I know Abbi Glines has quite the following of fans, but As She Fades was my first time reading one of her books — and I can definitely see the appeal. Plenty of swoon-worthy romance, interesting complicated characters, and some steamy romance.
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.
As the book begins, I really loved meeting and getting to know Vale. She’s in the middle of heartache, waiting to see if her beloved boyfriend will wake up, and her pain is so understandable. But it doesn’t linger long, as we see her slowly decide to start moving on with her life — because she has to; he’d want her to and she should. Her strength and resilience is admirable, and I really liked having her as the narrator of the story.
And then we meet Slate – a charming college guy with a bad boy reputation, but underneath a true heart of gold — which we get to see as he befriends Vale.
Their relationship is really the driving force behind the first half of the book, and I was so on board for where things were going. I wanted to see this develop; and I wanted to see what challenges would be thrown their way and how they would overcome them.
The book was split into two parts – so I was expecting a twist at the end of part 1. But it was not at all what I expected.
I’m avoiding spoilers here, but I’m honestly still not sure how I feel about the second half of the book. I LOVED the first part — seeing Vale grow and change as a character, and her relationship with Slate mature and develop. But I felt like a lot of that momentum got lost with the Big Twist, and so the second half felt almost like a different book.
That said, if you love a swoony, steamy, complicated romance, then you’re sure to enjoy As She Fades. Look for it in stores now.
Abbi Glines is a #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, Field Party and Existence series. She never cooks unless baking during the Christmas holiday counts. She believes in ghosts and has a habit of asking people if their house is haunted before she goes in it. She drinks afternoon tea because she wants to be British but alas she was born in Alabama. When asked how many books she has written she has to stop and count on her fingers. When she’s not locked away writing, she is reading, shopping (major shoe and purse addiction), sneaking off to the movies alone, and listening to the drama in her teenagers lives while making mental notes on the good stuff to use later. Don’t judge.
You can connect with Abbi online in several different ways. She uses social media to procrastinate.