One of the most predominate themes in this novel is that love has no boundaries or appearances. High school romances are often flirty and based on who is who and what social class you fall into. While this novel starts out following those trends and is easily relatable to readers, it soon twists and becomes so much more.
The story of Caleb, the boy with leukemia, that latches onto a resentful Gavin is a catalyst for the change in Gavin. His memory is a constant reminder of how fragile life is and that you can’t live your life trying to live up to everyone else’s standards. I was really touched by Caleb and how his short time impacted so many lives. It is a reminder that it doesn’t matter how long we are here on earth, but what we do with the time we are given. Caleb melted the heart of Gavin and reminded him there is more to life than his little social circle. Gavin and Jacob’s relationship is touching and so fluid you just can’t help but want to see how life goes for them both. Everyone should have a friendship like that in life, someone that loves you unconditionally and is there for you no questions ask. Life Sliding by S.L. Mauldin is a touching novel, thought provoking and full of compassion and hope. Literary Titan ~ 5 Stars
Life Sliding is a compelling read from beginning to end and clearly demonstrates author S. L. Mauldin's original and exceptionally gifted storytelling talents. While very highly recommended for school and community library YA Fiction collections.." Midwest Book Review
S.L. Mauldin's young adult coming of age novel, Life Sliding, is a grand and glorious read about the pressures to conform that shackle children and young adults in school, and one popular kid's realization that there was much more to life than being the most looked up to. Following Gavin's metamorphosis from an arrogant and entitled kid to a compassionate and independently minded young adult is a mesmerizing and moving experience. Life Sliding is one of those all-too-rare books that get it.
Mauldin seems to have the inside scoop on the angst, self-doubt and insecurity of the young whose issues are often dismissed with condescending platitudes such as "youth is wasted on the young."
His plot is original and compelling, and Camp Lift Me Up is marvelous. I have to admit that I've always harbored a wistful envy of those fortunate kids who got sent to camp and became counselors when they were teens. So I automatically looked forward to vicariously experiencing Gavin's camping summer, even if he didn't, but, like Gavin, I found it far surpassed my anticipation. Mauldin's characters are authentic and intriguing, especially Gavin's lifelong friend, Jacob, and their friendship is a big part of what makes this book work as well as it does. I had a grand time reading Life Sliding; it's easily one of the best books I've read this year.
Life Sliding is most highly recommended." A Coming of Age Young Adult Book. Readers' Favorite Review 5 Stars
View the Book Trailer Below
Following a summer camp experience in which Gavin witnesses a young mentee’s death by cancer, a teen, a former best friend, and a newcomer unite to challenge their school’s prejudices and social strata, running up against bullies and violence before finding peace.
AS GAVIN'S JUNIOR year comes to a close, he faces an inner conflict with his status as the most popular kid in high school. It's not lost on his father, who sensed for some time that his overly indulged son needs redirection. Making matters worse for Gavin, his dad sends him away for the summer to assist at a camp for children with special needs.
Arriving at camp Lift Me Up, Gavin is suddenly forced to dabble in a world less familiar. After his first uncomfortable encounter with a strange girl with multi-colored fingernails, who refuses to waiver his arrogant behavior, Gavin comes face to face with a person from the past, which leaves him uneasy.
Inevitably, three people clash and collide, but when tragedy strikes, they come to an understanding regarding their differences. Becoming a young adult, Gavin faces a summer of harsh lessons in reality. Once he crosses the bridge from a self-inflicted prison to the road to freedom, Gavin and his new friends implement a strategy to stir up the social order when they return to school in the fall.
Because of one jaded person jumping to conclusions, the plan backfires. Will they be able to survive the fallout of what they've put into motion?
Available in Audio Book Format
"A real tear jerker. I am totally overwhelmed. I just finished this book, and promptly recommended it to someone!"
A great coming of age story that tackles issues of prejudice, death, societal expectations and discovering one's true self. The challenges faced by the characters in the story are prevalent Â in today's society more than ever. A thought provoking read not only for young adults, but everyone.
Life Sliding - Book Trailer
"One of the better coming of age stories as it shows so many of the things that effect today's teens. Life, cause and effect, and the masks we force ourselves to wear are looked at here."
A book for teens, young adults or anyone who survived those tender, bold, and (maybe) dangerous years of youth.
Always Here - A Young Adult Novel
A teen dreams of musical theater stardom, but is beaten out by the popular girl in school, who is hiding the abuse in a seemingly perfect high school romance. Rushing to save a girl from violence, a life is lost and it takes a spirit to return and expose the truth about what happened late one night on a two-lane road.