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A Pajiba-Kind of Novel

By Nicole Fuscia | Books | September 14, 2009 | Comments ()

By Nicole Fuscia | Books | September 14, 2009 |


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Listen, kids, I have to tell you about this book, Fade to Blue. It's almost like this book was written with Pajibans in mind. It has a badass heroine who wears black lipstick unironically, a demon ice cream truck (Murdertank Lite?), comic books, and zombies. She would totally be a reader. She would be a goddamn Eloquent.

Sophie Blue has been living a bizarre existence since her 17th birthday, when her father picked her up from a soccer game and took her to Fade Labs, where he works doing...something researchy. Sophie's not really sure why she had to tag along, but she hangs out in reception, waiting, when all of the sudden this old scary nurse and a freaky security guard come along and hold her down while she's injected with something.

One year later, Sophie has gone from being an athlete to Gothika. Her classmates avoid her, except to mock her. She has one friend, Lake, who used to be a cheerleader until she fell off the top of a pyramid and landed in a wheelchair. Her brother, O.S., is a fat comic book nerd who hides in his room with his graphic novels and snacks. Her mother is a head case who also restricts herself to her room, watching game shows day and night. Her father has disappeared. In the meantime, a scary ice cream truck is stalking her and her house has been broken into a half dozen times. People keep turning into other people -- a janitor is a security guard, her counselor is the guy at a vacuum store in outer space where she has to spin a wheel every time she dies, which is a lot, given the aforementioned ice cream truck. Each spin keeps dropping her into another version of her life, where she goes on a mission to get into Fade Labs and find out what, exactly, happened to her a year before, and stop all the craziness.

It's completely trippy in an awesome way. The novel is a quick read, with a cool segment of a comic in the middle that gives another dimension to the story, taking place inside Fade Labs. It tends to skew a bit young, but not so much that you would think it's babyish or immature. Sean Beaudoin does a cool job of creating intersecting alternate existences by using different first-person points of view to tell the story and exploring bizarre scenarios while introducing interesting characters throughout the novel. Fade to Blue cruises along, taking the reader along for a roller-coaster ride where nothing and no one are what they seem, and the answers are even crazier than the questions. To be honest, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about the book, because it really didn't seem like my thing, but you know what? I loved it. In a "I would like to take this book under the bleachers and do dirty things to it" kind of way. I think every one of you would dig it too. I look forward to seeing more of Beaudoin's work and recommend this twisty little novel to all you Pajibans out there who want something different -- it's tailor-made for our little geek fringe interwebs community.


Nicole Fuscia is a book critic for Pajiba. She lives in Philadelphia, where she listens to the soothing hip hop melodies of Bel Biv Devoe and pursues her lifelong goal: To perfect the Turk dance. She intends to win her football pool at least three times this year.


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