I truly did love this book. The plotline in Fading centers around Candace, who has constantly tried and failed to live up to her wealthy parents expectations. Nothing she does or accomplishes is ever good enough for them. In an effort to once again please them, she begins dating Jack, the son of a wealthy friend. This ends in a brutal attack and from here on out the plot revolves around the impact this has on Candace. One of my favorite things about this story is that the author didn't follow the typical plotlines that happen in stories such as this. Jack doesn't begin stalking/threatening Candace. There is no standoff between Jack and Candace. The story wasn't rushed, wasn't overdone, and flowed beautifully.
The characters were rich, developed, and full of depth. Although Candace was traumatized both by her affectionless upbringing and the rape, I found her strong as well. She stood strong against her parents about dancing and was able to live again after her attack. And Ryan, yeah, he's just hot. His patience, care, and love of Candace made him that much hotter.
Even though I liked the two MC's, Candace and Ryan, I adored Jase, Candace's gay best friend. I loved that the author didn't use any typical gay stereotypes that you see in this genre. She wrote Jase as a man first. (Thank you, Ms. Blair.) A strong, handsome, loyal and selfless man. Although completely heartbreaking, the hospital scene with Jase and Candace was probably one of my favorites.
This really was a beautifully written book. There were a couple things that bothered me though. I loved the fact that Ryan rescued Candace from her parents, but I have a hard time understanding or accepting that they never contacted her after this...even if it would've been just to get her back under their thumb. It didn't feel right to me somehow even though I know they were crappy parents. The other thing that really bothered me is that Jack was never brought to justice. I didn't like the fact that he died in an accident. I really struggled with the fact that Candace never went forward to press charges. I felt like Jack got off easy. And I wanted to see Candace's parents respond to her rape...one way or the other.
Well worth the read. 4.5 stars.