In a time of hardship and heartbreak, sometimes, reality just isn’t enough. Slipping Reality is the story of fourteen-year-old Katelyn Emerson, who, when faced with the glaring reality of her brother’s illness, rebels against the truth by slipping away into the depths of her own imagination. There, she finds the kind of support and comfort she feels she deserves. There, she does not have to feel so alone. And yet, as Katelyn’s grasp on reality begins to unravel, so too does the story of a girl who grew up too fast and fell apart too soon. Emily Beaver’s debut novel is a coming of age story that deals with the trials of young grief, insight, and growth where it’s least expected.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS ****
It would be a lie to say that there aren’t many books that leave me crying my eyes out, but there certainly hasn’t been any recently. This changed when I reached the end of Slipping Reality. I was so affected by this book and I simply loved how rich and raw it left me. I knew the ending, I knew what was coming and yet, at the same time, I did not expect it to affect me quite so much. It is, just as Katelyn herself comments, that even when watching your favourite movies and you know what is going to happen, that doesn’t stop the tears from flowing. This book moved me in ways I didn’t really think were possible.
Going into this book, I knew that it was going to be a sad tale but never did I expect it to talk to me quite so much. As Katelyn goes on her journey, I found myself relation to her and her character and how it was with my Grandad. I recognised the fear that she felt and I just wanted to reach through the pages and comfort her. This was such a well-written story that I’m worried this review won’t reflect just how brilliant the book actually was but I’m really going to try my hardest and just hope that it comes out right.
This story is full of imagination and creativity, it is creativeness that sparks from the author, Emily but is shown through the character of Katelyn and the “alternate” reality that she has slipped into. All Katelyn wants and needs is someone to comfort her, someone to be there for her in a way that she can’t be there for her brother, Matthew. In step her “imaginative friends”, Tristan and Cedric. They are there for her in every way she needs but she can’t quite explain what happens when they’re around. Are they real? Is she dreaming? Does she go to another reality? I loved the concept of this and completely understood it. Sometimes, all we want is an escape, all we want to do is run but we have to be strong and face the things around us or we may end up to regret it.
“If you don’t face tomorrow, Katelyn, who will?”
I loved the characters in this story. I loved how realistic they all were. Her best friend Lauren and how she would steer the conversation in whichever way she felt Katelyn needed it but also felt left behind when Katelyn went off into her “fantasies”. I adored Matthew and how he acted around his sister, in spite of everything, and I loved how strong he was when he really didn’t have to be. He showed that Cancer doesn’t have to beat you if you don’t let it. But really, I absolutely adored Katelyn. I related to her so much and I loved that she just tried to get on with her life, she pushed everything aside and just got on with her daily life because she had to. So when an escape was given to her, instead of questioning it too much, she just let it happen because she needed it. All of the characters were really well-written and helped to make the story that much better.
The writing in this book was really good. It faltered here and there and became a bit choppy in places but this certainly didn’t deter from the overall feel of the book. What’s more, this was written when Emily Beaver was only fourteen years old and while that shouldn’t mean I should cut her some slack, I will, because the rest of the book was just so incredible that the few problems here and there is stunning as some authors could never write a book so beautiful and rich. I adored the over-all running theme throughout the book and the way that Katelyn dealt with it all.
“I don’t really believe there’s anything that hasn’t been said about the beauty of the ocean. But think how its benefit, how it guides us. We crash and burn, we pull in and out, and we are never fully aware of how powerful we truly are as a unit. The water knows no limits, because when you slice through it …” Tristan made a slash in the water with his free hand, “it just forms itself back together again.”
There was some beautiful imagery within this novel that I truly admired, and it was full of imagination and spark and is a book that I would whole-heartedly recommend to others. If you’ve ever been through loss, or are going through loss, I feel that this book would help you to get through it, to understand that you’re not alone in this world, that you’re never alone. It might also help you to feel stronger, to not make mistakes and it might make you realise how strong your actions can be and how, even though escaping may feel brilliant, it won’t always be that way. I have to admit that while I was reading I kept thinking that Tristan and Cedric were a sign that Katelyn herself had cancer, but this would just be me and my lack of imagination but once I got passed that thought, I truly saw this story for what it wanted to be; a marvellous read full of imagination and escape.
I received this title from netgalley and am posting my review as part of the Slipping Reality blog tour! Please pop over and visit all of the different hops on this tour! (Click the image at the top for them all) This book deserves it. There is only two days left but that doesn’t mean you can’t go and visit the stops that have already happened! Oh, and when you get a chance, make sure you purchase this book, I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.