Cait’s Review of “Fade into the Bright” by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz

By: Cait Marie


Five Feet Apart meets Tell Me Three Things in this YA contemporary novel about two sisters, one summer, and a diagnosis that changes everything.

Abby needs to escape a life that she no longer recognizes as her own. Her old life–the one where she was a high school volleyball star with a textbook-perfect future–has been ripped away. Abby and her sister, Brooke, have received a letter from their estranged dad informing them he has Huntington’s disease, a fatal, degenerative disorder that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. And when the sisters agree to genetic testing, one of them tests positive.

Fleeing to Catalina Island for the summer, Abby is relieved to be in a place where no one knows her tragic history. But when she meets aspiring documentary filmmaker Ben–tall, outdoorsy, easygoing, with eyes that don’t miss a thing–she’s thrown off her game. Ben’s the kind of guy who loves to figure out people’s stories. What if he learns hers?


*Originally posted on YA Books Central.

After receiving news that her father has Huntington’s disease, Abby and her sister decide to get tested… and one of them is positive. Devastated and struggling to cope with this life-changing news, Abby flees to the island of Catalina, to spend the summer with her estranged aunt. She wants an escape from reality, even if it’s temporary.

This book was absolutely wonderful. I kept pushing it off because I knew it would hit home and destroy me. Once I stopped procrastinating though, I couldn’t put it down.

While I don’t have Huntington’s disease, I do have spinal muscular atrophy, which is progressive and decreases life expectancy. This book does a really great job of showing not only what it’s like to live with the fear of not knowing your future but the effects it has on loved ones.

It is very well written. It is an emotional topic and story, but at the same time, there are the lighter qualities you would expect from YA romance. There are teenage shenanigans, friendships formed, first love, and more. It’s a fun book while still hitting all the feels, and despite the underlying sadness, it was an easy read.

Abby starts off a little standoffish because of everything that’s happened. I really enjoyed her journey and seeing her grow. Ben works on the island and is the guy everyone adores… except Abby. She wants no part of his cheerful, golden retriever attitude. Of course, that doesn’t stop him. Eventually, they start becoming friends, and she starts opening up to him and their co-workers. All the characters in this book were just really great.

I definitely recommend this book!

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