Mini Review: “Slip” by Marika McCoola & Aatmaja Pandya

Release Date: June 7, 2022
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult


Right before Jade is about to leave for a summer art intensive, her best friend, Phoebe, attempts suicide. How is Jade supposed to focus on herself right now?

But at the Art Farm, Jade has artistic opportunities she’s been waiting for her whole life. And as she gets to know her classmates, she begins to fall for whimsical, upbeat, comfortable-in-her-own-skin Mary. Jade pours herself into making ceramic monsters that vent her stress and insecurities, but when she puts her creatures in the kiln, something unreal happens: they come to life. And they’re taking a stand: if Jade won’t confront her problems, her problems are going to confront her, including the scariest of them all–if Jade grows, prospers, and even falls in love this summer, is she leaving Phoebe behind?

My Thoughts

Let’s sneak in one last review of a queer book before the end of Pride Month, shall we? Marika McCoola and Aatmaja Pandya’s Slip is a great closer. It’s emotionally resonant, beautifully rendered, and romantically compelling. 

Jade is supposed to be connecting to new people–and in particular Mary, a quirky, bright artist, catches her eye–but her friend Phoebe and Phoebe’s choices loom over everything Jade does. A twist of fantasy swirls through this story as Jade’s emotions are imbued in the pottery animals she creates. The more she tries to box up her feelings, the more they leak through in unexpected ways.

As heavy as it sounds, there are moments of lightness to balance things out. I enjoyed watching the relationship between Mary and Jade grow slowly. And the way Phoebe is handled will benefit the teens who are both in her and Jade’s situations. This is a good addition for youth or teen library collections.

Slip makes for a nice pairing with Anna-Marie McLemore’s Lakelore, about a nonbinary Latinx teen who pours their anxieties into the alebrijes they make.

Buy it at (affiliate link)

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