As She Fades by Abbi Glines
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received this free eARC novel from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.
Vale has been dating Crawford since she was 6 years old - a 12 year relationship under her belt already. Now, it's graduation night, and they are going to have the best time in college come fall. Even though the college they are going to wasn't Vale's first pick, she wants to be with Crawford and he got a full ride scholarship for football there. Vale will find things to do and learn to love the college that her older brother, Knox, goes to as well.
But things don't go according to plan. In fact, graduation night, Crawford and Vale got into a car accident. And now Crawford is in a coma. No one knows when he is going to wake up, and Vale's life has completely changed within seconds.
Now, the most that Vale does is sit in the waiting room at the hospital until 3 o'clock, where she will get to read a novel to Crawford and hope that her voice will spur him awake. She doesn't see her family, she doesn't see her friends. She just stares at the wall until it's her turn to try to spark some life into Crawford.
Her family is pressuring her to go to college in August, even if Crawford doesn't wake up. Vale needs to live again, and Crawford would want her to go to college like they planned. Vale can't decide what she wants to do, but she knows that her family is right. She just has to make that first step.
And halfway through Vale's summer routine, she gets a twist of turns when a college guy, Slate, starts to talk to her. He's there because his uncle has cancer, and he's the only family he's got left. Vale knows he is a player, and gets a confirmation when her brother, Knox, agrees because they are frat brothers at college.
The more Vale is mean to Slate, the more he hangs out and annoys her. Eventually, though, she sees a different side to him that not many do, and she realizes that he may not be the biggest man slut on her college campus.
After Vale makes the decision to go to school, she also decides that she likes being around Slate. Being around him makes her feel different than being around Crawford. The more she starts to live her own life - the way she wants to - the more she comes to understand that her life is just starting.
Of course, just when things are going amazing in her life, reality crashes down around her. Now Vale has to decide on some very big decisions, and she has to decide on her own.
I finished this book yesterday and I'm still not sure how to put into words how I feel right now. I have read almost all of Abbi Glines novels and this one is by far the best. No, seriously, I am telling you the truth!
Vale is just a shell at the beginning of this book, wasting the days away one by one. But by the end of this novel, she is alive, happy, laughing. It's like a completely different character to be honest.
I was along for the ride that Abbi Glines was giving me, and then I get to part 2 of the book. Holy crap! I am still trying to believe what happened and how it happened and how it was all just... gah. I can't tell you anything, but it was a completely 180 degrees that took me on the bumpy part of the rollercoaster.
Slate is an amazing character. He is so goofy, and serious and sexy and amazing and so, so sweet. He has many layers to him and one has to be extremely patient to be able to stick around and see all of them to really see the real Slate Allen.
This book is about second chances. It's about living your life, doing what you want, and loving what you do. Because there are too many times when everything can change in an instant, and you want to be able to look back on your life and know that what you did was the best things you wanted to do. And Vale came to that realization by the end of this book, because she was starting to live again.
I laughed often (especially at the Rory Gilmore reference), I cried so much, and I felt alive when reading this book. I think a lot of Abbi's fans are going to really fall for this book and be left wanting more, so hopefully Abbi is prepared for a lot of "sequel" chants! :)
I am so, so, so glad I got this as an eARC novel and I may just have to re-read it again in the near future. Just to make sure that I computed everything correctly ;)
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