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Welcome to the Slipstream

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Bright lights, big trouble

Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak and Judy Gregerson's Bad Girls Club will relate to this story about a girl traumatized by her brilliant mother's serious mental illness

Like a grown-up Eloise from the picture book, the main character, Van, lives in an upscale casino in glitzy Las Vegas, giving readers entree into a crazy world that few ever
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Simon Pulse
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  94 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Dannii Elle
As the evenings are growing increasingly darker and the mornings more unbearably chill, I am desperate for anything that allows me to hold on to the last vestiges of summer. And I have found it right here, in this book. Despite its sunshine setting, however, this book infringes onto darker themes and calamitous subject matters that make this simultaneously both a fun contemporary and a transgression into cimmerian fiction.

This is the story of Van. From the outside looking in, her life seems to
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a weird book in all the right ways. You hear a lot about books that can really lift you out of your life and into someone else's, but what's especially noteworthy about this one is how you can catch so much context from so little information because of how excellently this author captures her character's full, lived experience. You can feel what it's like to be weary and resigned like Van, but also young and hopeful, teased with a possibility that could change her life. You understand ...more
Rosalyn Eves
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this, but Burian is such a great writer that I was drawn in immediately by Van's quirky family: her mother and her former nurse. Van's mother is brilliant a little unstable, invited to consult all over the world on businesses and dragging Van along with her. When they land a job in Las Vegas, Van isn't initially sure she'll like it, but she finds herself befriending a young college student, Alex, and through him, a small group of friends. Just as Van ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writer-friends
I was given this arc for a fair an honest review, and it did not disappoint.

The author's language choices were stellar, so literal and blunt, but at the same time, figurative and artistic--such a visceral combination. I could relate so much to the MC's awkward weirdness, her bizarre-trippy experiences (I've had more than a few), her extreme fringe life, and fear of mental breaks. This book was amazing. I couldn't put it down.

Mary Ann Marlowe
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was such a crazy, amazing ride filled with a colorful cast of characters. The writing is as utterly gorgeous as the Arizona settling. At times this felt a lot like a YA Tom Robbins, at others, I was reminded of Rainbow Rowell. The pacing and arc are spot-on, and overall it's just an emotionally satisfying read. Highly recommend.
Julie Decker
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Seventeen-year-old Van is newly arrived in Las Vegas. With her slightly-unhinged-yet-genius mother Sofia and her older companion Ida, Van settles into their new "home" in a casino, hoping to just keep her head down, play her guitar, take her private schooling, and catch her mother when she falls. It's inevitable, the falling: Sofia has incredible highs and deep lows, but Van and Ida know what to expect and have learned to ride the roller coaster. When Alex, an older boy sent as a guide, becomes ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017

As I type my review, I’m torn between two opinions. On one hand, I liked Welcome to Slipstream. It was eccentric and fast paced, a book I easily devoured in one sitting. On the other hand, I was left feeling underwhelmed…wanting more - of Van’s story, of Van’s mother’s struggles, of seeing Van become her own person.

Welcome to Slipstream sets off to accomplish a lot. It’s a book about struggling with a family member’s mental illness, overcoming social anxiety, figuring out what home really
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
YA novel about a girl living in a rundown casino. Van's backstory is completely inventive and I've never read a character like her. I didn't like the cult plotline as much as I just liked Van and her mom just living their lives. A lightning fast read and so much fun and the ending was fantastic.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
From the very first page Welcome to the Slipstream was apt in letting us know Van’s mother isn’t traditional. Having taken apart the airplanes sink to fix their water pressure, which some would call tampering with an aircraft we are shoved right into Van’s hectic lifestyle and otherworldly mother. I enjoyed every bit of this book, even the not so nice pieces like Marine and her cult-like religious get-away with Van’s mother. This book is really unique and unlike other mental health centered ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
**Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary copy of WELCOME TO THE SLIPSTREAM in exchange for my honest review**

Van, her surrogate grandmother Ida and her mentally ill mother never stay in one place long thanks to her mother frequently stopping her meds. Now they're staying in a ritzy casino in Vegas, and Van's just hoping they'll stay put this time. Unfortunately, her mom runs off to join a cult in Arizona.

I was disappointed in the way mental illness was handled in WELCOME TO
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting but quirky book. You couldn't help but love Van, age 17. She had an unsettling upbringing and also a very unique personality. You were rooting for her throughout the story. Her mother had mental illness issues and had moved from place to place providing no stability for Van growing up. Van hadn't been to a regular school or enjoyed any of the other things kids have. She mainly had to rely on her quasi nanny for normality and stability. This book begins in Las Vegas and ...more
Beatriz Lopes
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nunca imaginei que o enredo tomaria o rumo que tomou, da metade do livro pra frente me conformei que tudo era possível -e imprevisível. Comecei pensando que seria apenas a história de uma garota que muda muito de cidade e toca guitarra, mas Natalka conseguiu ir muito, muito além disso. Também gostei da forma como o egoísmo da Van é frisado por ela mesma, mostrando que todos nós temos esse lado -e até somos conscientes disso- mas ir contra é o que complica.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Rating: 1.5 stars.

I received an ARC on NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. (Thanks!)

You know that feeling you get sometimes when you are watching a foreign film? The feeling that something of the importance that is happening is a bit lost on you because you're missing that context? That's sort of how I feel about this book. I would say that this novel was definitely unique, but I just wasn't knocked off my feet by it. I'm sure some people will like it, but I just don't think the writing
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Judging by its long synopsis, Welcome To The Slipstreamsounds really random, messy, and sometimes unintentionally funny (all of them combined at certain points), which it is, but not on the incredibly large scale you want it to be on. The novel is actually quite short, at only 272 pages, and despite its promise of snazzy hotels, big cities, punk-rock vibes, and weird-ass cults, it still manages to cram everything in very tidily, exploring each aspect but always coming short somehow. I was ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*I recieved an ARC of WELCOME TO THE SLIPSTREAM from the publisher.

I can easily say that WELCOME TO THE SLIPSTREAM is one of the weirdest books I have ever read... but in a good way. (Maybe.) There were a lot of elements I had never seen before in a book, and while I found that really refreshing, the elements were... peculiar. Again, they worked very well together, but it was still odd.

Anyways! Let's get into the actual discussion.

W R I T I N G:
The writing was one of my favorite elements of
Jenn | Thrice Read | HitTheBooks
Also posted on Thrice Read

The release date of Welcome to the Slipstream is June 6th, 2017

I received this book for review on NetGalley. The synopsis immediately captured my attention. I am a huge fan of books that deal with mental illness. The whole world of psychology is intriguing for me. So, I thought that this combined with a Las Vegas version of Eloise in the Plaza sounded perfect. I wasn't as big of a fan of this book as I hoped.

To be fair to this book I think I came into it with far
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reminiscent of Janet Fitch’s White Oleander but with a little more light heartedness, WELCOME TO THE SLIPSTREAM, Natalka Burian’s debut novel, is an exploration of love, mental illness, and family.

The narrative is very simple, told from the perspective of a teenager about her life with her mother and her nurse. In short, I wasn’t prepared enough for this novel. Looking at the cover I expected it to be cheerful, or in the least, a breeze to read through.

I loved being proven wrong.

Our narrator,
Rebekah Haas
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
"I had my own place to go, and my own things to do. I could figure it out."

This book is a very odd book. It deals with mental illness and unusual family structures very very eloquently, however, the plotline is all over the place, and it's a little hard to follow in some places.

'Welcome to the Slipstream' i=tells the story of Van, whose mother is a mentally-ill ginancial advisor who was hired by a struggling Vegas Casino, the Silver Saddle. Van, her mother Sofia, and surrogate grandmother Ida
John Clark
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have to echo what other reviewers have said. This is an excellent look at a girl who not only feels trapped, but in essence really is by circumstances beyond her control. I read it in an afternoon, fascinated by the way those few elements of stability she had to rely on, fell apart and how new and more normal ones appeared to save her sanity. The author does a stellar job of keeping readers turning pages in order to learn why her mother is willing to run off to a cultish affair while leaving a ...more
Kelli Newby
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book had me on page one. I was hooked by the mother/daughter relationship and the absolutely gorgeous prose. It's not a book with big action sequences; it's a book with big emotions and big real life problems handled with complexity and care. I love that the quest here is about finding how to be oneself when you're the child of a larger than life personality (a personal favorite theme of mine). I also loved how it explored what it's like to be the child of someone with mental illness--Van ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was very powerful. Van is a young teenager who has led a nomadic life with her talented but troubled mother and their family friend, Ida. They are well-off now, but Van remembers lean and scary times from when she was very young. She is old enough now to understand that her mother Sofia has a mental illness as well as brilliance. Van and Ida work together to keep Sofia out of hospitals and jails. As Van gets older, she begins to see the appeal of the normal life she did not get to ...more
3.25 Stars ***

If you would like to see all my thoughts on this book, be sure to check out the review on my blog:

But here is a snippet and overview of what I thought:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I thought the writing had a nice pace, the plot was interesting and the characters were real life transferred onto the page. Thank you so much to Smith Publicity for providing me with a copy of this book!
Oct 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nope-just-nope
It was pretty good in the beginning, but got weird really fast.
Kristin Wright
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. The author handles mental illness from a teen's perspective in a truly sensitive way. I loved this story.
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
She told me once that when someone underestimated you, it was a gift. She told me it was like getting a head start in a race.

Okay, so, lots of conflicting emotions here. I'm going to go chronologically through this, pointing out some highs and lows.

Mom had obviously been out of medication for a couple of weeks. I could see it in the way she kept opening and closing the cardboard flaps of boxes while we packed.

I loved the truth to Van's mother's mental illness. It wasn't just "my mom is sick oh
Amanda Searcy
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is so unique. The main character Van, who's been dragged around the world by her mother, finds herself living in a Las Vegas casino that's seen better days. She struggles to find herself while dealing with her mother's deteriorating mental health. Van is such a great character, and I love how well developed the adults who become her support system are. The ending takes the book in a completely unique direction that pushes Van to her limits. This is a really great contemporary YA.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I got this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

The story revolves around 17 year old Van, her mom and mothers friend as they move to Las Vegas after Van's mother is offered a job to revamp a dwindling Las Vegas hotel. But the story is also about mental illness, specifically as it impacts Van's mother and the choices she makes once she gets involved with a new age cult. It's really a story about a girl who grows up much too early all in order to ensure her mother
Jim Ormonde
rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2017
Skylaar Amann
rated it it was amazing
Sep 05, 2019
Mieke Mcbride
rated it liked it
Feb 27, 2018
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