough, and I decided to finish the darn thing. Fortunately, the story picked up again. We had more killing and fun and yay, and I was intrigued again.
In the last quarter of the book comes Ilan, Gabe’s brother. The two of them are kind of “meh” characters, Gabe especially, but at least Reeves tried to make Ilan “dangerous” since just waltzes into The Happy Place like he owns it and says, “Screw you,” to the attack dogs Fancy sics on him and tames them like they’re Border Collies. I don’t know, I just didn’t…care about him? Or Gabe? I really only cared about Fancy, and that was only a smidgen. Fine, I was there for the gore that initially made me go, “Oh, my.” I’m probably a horrible person.
The ending was satisfying…I guess. I mean, I don’t know how I would have written it, but maybe I’m just having “After-Book-Syndrome.” But one thing’s for sure, the pages leading up to the end caused my jaw to drop. The last 15 pages accomplish so much. It pretty much made up for the slow parts in the middle.
I don’t really have an opinion of Dia Reeves’s writing style. She writes. It’s not toxic. I can read it. She seems to have a good handle on the English language and doesn’t use that much purple prose.
Overall, I liked this book. This is actually the second in the Portero series, and I bought Bleeding Violet, the first, a long time ago. So I’ll read that when I get the chance. Too many other things to read first.
VERDICT: “Slice of Cherry” gets three bloody teacups out of five.