Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Slice of Cherry

Slice of Cherry - Dia Reeves Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.Spoilers abound for Slice of Cherry. Beware.Daughters of the Guthrie Cordelle, the well-known Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy Cordelle are scorned by most of the residents of Portero, Texas. This does not bother them because as long as they have each other, no one else matters. The same monster that was inside their father, the monster that demands death and blood, awakens in them and just like that, they become murderers. Instead of killing random people the way their father did, these girls are smart and take out only the criminals, the rapists and wannabe murderers and out-of-town bullies. Using the "happy place" that only Fancy can access but that they can both control, the girls take care of their murderous urges and drive themselves further apart from one another.Reeves's first novel Bleeding Violet was one of my favorite reads of 2010 and I was looking forward to Slice of Cherry from the moment I heard about it. Once I started reading, I was glad that I had started with Bleeding Violet because anyone who starts reading the books with Slice of Cherry will have a hard time understanding the unusual ways Portero works, so one should make sure to read Bleeding Violet first. A fantastic novel that evokes many emotions from the reader (not all of them good ones), there were also a few points that bothered me and made the rating take a nosedive.Kit and Fancy were amazing characters, horrible people, and undeniably insane. Entries from Fancy's dream diary offer the readers a peek into her mind. I'm no psychology major and know very few dream symbols, but I could realize from them just how much of a monster she was through those and her unreliable narration. Between the two, Fancy was certainly the bigger monster. One still comes to care about them and the growth they experience despite all that. As the sisters' bond starts to weaken and fall apart, the book becomes difficult to put down. Their obvious insanity acts as reasoning for many of their actions throughout the novel, but not all of them. That will be touched upon later in the review, so stick around. If one looks hard enough, they can even distinguish the two types of serial killers and decide which type Kit and Fancy are: Either the type that kills mostly on instinct/urges and makes a huge mess of it with some evidence left behind or the antisocial, intelligent type that plan out their crimes and make sure nothing is left behind.This novel has a lot to say about many things: the treatment of the family of serial killers, the atrocities people can inflict on their spouses and children and siblings and friends, the secrets supposedly normal families can hide behind closed doors, and how the families of serial killers feel about the family member locked up, among many other things. A little bit of Stockholm Syndrome gets mixed in there too. Teens have sex in this book and it is not being portrayed as a Very Bad Thing, which I love. No one gets called negative names because they had sex. One character even mentions using birth control. That's the kind of message that needs to be out there! Sex isn't bad; you just need to be careful!I am not a squeamish person. I constantly watch medical shows with many bloody re-enactments. For goodness' sake, I carved the eyeballs out of and helped decapitate a pig fetus when my high school class did pig dissections and the teacher let us have free rein on the final day of dissections! (Don't get me wrong; I love animals and would never abuse them, but these were falling apart from the dissection already.) Very little grosses me out. This book? Scared me half to death and sent chills down my spine more times than I could count. At least five times, I had to close the book and stop reading for a few minutes because it was scaring me too badly or getting too creepy.For those looking forward to the parts of the novel where the girls kill people, they will love how creative some of these murders get. To spoil one of them, a girl gets forced to put on a pair of red dancing shoes in the happy place and when people clap, she dances. Eventually, she overheats from dancing so much and bursts into flames. She continues to dance while she is on fire and is allowed to stop only when all that is left of her is some ashes and bits of bone in the dancing shoes. It only gets more creative from there.Speaking of creepy... Ilan. Oh, Ilan. The award for Creepiest Male Character seemed to be locked up by another character from another series, but Ilan snatched that award up and practically ate it. It's going to take a creep so creepy that I can't finish the book to take that award from Ilan. He is described as a predator for most of the book, always giving Fancy hungry looks and saying things that send chills down the reader's spine in a very bad way. How much whiplash do you think I had when this guy was made Fancy's love interest? At one point, dogs bite him, the dogs all start foaming in the mouth and dying, and Ilan even says he is PURE POISON ON THE INSIDE. So is the new approach to getting a girl "creep her out until she likes it/you?" I hope that Fancy was only receptive because she is insane and naive about boys (he is her first boyfriend) because if she would still respond positively in an alternate universe where she is sane and not naive,... I'll let you finish that sentence.One quote in particular from Fancy nearly made me throw this novel across my room: when Fancy and Kit are about to go to the happy place and Fancy says that if Ilan did a certain thing (which shall not be mentioned here for the sake of keeping one of the biggest plot twists of the novel secret), she will kill him and then because she loves him, she will kill herself. At this point, it did not matter that Fancy is all types of screwed up in the head. That is one thing I never want to hear a girl say: that if this guy dies, she's going to die. If that had happened earlier than page 478 (of 505), I simply would have shut it and wrote it up as a DNF. In the meantime, Kit gets beaten up by Gabriel and when he breaks up with her because he feels so bad, she excuses it because he was sleepwalking and he does stuff like that when he's sleepwalking. These girls are insane, but I'm certain they're sane enough to know better than this. I love Dia Reeves's novels and plan to keep buying them (a third Portero book is in the works starring a girl with no heart) and this one was the most terrifying book I have ever read, but it was also one of the most anger-inducing due mostly to Ilan and Fancy despite its wonderful quality. One could excuse the behavior they exhibited to their mental imbalances, but that one only goes so far. Fancy should be sane enough to know not to date boys who admit they are pure poison and Ilan is sane enough not to be the creepiest male character I've ever read about. If the rest of the novel unrelated to Fancy and Ilan hadn't been so great, this would have gotten a worse rating. One little thing can ruin an entire book and it almost did that here.