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.
Summary taken from Goodreads
This is going to be a hard review. It feels almost cruel, writing a bad review for this book, knowing that it's semi-autobiographical. But... it just wasn't a good book. It was written by a grieving fourteen year old girl, and it shows.
In the author's note, it says that this book was written as a form of therapy, a way to help the author deal with the death of her brother. I understand that, and have even done a little bit of that myself. But I personally think maybe it should have stayed that way and not been published. The story wasn't plausible, the writing wasn't good, and the pacing was off.
Part of the reason I disliked it so much was everyone in Katelyn's life, besides her imaginary friends, were completely okay with the fact she was pulling away from everyone, including her dying brother. That rang so false to me. Her parents and her best friend would have never let her get away with it, not if they cared about her at all. Not being there when someone you love dies, it's one of the worst feelings there is. Katelyn wouldn't have been able to forgive herself that easily, and her family would have known that and tried to put a stop to it.
We also spent eighty-five percent of this book listening to Katelyn debate whether or not Tristen and Cedric were real. She would say that she didn't care anymore, then go right back to the real-not real questions. It would have been okay, but they just kept saying the same things over and over again. No new information was given. It also really creeped me out that Katelyn was romatically involved with a figment of her imagination. And didn't think it was strange at all. Nope. Completely normal...
And finally, my biggest complaint. Katelyn kept talking about her amazing relationship with her brother Matthew. How her whole life was about him. And she spends the entire book ignoring him. We see him about five times the entire novel. It was sad he was dying, but I had no emotional attachment to him. I had no idea who he was, other than as a boy dying of cancer.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. Especially knowing that parts were taken from the author's real life. But Slipping Reality fell flat in too many ways for me to enjoy it.