Janie can’t help but fall into other people’s dreams, but now she’s begun to gain some control over the experience. Her ability to delve into people’s dreams and unearth their secrets has also made her an invaluable informant for the local police. When Captain Komisky learns that a sexual predator is lose in the high school, she enlists Janie’s help to find the perpetrator, something that Janie’s boyfriend, Cabal, is not comfortable with, especially when the Captain admits that she’s thinking about using Janie as bait.
When I first read Wake by Lisa McMann I found that I really enjoyed it, but for some reason I didn’t pick up the sequel right away. As a result, when I first picked up Fade, it took me a little while to get into it, not because the book was poorly paced, but because it was tricky to remember the important plot points. One thing I really like about both Wake and Fade is the author’s sparse, minimalist writing style. This, combined with the low page count, makes Fade a lightning fast read that’s at times hard to put down. I also really like the character or Janie, who develops in interesting ways this book. I enjoyed watching Janie discover what a “dream catcher” really means for her in the long run, and am curious to see how that will impact her decisions in the final book in the series.
Admittedly, there are a few elements about Fade that I am little on the fence about. The love story between Janie and Cabal is nice, and has a lot of touching moments. Unfortunately, the book focused too much on the romance for my taste, and could occasionally be a little on the melodramatic side. I thought that McMann actually handled certain elements of their relationship better than other YA authors. Janie isn’t afraid to stand up for herself with Cabal gets over protective. The fact that Cabal can be over protective makes sense given his background, but the author doesn’t use that as an excuse to make his actions permissible. The main storyline, where Janie is used as bait to catch a sexual predator in the school also leaves me somewhat mixed. On one hand, I’m really happy that McMann didn’t romanticize the actions of the teacher in question. The idea of a teacher seducing a student is pretty squicky, and McMann presents that in an appropriately uncomfortable way. What I had issues with is the fact that the cops would chose to use Janie as bait, especially as she is under aged at the beginning of the book. Perhaps it is because I am an adult reading a teen book but I couldn’t help but feel that they were irresponsibly putting a teen in danger. This distracted me from fully enjoying this storyline.
Due to some issues I had with the romance and the predator ploline, I have to admit that I didn’t find Fade to be quite as enjoyable as Wake. Still, it’s an overall solid book filled with likable characters. I am planning on finishing up the series by reading the third book, Gone, sometime in the future.
Rating: four stars
Length: 248 pages
Other books I've read by this author: Wake
Next I will be reviewing Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham
xposted to temporaryworlds, bookish, and goodreads