Fade to White
By Tara K. Ross
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: May 30th 2020
Content Warnings: none
I’m just going to say this now—I had mixed feelings about this book. And I don’t want to write a bad review. I don’t like trashing people’s work or making the author feel bad. But everyone is entitled to their own opinions, so I’m just going to jump into this.
First, the things I do like:
Thea. She was a very well-thought-out character. And the fact that she has anxiety issues made her unique. I guess it helps that the author herself went through an emotional roller coaster in the same way as her character. I could really relate to Thea because of this as well. I’ve been an emotional, anxiety-ridden mess ever since the sudden death of my dad. So Thea is definitely a character I support.
Tom. Thea’s brother was such an organic character, if you know what I mean. He waltzed onto the pages, real as you please, and stayed consistent. It was great.
Thea basically being an empath. This I thought was a fun thing to add. I was confused a little, however, when it just kinda turned into something else throughout the last half of the book. I am keeping in mind that I did read an unfinished copy, so maybe it was fixed. But yeah. Empaths are cool.
Khi basically being an INFJ. If you don’t know what an INFJ is, it’s a Meyers-Briggs personality type, one of the rarest, and also happens to be my personality type. So Khi was pretty cool for being an Icelandic INFJ. Even if he was kind of like the INFJ stereotype. I just wish that we could have explored his character a little bit more, and that Ross had given him just a tad more depth.
The tough stuff. Tara K. Ross really addressed tough subjects in a forgiving and kind light. It’s always good to see things like suicide and anxiety viewed with forgiveness and gentleness.
Now, the things I didn’t like:
The plot. Not so much the plot itself as the seeming lack thereof. I don’t know. It could have just been me, but the plot seemed to be really muddled and I wasn’t able to follow it at all. It just kind of felt a little bit random.
Thea’s obsession. Now, this is just a personal preference. And it was addressed later in the book so it’s not really a problem wit the story itself. I just want to rant a little. Thea had a major obsession with the school hottie, Gavin, and it drove me insane. I’ve never been romantic or boy-crazy, so people or character who are that way just make me irritated.
Evan. He shows up in the beginning of the book and is mentioned specifically, so I thought he was going to be a more important character than he turned out to be. He was touched on occasionally, but not enough to make him important to the plot. Which made me somewhat disappointed because, for some reason, I just wanted him to be important. Again, just a personal preference.
The ending. Now, this one is something that just rubs me wrong in a lot of Christian fiction and I’m not saying it’s wrong. *SPOILER ALERT* It was one of those ‘happily ever after’ endings. Like, life for the character is going to be amazing from now on. Not so much emotionally, but it kind of gave off the vibe of, now that Thea’s a Christian and she’s been spreading it around to her family members, life is sunshine and roses. Those endings irk me because life is never sunshine and roses. Call me a cynic. But I just don’t like it. Bittersweet is more my taste. *END OF SPOILER*
Overall, Fade to White was a good book and holds an important message. I just couldn’t like it as much I had wished to. I’m not trying to hurt the author’s feelings or anything. Tara K. Ross is an amazing person and maybe other people feel differently about the book. But this is just how I felt about it.
I Rate It: 3 stars
NOTE: I received an advanced reader’s copy from the author for review purposes only. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Book:
Thea Fenton’s life looks picture-perfect, but inside, she is falling apart. Wracked by anxiety no one seems to understand or care about, she resorts to self-harm to deflect the pain inside.
When a local teen commits suicide, Thea’s anxiety skyrockets. Unexplainable things happen, leaving her feeling trapped within her own chaotic mind. The lines between reality and another world start to blur, and her previously mundane issues seem more daunting and insurmountable than ever.
Then she meets Khi, a mysterious new boy from the coffee shop who seems to know her better than she knows herself—and doesn’t think she’s crazy. His quiet confidence and unfounded familiarity draw her into an unconventional friendship.
Khi journeys with her through grief, fear, and confusion to arrive at compassion for the one person Thea never thought she could love.
A deeply transformational novel from an authentic new voice in Christian young adult fiction.
(Description taken from Goodreads)
About the Author:
Tara K. Ross lives with her husband, two daughters and rescued fur-baby in a field of cookie-cutter homes near Toronto, Canada. She works as a school speech-language pathologist and mentors with local youth programs. When Tara is not writing or reading all things young adult fiction, you can find her rock climbing the Ontario escarpment, planning her family’s next jungle trek or podcasting/blogging at http://www.tarakross.com.
FADE TO WHITE is her debut novel.