If you’ve never picked up an Abbi Glines book before, you should definitely start with As She Fades. If you have, then you won’t want to miss her latest and greatest.
Be aware, due to the nature of this story, there may be a spoilerific comment or two in the review. I highly recommend reading As She Fades before reading any reviews. It’s a damn good story with an interesting twist that dramatically changes how the story moves forward. You’ve been warned.
About ‘As She Fades’
On the night of her high school graduation, Vale McKinley and her boyfriend Crawford are in a terrible car accident that leaves Crawford in a coma. They were supposed to spend the summer planning for college, for a bright future full of possibility. Together. Instead, Vale spends long days in the hospital, hoping Crawford will awaken.
Slate Allen, a college friend of Vale’s brother, has been visiting his dying uncle at the same hospital. When he and Vale meet, she can’t deny the flutter of an illicit attraction. She tries to ignore her feelings, but she’s not immune to Slate’s charm. Slowly, they form a cautious friendship.
Then, Crawford wakes up . . . with no memory of Vale or their relationship. Heartbroken, Vale opts to leave for college and move on with her life. Except now, she’s in Slate’s territory, and their story is about to take a very strange turn.
Glines’ millions of fans will adore As She Fades, a novel as romantic as it is full of twists and unexpected turns.
‘As She Fades’ book review
I felt a pull toward this book from the second I heard about it. I’m not entirely sure why, but somehow I just knew I needed to read this story. I am SO very glad I did. Vale illustrates how easy it is to get lost in other people. If you find yourself to be a bit of a people-pleaser (I’m definitely raising my hand over here), you should be able to identify with Vale’s struggles in the first half of this story.
When Vale makes the difficult decision to step out of the hospital and into her life, she is choosing to temper her people-pleasing ways and live her life for herself. It is far too easy to get sucked into trying to make all your friends and loved ones happy and forget that you have to make time to live life for yourself, too. Watching Vale realize that about herself and try to make a positive change is an example we can all strive for. She wasn’t perfect, but she saw her own shortcoming, and decided to do something about it.
While Crawford isn’t exactly a bad guy, he suffers from what so many teenagers and people in their 20s suffer from: selfishness. He didn’t want to lose Vale, not because he was irrevocably in love with her, but because he didn’t want his perfect world to change. It sounds like their high school life was chock full of Vale adjusting her life for Crawford, without him repaying the favor in kind.
It seems only fitting, then, that when this story takes a dramatic twist in the middle, we see Crawford as a little less the knight in shining armor type, as he is just a regular guy who doesn’t feel the same loyalty to her that Vale showed for him. I would love to see a future Crawford who has matured and learned from his selfish ways, especially if that maturity comes at the hands of a life-changing love chock full of attitude. But this story isn’t really about Crawford.
You can’t talk about As She Fades and not talk about Slate. He is so much more than a manwhore. I will admit to having a bit of fatigue with that particular archetype, but Slate proves that there is more to male characters than whether or not they’ve had a lot of sex. Slate’s devotion and heartbreak over his uncle rings true to the man he is at his core.
And that man is the one that reads to a coma patient when their family needs a break. The one that brings coffee to his frat brother in the hospital as they both worry over loved ones. The one that is patient and understanding when the situation calls for it. The one that will lose at Texas Hold ‘Em with his uncle so he can retain a bit of himself until the very end. Slate is one of the good ones.
I hope that anyone who reads this story cries and smiles as much as I did. I would find myself wiping tears away as my heart filled with warmth for how well these two characters care for one another. Life is full of terrifying and heartbreaking things, and watching Vale and Slate lean on each other throughout their arduous ordeals is a wonderful way to prove those terrors and heartbreaks aren’t the end. They just offer a new beginning.