Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bookish Review: Fade

Fade by Lisa McMann is the sequel to Wake. I did not read Wake first (still haven't read it), and Fade does still make sense without it; however, I would advise reading Wake first. I think it would fill in some of the blanks.

Janie gets sucked in to other people's dreams. With concentration, she can pull herself out, help the dreamer change the dream, even pause in the middle. However, nightmares are hard to pull herself out of, and the dreams drain her physically. She often wakes up numb and blind. Her secret boyfriend, Cabel, helps her deal with the repercussions of her "gift." They both work undercover for the police department, and in this case, they are investigating teachers at their high school for evidence of a possible sex scandal. Cabel doesn't like the dangerous situation Janie has gotten herself in, but Janie is determined to help.

Problems: The book is written in present tense, which is jarring. Making it worse is the use of sentence fragments to add to the pace and immediacy of the tale. I found this very distracting, but if you can stick it out, once you're half or 2/3 of the way in, the tale will take over and rest falls to the background. Cabel's ability is not explained or used much in this one--I think reading Wake would help clear up questions. Also, many secondary characters, particularly Janie's mom, are extremely flat and not detailed enough to ring true. I hope that the issues there were more deeply explored in the first one. Lastly, the female police captain is constantly called "sir," which I just found irksome.

Overall, however, the story is interesting and compelling, and it is clear that Janie and Cabel both need someone to love and to love them, if they can allow themselves to be vulnerable. There are problems, sure, but it is still a unique read. Teens into ESP or the power of dreams should find it interesting.

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