Fade to White by Tara K. Ross | Book Review

Tara Ross is a fellow Canadian, and I was honored to receive an advanced reader’s copy of her debut young adult fiction novel. As always, I’ll share the back cover before I give my thoughts.

Back Cover

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.

My Review

Fade to White is a story of a very broken teenage girl with mental health concerns, well-meaning friends and probably the world’s best big brother, Tom. Tom was also dealing with his own pain, but that pain just might have been what really brought Thea and Tom closer as siblings.

I personally could have done without the mini-love story between Khi and Thea … at least until she found healing, and more importantly, found the Lord. I really liked Khi’s character, except that he seemed to be ‘evangelise-dating’. Not that he made any big moves. Actually, he seemed pretty perfect. The kind of guy any nice Christian girl could hope for … but, maybe he could have waited to reveal his feeling for Thea until she shared his faith in God. He could have just been a really awesome friend until the very end. But that’s my opinion.

Thea’s story made me sad. She really was very broken, and I was waiting for the hope to kick in. For a while I wondered if the story was general market, but then hope and healing came. And that’s just what Thea’s story needed.

I’m so thankful for the redemption and healing aspects of the story, but I wasn’t sure her presumptions about her therapist and her mom’s relationship were necessary.

I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I will say I was very pleased with the results.

This book is definitely more of a mature/older young adult audience, as the content is a bit heavy considering Thea’s struggles with mental illness, her parents marital struggles and the mention of substance abuse … that sort of thing. 

I don’t read a lot of young adult fiction, but I can tell that Tara Ross is a name to watch for, and has a heart for her readers and their struggles. 

I’ll give this debut story a 4 out of 5 stars. Fade to White releases this Saturday, May 30 and is available for pre-order on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

I received an advanced reader copy from the author for my honest review.

About Tara Ross

Tara combines her passions of youth ministry, mental health awareness, and YA fiction,  in her blog and podcast, www.hopeprose.com. Her debut YA novel, Fade to White (May 2020), challenges teens to consider the interplay of faith and anxiety in one girl’s story.

Tara K Ross is a youth leader, podcaster, and author of FADE TO WHITE. When she’s not adulting, she climbs the Ontario escarpment and blogs about the interplay of faith and mental at www.hopeprose.com.