As She Fades by Abbi Glines

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Title: As She Fades
Author: Abbi Glines
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 272
Source: ARC provided by Raincoast Books
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Overall: 4 STARS

From the #1 New York Times- and USA Today-bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach and The Vincent Boys series, Abbi Glines delivers another smoldering, compulsively readable YA romance with 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.

It's been quite a few years since I last read a book by Abbi Glines. When the NA genre was just starting to emerge, I liked reading her earlier Sea Breeze and Rosemary Beach novels. They were quick, easy contemporary reads with just the right amount of sexy romance and drama I was craving at the time. But after awhile, I grew really tired of reading her books. Nothing ever changed... The characters always seemed to talk the same and make similar terrible decisions, and the plot never really varied. It felt like I was reading the exact same book over and over again, just with a different name.

So I told myself to stop buying her books; I wasn't going to spend anymore hours of my time reading something that brought me frustration rather than happy contentment. But when I first heard about As She Fades at a Raincoast TeensRead Preview, the premise really intrigued me. A heroine spending her summer visiting the hospital after a terrible car accident left her boyfriend in a coma? It didn't sound like a Abbi Glines book! I couldn't resist adding it to my TBR and making a review request when the opportunity struck.

Although a part of me was wondering if I was going to be disappointed yet again, I'm relieved to say that As She Fades didn't let me down. As She Fades had that addictive quality I loved in Abbi Glines's earlier books, and most importantly, the plot and characters finally felt fresh. It was really nice to see Vale come from such a loving, supportive family who always had her back. Her parents and older brothers were so concerned for her, but they also always respected Vale's decisions and gave her the space she needed.

I didn't envy Vale's circumstances in As She Fades. One moment Vale has her life all planned out—spending sunny summer days with her football star boyfriend and then college together in the fall—and then it's all ripped away in an instant. Crawford is left in a coma, and the doctors are unsure when he'll wake up. As Vale visits the hospital daily, faithfully waiting for him to gain consciousness, she finds herself becoming friends with Slate Allen, her brother's handsome fraternity brother who's also frequently stopping by the hospital to see his dying uncle. 

When fall arrives, Vale must decide if she's ready to set off for college without Crawford... or if she's willing to acknowledge her growing feelings for Slate. On campus, Slate has a reputation for being a major player, someone who'd never commit to a relationship, but Vale is the only one who's seen a sensitive, caring side to him that he doesn't share with anyone else. But there was also more to As She Fades than Vale trusting her heart to pick the right boy. She's entering college as a freshman, moving into her dorm, and trying to make new friends. It's nerve-wracking and a challenge on its own, and in the process, Vale is realizing that she's changing; she's already not the same girl she was in high school.

Abbi Glines's As She Fades was a book with a lot of emotion and heart, angsty romance, some tough growing up... and even a surprise twist! I definitely recommend adding As She Fades to your list of books to read this spring/summer.

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