Review: The Fade by Demitria Lunetta

The Fade
by Demitria Lunetta

We don't want to disappear. We want to be found.

Something terrible happened in her basement. Haley can feel it.

Four girls went missing several years ago, and the police never solved the case. But Haley know the missing girls were murdered. How else can she explain the hostile presence in her house?

The ghostly girls need something from her. And unless Haley can figure out what they want...she might be next.

(cover image and synopsis lifted from Goodreads)

Series: Standalone
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication date: December 11th 2018
Source/Format: eARC/Netgalley
Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository
Trigger warning/s: 

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

My Thoughts:
Fifteen-year old Hayley and her family moved in from a condo in Chicago to an old house with a moldy basement in Wisconsin. Haley hated that they had to move, more so when creepy things start happening to her. Good thing she got acquainted soon with new teen friends: the mysteriously impulsive Coop, paranormal enthusiast Sera, and her cousin Josh. She later discovers that four girls went missing from their small town and one of the girls lived in their house. Some townsfolk believe that the girls are still alive and that they just ran away. Haley believes otherwise. How else would she explain their haunted house and the little boy in the neighborhood claiming that he can see the ghost of the girls?

“The Fade” is a tame ghost story. I doubt that it could scare the shizz out of a hardcore paranormal reader. The ghosts are not sinister enough. The hauntings are not frightening enough. There are a number of attempts to scare but the only scary scene that mildly disturbed me was when the ghosts made Haley drew her mom  hanging from a shower rod.

I like that it’s short and quick-paced enough that there’s no chance of a reader losing patience with it. Haley hits it off instantly with her new friends. They immediately bonded over the mystery of the “Grabbed Girls of Gladwell”. They conducted their own research and investigations. They also did sessions of séance for good measure. And once Haley learned that they were murdered (not a spoiler, it’s in the blurb), she wasted no time in deciding that she wants to help them.

But because it is short, the book has not enough pages to give out characters that I will care about. Haley is a one-note character with a lackluster personality. The other characters exist to serve the plot or for the sake of shock value. I appreciate the bits of eerie supernatural PoV scattered between chapters. And I like how the book pulled a couple of neat surprises halfway and near the end. The dark bittersweet ending pleased me.

There’s a lot to like but there are also shortcomings, most notable of which is it’s tame scares. Still, this is a fairly satisfactory read for me.

Diversity Watch:
Setting: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

Haley O’Dell is Vietnamese on her dad’s side and white on her mom’s, described as petite, dark-haired, and blue eyed. Her older sister Shannon is described as tall and blond haired.

Kelly “Coop” Cooper – is Haley’s teenage new neighbor and love interest, described with bleached-blond hair. His younger brother, Chris, is described with brown eyes and shaggy brown hair.

Sera – is Haley’s new friend, racially indeterminate.

Josh – is also Haley’s new friend and Sera’s cousin, described with deep brown eyes. He is explicitly gay.

Jim Garret – is Shannon’s new boyfriend, described as blonde.

Raina, Haley’s friend back in Chicago is explicitly gay.

All four “Grabbed Girls of Gladwell” are white and blonde.
I'd love to hear from you!
Are you easily scared by paranormal books? Which YA paranormal would you recommend me to check out?
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