Title: Fading Out
Series: Living Heartwood #3
Author: Trisha Wolfe
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: Feb 2015
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
Love means fading out so another shines brighter.
Right clothes. Right school. Right fiancé. As a Wyndemere, Arian’s expected to abide by the rules. The most important: be perfect. But Arian’s seemingly flawless life is far from it. An embarrassing expulsion from her parents’ alma mater spirals an already unhealthy obsession out of control, exposing a dark truth.
Faced with having to attend a small private college after a stint in rehab, Arian’s just ready to coast under the radar and repair some of the wreckage, but her father’s looming control is like a vise choking off her air supply.
When a run-in with Braxton’s beloved star quarterback, Ryder Nash, puts Arian squarely in the crosshairs of his devoted teammates, the last of her controlled, orderly world unhinges. As the pranks and paybacks escalate, Arian and Ryder’s rivalry takes a passionate turn. And once Arian glimpses beneath the all-star-athlete exterior Ryder projects, she realizes he’s far more than just a jock.
As their relationship intensifies, outside forces feel the threat. Outrunning their pasts doesn’t mean history won’t repeat itself, but Ryder can’t let that happen. He’s just one Championship game away from breaking the mold. Only one moment, one choice, might change everything.
Told from both Arian’s and Ryder’s POV. New Adult Contemporary Romance intended for readers 17 years of age and older.
Going off tangent to begin, I have to say Trish captures the way in which different socio-economic classes use different methods of control to cope with the stresses of the life they lead. Having worked within a school environment for the past 5 years, in two very different socio-economic areas I have witnessed the truth behind the portrayal first hand. I know this is a generalisation, but that doesn’t prevent it from being the truth for the majority; poorer areas and families tend to resort to alcohol/drugs in order to cope/escape while more affluent areas have issues with eating disorders and OCD/anxiety. I have been pondering this over the past weekend looking for an explanation as to why this should be, considering the fact poorer areas have less money to spend on things like drink and drugs it makes very little sense. I do think that poorer families have a greater appreciation of food, maybe having experienced hunger personally or having less abundance of nutrients available. While, more affluent families place greater pressure on their children to achieve and perform to higher standards. It really is something to think about.
Arian (Ari) falls into the affluent category, complete with ridiculous expectations from her parents, constant criticism wearing her already low self-esteem to oblivion. The pressure Ari is subjected to can be viewed as a huge weight quite literally crushing her. The pressure manifest in OCD and anxiety disorder, leading to an eating disorder. Ari views her eating disorder as a way of having some form of control over her life.
My heart went out to Ari, the only love she has known has been conditional leaving her in constant fear of its withdrawal. She doesn’t have any real friends having either not fitted into her social status or not allowing them close because of her issues. She requires careful handling and support. I really liked the re-appearance of Melody from Losing Track within the narrative and how she proves to be a rock for her friends.
As with the other books in the Living Heartwood series the story is told in dual narrative but with more focus on the female protagonist 🙂
Ryder is a wonderful character, he connects with Ari from their first encounter. Something calls to both of them, it is as if they can see inside each other. While this gives them insight on how to help each other it also gives them the means to cause the most amount of pain.
Ryder has his own problems stemming from bullying and family pressure. Having grown up in a poor household he has some residual self-esteem issues stemming from the humiliation he felt at the hands of his tormentors in high school. Translating in a short fuse where certain topics are concerned and resulting in misunderstandings.
The theme of identity is strong within Fading Out, with both Ryder and Arian living the life that has been mapped out for them rather than navigating their own path. It is very hard to know who you are when you have been confined by so many rules and regulations/parental expectation. It is no wonder Arian especially considers herself as no-one 🙁
Eating disorders, in the same way as addiction, are a live long battle and not simply cured. There are all sorts of mental health problems and they should be treated with care and respect.
Fading Out in true Trisha Wolfe style is a gritty, realistic romance with engaging characters. I am so glad that Trish provides an epilogue in her books, allowing me to fill my heart and put my mind at ease ♥