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When They Fade

Review

When They Fade

From the author of the Dark Inside series, comes WHEN THEY FADE, a haunting story that follows a girl and a ghost whose troubled paths converge.

Tatum has been ostracized by the entire town of Hannah, Washington. She was just trying to help when she revealed the truth about her best friend, Claudette, who was having an affair with their married biology teacher. However, Claudette turned the table on Tatum and painted her out to be a liar. With no one believing Tatum, she is terrorized daily by her classmates. As the harassment gets worse, she has no one to turn to.

Molly was brutally murdered in the 1970s. Her afterlife consists of living in a purgatory world with others who have been murdered as well. For a few fleeting moments, she can fade back to earth. And in those moments, she becomes a hitchhiking fortune teller to oblivious drivers. With a single a touch, she can tell people things about their future that no one knows.

One night, Tatum comes across a hitchhiking girl and unexpectedly picks her up. They drive in silence until the girl touches Tatum’s hand and says: “You’re going to die. It will hurt, and you’ll be alone. And no one will help you.” And then the girl disappears --- thus beginning the story of two girls trying to save each other.

"With its strong characters, intriguing world, and gripping plot, WHEN THEY FADE is a captivating book that is well worth the read. A perfect story for paranormal and horror lovers. "

Tatum and Molly were both compelling characters to read about. As the book progressed, I realized there was way more depth to their characters than I first thought. Both are very flawed characters; however, their flaws only highlight who they are as people. I could clearly understand their troubles with the world around them and see how their stories formed the people they have become. Once the two girls meet, they form a strong sense of loyalty to each other that shone through even when it put their own selves at risk. While the girls do make some questionable decisions throughout the book, their loyalty and emotions prevail above all.

Molly and the other ghosts in WHEN THEY FADE are trapped in a dreary purgatory world where nothing ever changes. I found the world they live in and the mechanics behind it completely fascinating. Everything they try to change is fixed within a blink of an eye, and wherever they try to walk leads them right back to where they began --- resulting in a very boring afterlife. The only hint of excitement they receive is when they fade back to the world of the living. Other than that, it seems they’re stuck walking around a lake for the rest of eternity. After finishing the book, I was still left with many unanswered questions about the world. While I am content with what was revealed, I wish Roberts had cleared up a couple of mysteries about the world and the forces behind it.

An odd thing about this book to me was the fact that Molly’s chapters are told from a first person present tense view; whereas Tatum’s chapters are told from a third person present tense view. Switching back and forth between the different views was strange at first as they both felt so different. While I am used to reading through first person present tense, I rarely see any books written in a third person present tense view. I find that it is often hard for authors to pull off using this tense; however, I believe that Roberts successfully accomplished using it. As I ventured further into the story, I actually found myself enjoying the change in perspectives and wishing that more authors would attempt at writing in third person present tense as it has a very unique feel to it.

With its strong characters, intriguing world, and gripping plot, WHEN THEY FADE is a captivating book that is well worth the read. A perfect story for paranormal and horror lovers who are looking for a quick read as well as those who enjoy paranormal stories that aren’t drowning in vampires and werewolves, I would wholeheartedly recommend reading WHEN THEY FADE.

Reviewed by Makayla H., Teen Board Member on October 13, 2016

When They Fade
by Jeyn Roberts

  • Publication Date: September 13, 2016
  • Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult 13+
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0385754132
  • ISBN-13: 9780385754132