Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book Review: Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves


Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around.

It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren’t killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from the mistakes of their father, and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious and invisible doorway to another world, she opens a door to endless possibilities….


The Short Version:
Perfectly demented and twisted in all the right ways but with plenty of depth, Slice of Cherry is a blend of enticing and grotesque. Kit and Fancy are perfectly pitched from the start before going through some fantastic, mirrored, related development, and the continued setting of Portero creates some very hilarious moments. With a small but well developed cast of secondary characters, and strong writing, this one most definitely delivers as a sophomore novel.

The Extended Version:
Fancy is the sister who gets the bulk of the attention throughout the book, starting out as the seemingly more compassionate of the sisters when she insists they don't simply kill an intruder when they have the chance. With the ability to see places in things like pools of water and mirrors, and finally being able to open one of the infamous Portero doors, she is set apart from her sister in a way that clearly creates some sibling rivalry. Fancy is quiet, letting her sister do all the talking, but very perceptive and intelligent despite her lacking people skills. She is also naive, however, particularly when it comes to sex, which creates some hilarious moments that Reeves has slipped in at just the right time.

Kit, at the start, seems colder and more unfeeling than her sister. The way these two play off each other and interact drives a large part of the plot, both at the beginning when they are joined at the hip and as things continue on when Kit starts to yearn for more than just her connection to her sister. Kit is more sexual than Fancy, creating another dissonance between them. More able to handle change, and torn between wanting someone apart from Fancy but not wanting to hurt her, Kit creates some well written, poignant moments despite the overall twisted nature of this book. Her development is handled perfectly despite the primary focus on Fancy, and the change from start to finish is concise and well understood for both girls.

The events that triggered Kit wanting more than Fancy are simple but the impact clear. From Franken, a classic example of falling in love with a captor, to the mystery that surrounds Gabe, Kit is in the midst of it while Fancy struggles to keep things the same. There is a clear change in the girls every time they pass through the door to the Happy place, where Fancy is suddenly in control and able to handle things in a way she doesn't do otherwise.

Fancy's frustration at her sister pulling away is very realistic and well handled, and even if some of her reactions seem extreme, Reeves did such a great job building her full nature early on that it isn't at all out of character. With plenty of hilarious responses and events, the laughs abound in this one, even at the sickest of moments. Ilan and Gabe, the two brothers that have an eye for the sisters, also play off each other very well, having a connection that is hard to define in the same way as Kit and Fancy's. The romance angle of this book is so fantastically well done, subtle in some ways and blatant in others. With no bars against sex, but mixed with Fancy's naivety in regards to it, Ilan and Fancy have some of the best banter around and his comments are memorable in their hilarity and timing.

Reeves' writing is strong, giving some fantastic descriptions and holding some comic relief moments that are perfectly timed for the reader without detracting from the story or overall scene. The cameo of Hanna and Wyatt also made for a great scene, and the entire sequence from start to finish was well paced, catering to the different aspects of both girls without lagging. Reeves is a master at the demented, and some of the ways she comes up with for the girls to kill people are incredibly original and well played.

There are some much deeper moments mixed into this book, bringing out some striking truths of human nature along with some perfectly intense scenes that last just long enough to drive the point home before shifting back into the overall lighthearted air of the book. Reeves has done a great job blending the same setting and world as Bleeding Violet with a new story, holding little crossover in plot, meaning, and characters. With several unpredictable twists in this book, and a very rapid climax of an ending before easing off to wrap things up with Fancy and Kit's story, Slice of Cherry is a fantastic read that is in a category all its own.

Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for honest review
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (January 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416986200
ISBN-13: 978-1416986201


  1. Oh this is an interesting book. The cover looks a little innocent then what you described the book to be about. Great review.

  2. Love love love love this book. Great review.

  3. I can't wait to read this one. It sounds so good! LOVE your review! I like the cover too. It's simplistic, and strikes a balance of humour with a dash of the macabre. Love the insinuations it gives.

  4. Nice job on the review! I've been curious to see what people are saying about this one as it's seen a lot of hype so far....sounds like a fun read...twisted but fun. I like the way you described Fancy's character....seems like the author got the stereotypical "quiet girl" down pat (speaking from experience...minus the murder and special abilities). Might have to add this one to the Wish List soon...thanks for sharing! Happy reading....

  5. I've been on a Dexter marathon the past few days so I'm really in the mood for this novel. It sounds really good! Thanks for the review.

  6. I've read this book and I have to say it was a very good read. It really drew me in, and it was hard to put down.