Thea Fenton’s life looks picture-perfect, but inside, she is falling apart. Wracked by anxiety no one seems to understand or care about, she resorts to self-harm to deflect the pain inside.
When a local teen commits suicide, Thea’s anxiety skyrockets. Unexplainable things happen, leaving her feeling trapped within her own chaotic mind. The lines between reality and another world start to blur, and her previously mundane issues seem more daunting and insurmountable than ever.
Then she meets Khi, a mysterious new boy from the coffee shop who seems to know her better than she knows herself—and doesn’t think she’s crazy. His quiet confidence and unfounded familiarity draw her into an unconventional friendship.
Khi journeys with her through grief, fear, and confusion to arrive at compassion for the one person Thea never thought she could love.
A deeply transformational novel from an authentic new voice in Christian young adult fiction.
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CONTENT WARNINGS: mentions of suicide | mentions, and descriptions of self-harm | mentions of depression | mentions of suggestive sexual comments
This was a really well written and thoughtful book! I know Tara from social media as a kind of friend of a friend, and her book is one of those books that just really make a difference in the mental health space, especially in the Christian realm.
I really like this story! Thea is not a perfect main character: she has flaws, and she has issues that are not just the "oh i'm too popular whatever shall I do" issues, but instead things like, an unstable home life, going through the grieving process, and school drama. Add that to some anxiety, and you've got Thea. She's aware she has problems, but she doesn't really know how to begin to solve them.
I think in the Christian book world (not necessarily ~Christian fiction~ in the mass produced paperback sense), people don't often talk about the hard, nitty gritty, real life topics, such as school drama, or having anxiety, or seeing a therapist, or figuring out one's place in life, but it is so needed! While the main character herself is not Christian, and the exact "conversion prayer scene" never happens, I think this allows for Thea to really figure out what she needs from life and allow her to find God for herself.
Speaking of being Christian, I was really sad we didn't get to see more of Khi! He is so ~mysterious and angsty~ but also compassionate and sweet and filled with goodness. He always shows up at the right time with just the right words, and if there was a character that I could wish we could get a sequel/spinoff from, it would be him :). I also really liked the other side characters, especially Thea's brother Tom, and also her two friends.
Overall, I think this book has a spectacular message, and is very clean and hopeful, while not detracting from the pain within the world at all. It does cover some deeper and heavier topics, although they were very well spoken about, and fulfilled the purpose of the story very well.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.
Thea Fenton is someone I can relate to. Even though I’m way older (and I mean “way” older) than she is. And although the level of anxiety she experiences pales in comparison to mine, the brightness/white lights that occur during her panic attacks are definitely something that happens when I panic too.
I love all the people in Thea's life, including all their quirks. They're so likeable and realistic. Supportive too. Whether or not they always understand her inner struggles. But Khi...he's one of my favorites. He's kind, gentle, understanding and yet mysterious. And always shows up at the right time when Thea least expects him to. Speaking of, I adore Thea’s compassion and thoughtfulness of others. The routine she has of ordering two London Fogs every morning before school, in HOPES of finding that certain someone to share it with, just warms my heart. Most of the time, though, she’s not aware of her own kindness. Which makes her more humble.
Despite feeling like an outcast, misunderstood and of no significance around others, it’s Thea who ends up being her own worst enemy, a lot of the times. Which I can wholeheartedly relate to as well. And no matter the physical pain she inflicts upon herself when the anxiety becomes unbearable, her inner battles can be likened to a gift (empathy) rather than something unfortunate.
Tara’s writing is gripping and flows at just the right pace. The plot, message, characterization, descriptions and overall tone of the story makes Fade to White one of my favorite books. I really HOPE a sequel will follow because I’d love to see how Thea will continue to manage and, perhaps overcome, her anxiety. Her newfound self-acceptance and esteem included. I’d also love to see the mending of her family, the growth and flourishing of her friendships, and if she'll pursue her passion for acting. And of course I’d LOVE to find out if Thea and Khi will become more than friends (oh how I adore him)! :)
I have been eagerly waiting for this book and it was really good. I finished it in one day, it kept me up late at night. Fade to White is the debut novel of Tara K Ross. This book was just as good as I had hoped, it dealt with real problems but it gave you hope.
This book follows Thea, an everything girl who is just like you and me. Thea was different and yet she was a normal girl. She didn’t always get along with her parents and she could be forgetful. She didn’t feel like she quite fit in, she liked who she was but she also wanted to be like others. She was real.
Ever since her grandmother had died, Thea has felt like her family has slowly started to drift apart. Her life has slowly started to spiral out of control. It gets worse when she learns of the death of a girl who goes to her school and her mother decides that she needs to see a therapist.
And then Thea starts to see lights around people and she starts to think that something is wrong. But just when life starts to go crazy, someone is there to shine a light on her life. She meets Khi who is like a breath of fresh air. He shows her that being yourself is enough. Thea tries to be like others and finds that you don’t always get what you want.
As the book moves along, Thea starts to more clearly see those around her. Everyone is going through something different, even those in her family. When she finally feels like she is at her worst, God is there to shine a light on her. She finds out that God can be the anchor for her when her life feels crazy.
I loved this book, it left me with a feeling of hope. This book starts off sad but it leaves you hopeful and with a better trust of God. I especially loved the way Khi was describing faith to Thea
I would definitely recommend this book, it was such a nice change of pace. It was a teen book that dealt with real problems, but it was not depressing. Thea had to learn how to see others and how to forgive.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Wow! I absolutely loved Fade to White and was quite annoyed that life was keeping me away from reading all day! This one is a page-turner. What a fresh and unique premise with a satisfying ending. I enjoyed getting to know Thea and her friends.
Tara Ross has captured the struggle young adults go through with precision and compassion.
Grab a cup of tea and enjoy this one. I look forward to more from Tara Ross.
I received an advance reader copy from the publisher, my opinion is my own
Absolutely beautiful book. It's so timely, and you can't help but fall in love with the characters. Every teen and every parent of a teen needs to read this.