Sean Beaudoin

Enough excellent writing to fill a large tube sock

My Books:

Reviews

From In Search Of Giants

 

The Book Fort Review

 

From Lit Bites

This book is nine different level of FUCKING AWESOME! I don’t know what’s better; the total snark attack or the fact that the plot is so FUBAR that you have to read it again and again and again because it’s twisted your brain into a knot and no matter how much you squint, you just can’t untie it.

This is not a book you can just skim through because if you do, you’ll be more lost than Hansel and Gretel. You have to pay attention. And if you do, you will be amply rewarded and quite possibly become a Sean Beaudoin fangirl/boy by the end of it.

It starts off so linear. A little odd, but linear, normal. Your regular, slightly funky story. And then the weird shit gets weirder but running right along next to it, the fuzziness of all of the situations starts to get clearer. I’m sure that makes zero sense. Weirder and weirder but clearer and clearer. I’m not about to spoil and if I say anything about anything, it’ll give it away. Just trust me on this.

I love the language of the characters. It’s probably the most realistic I’ve read in any YA book (which is one big bucket of ironic considering the story, read it and you’ll get me). It’s not that faux trying-to-be-hip-and-current language that the likes of other YA books try to sound like. The dialogue, the jam, just read so naturally. The OS’s upspeak is the shit. Because you know you know someone that sounds like they end all their sentences in questions. You know you do. But how often is that portrayed in YA despite the fact that it goes on all the time? Rarely. You get authors trying to bank on the dialogue but never on the actual patterns. Beaudoin does that. He doesn’t rely on colloquialisms of the day to get through. It’s all about sentence structure. You know "they" say that that good writers can portray accents not through phonetics but through structure. And it’s true.

And this is quite possibly one of the most intricately written books I’ve ever read. And not just in YA. There is nothing simple in this book despite how simple it appears or how you think you’ve got it all figured out. You’re wrong. The skill that a writer needs to write something so non-linear and so utterly fucked up but keep it this intact and understandable is phenomenal. It makes my writing so one dimensional and makes Beaudoin’s look like a nine-sided Rubik’s Cube. Sure, everything comes together in the end … except there’s that one stupid red square in with all those yellows that just … won’t … go … back …

I have nothing to complain about with this book. And you all know me. Even if I love it there’s usually something I can point out. Nope. Not here. I wouldn’t call it perfect but this is the kind of writing I’m jealous of. If you like books that really make you think while holding you on the edge of your seat while you flip page after page after page because it’s your crack, read this. Read it now. Even the comic in the middle is wicked. A book with pictures! Yay! But seriously. Read it.

 

From The Horn Book Review

Pity the poor assigner of fiction subject headings. Sophie Blue, an artistic Goth teen in therapy, might be delusional or even another character and gender. She has lost her father, possibly to the clutches of evil scientists, or maybe to the "other woman," who might be a deranged ex-nurse who also exists in graphic novel form. There is a vacuum repair shop in space (think Douglas Adams), a barrage of absurdist pop-culture send-ups (think Neal Shusterman), and some yodeling (think…original emerging voice in young adult fiction).

As we attempt to solve a surprisingly gripping mystery, we proceed from chapter none to chapter twenty, take a brief comic-strip break, and then return from twenty to none. This funhouse mélange of action-adventure, romance, and dystopian science fiction also includes social commentary on such issues as the global economy, consumerism, and bio-engineering. Whizzing along, we become truly invested in Sophie and are relieved at the happy ending—or was that a happy beginning?

—s.e.

 

From T.V. and Book Addict

Oh this book! I REALLY liked it. I hope there’s a sequel in the works because I have not had enough.

If you’re not a patient person this book will probably make you want to tear your hair out. I’m not saying this is a frustrating read, it’s not, but there were times where you are left wondering "WTFruit is going on?" That’s completely normal because the author is making you feel/think like Sophie and Kenny. They think that they are losing their minds and maybe they are. You will feel the same exact way, which I LOVED. It all comes together in the end in a very satisfying way. You are still left with quite a bit of questions though but still, neato!

Like I said in the synopsis, Sophie and Kenny have quite a bit in common. Reading about it all is simply awesome. Like me, you will be eager for more.

This book is not only awesome because of the incredibly mind-boggling writing and story but also because it talks about how our world is changing. How eventually our planet will be "so full of discarded junk there [will] be nowhere to sit". The whole book makes you think quite a bit about all kinds of things.

Remember how I said the writing and story is mind-boggling? Well it is. As you’re reading it you feel like you’re in a dream at times. It’s very surreal which I’ve never experienced with a book before. It’s amazing.

You will enjoy finding out why Sophie and Kenny feel like they are going crazy. It’s truly interesting. You will also love the mini comic book/graphic novel in the middle of the book. This book has a bit of everything so I’m sure even the most reluctant reader will like it.

But remember, pay attention or you will get lost. Sometimes this book is like a maze. Be alert! I’ll admit, even I (not like I’m a super awesome genius or anything) had to go back and re-read some parts or slow down and think.

I liked this book so much I’d love to see it in movie form. That will definitely be something. Reminds me a bit of Donnie Darko (LOVE THAT MOVIE!) actually.

I wish I could say more about it but I really don’t want to giveaway spoilers. Go read it!

 

From The Brain Lair

I totally loved this book. I read it the day I received the ARC from Little, Brown on Facebook. Fade to Blue is not only the title, it tells the story of two characters in the book, Kenny Fade and Sophie Blue. The chapter titles were pretty cool because they go from 0 and count up, then there’s a comic, and then it counts down to 0 again. All 3 stories are related.

We follow Sophie as she tries to figure out what happened to her dad and why is that psycho ice cream truck always following her! If you like smart, funny reads loaded with pop culture, music references, and sarcasm this is your book. It also has virtual reality and comix! What, what! I have to wait to write a full review because one of my former students snagged my ARC and ran off with it! Please stay tuned for more exciting information!

 

From Professor Anna

Fade To Blue by Sean Beaudoin is the story of Sophie Blue, she of the black lipstick and Goth clothes and Kenny Fade (that’s pronounced Fa-day) a basketball hero who can do no wrong even when he is doing wrong. Kenny and Sophie and a cast of characters find themselves in some rather surreal situations. And there is good reason for that. Sophie and her classmates at Uphear High (love the names of places and characters in this novel, especially Coach Dhushback and a cop named Goethe) are all guinea pigs in a bizarre experiment.

To tell you more would deprive you of the hilarious confusion that is Fade To Blue. Part mystery, part social commentary, part typical teen angst novel and much more, this is a novel that will defy categorization. The shifting formats from letters, essays, multiple narrators and a comic book all mean that this is a puzzle that slowly shifts into focus before spinning out fuzzily when a heretofore new piece is discovered on the floor and needs to find its place. Intrigued?

 

SOPHIE BLUE WILL DRINK TEEN REVIEWER’S MILKSHAKES!

Below are 100% real and unedited reviews of Fade To Blue from students who chose to read an advance copy of it whlle taking part in reviewer programs at their schools. I especially love the final one, which calls it "interesting but generally useless".

 

Fade To Blue is a quirky masterpiece… in a style that’s half Chuck Palahniuk and half Lovecraft. The story of Sophie and O.S. begins out innocently enough, but the fast-paced and often confusing plotline leads you from the classically goth musings of a jaded teenage girl to a sweeping and horrifying denouement, as well as a breathtaking conclusion; when I reached the end of the novel, I was out of breath (this doesn’t happen often). Sean Beaudoin’s tale reads like science fiction, tastes like horror, and goes down smooth as anything; it is modern and accessible philosophy in a fascinating and often hilarious vehicle.

—Jessica, 15

 

This book is a fast paced action packed adventure book. It’s hard to put down and it’s so addicting! I never took a break between the time I received the book to the last page. That’s how addicting it is. It’s a dark novel with sprinkling of humor and surprise. The book keeps you guessing; when you think you know it all, you find out you don’t. The main character Sophie Blue, is a normal goth girl or so you think. She’s crazy—there’s numbers in her head and dreams that don’t make sense. Then, there’s Kenny. He’s crazy, too. The same thing is happening to him. This book is the best book I’ve read this year and I hope there’s a sequel!

—Erica, 13

 

Overall "Fade To Blue" was a really good book. I enjoyed listening to their thoughts and wondering what was going to happen next. I also enjoyed the illustrations, the comic book, and the Glossary. (I do think the comic book should be placed toward the end of the book, but that’s just my opinion.) There were a few things I think could be improved. An example was in places it was a little choppy, leaving me slightly lost. If that was what Sean Beaudoin was looking for then he hit the nail over the head. Another thing that I noticed was that the quotation marks were messy and I was wondering who was talking.(They also had multiple quotation marks next to each other, even though it was only one person talking.) This book kept me questioning their every move until the very end. I really enjoyed this quick read and hope to have the privilege to read another one.

—Tawny, 13

 

This is a crazy romp through what’s real and not. I found myself turning the pages wanting to know more about Sophie, Ms. Goth chica. Also the whole mystery of the nurse and comic book was interesting. The comics in the middle were a big plus. For sure this is one interesting and unique book. I hope more come out like it.

—Kimi, 17

 

Fade To Blue is a marvelous masterpiece. Its start-stop-start over style may be hard to follow, but like learning a new language it’s easy once you get into the groove. For all you right proper headcases out there, you have nothing on the heroine of this fantastic, gut wrenching thrill ride. Reading this book was like being on a roller coaster that went from zero to one-twenty in five seconds, and back to zero in…well…zero!

—Ashleigh, 15

 

I have never been so unexpectedly impressed with a book as I was with Fade To Blue, the new novel from Sean Beaudoin. In reading Going Nowhere Faster, an earlier young adult novel, I noticed that Mr. Beaudoin had found a true manifestation of the teenage mind, without adhering to standard trends or stereotypes. But I also thought that the book was also filled with tiny diversions from reality, which I feared might jeopardize the natural snapshot of the teenage mind he so capably brought to the page. Well, I take back everything I said.

Fade To Blue takes the slight surreal moments, which Going Nowhere Faster hinted at, and runs with it to elaborate and extraordinary ends. On paper, the premise appears simple and cliche. There is a girl with a wardrobe desperately in need of color and even bleaker social prospects. And then there is the opposite, a teenage basketball god for whom everything seems to fall perfectly into place. Sure, there’s some nonsense about an ice-cream truck, probably a delusion of a girl missing her father, but I would usually hazard a guess that the girl and the boy manage to find some way to battle their insecurities, and find their true places in the world around them. But I could not have been so happily estranged from the truth. The social connotations of these characters are almost haphazardly left by the wayside, and what follows is a tumultuous and exhausting journey into realities so far separated from cliche that I forgot what cliche looked like.

The characters, all of them, are wild and completely unique, their unpredictability completely natural, and at every moment hilarious. As dry as the humor may be, the jokes are tasty morsels just waiting to fall off the bone. There is something to laugh on every page, and you rarely see them coming. Even when you do, they end up better than expected, which is a style the book adheres to in every part.

In terms of how well Sean Beaudoin tackles the mindset of an adolescent, there he sacrifices nothing in opting for a completely unrealistic world to set them in. Clearly visible are the nuances of a troubled girl, not really knowing what it is that troubles her, and, in a typically teenage fashion, not caring. But where Mr. Beaudoin really shines is in his efforts to portray the adults of his world. They are all stylized representations of their stereotypes, but very discernibly only through the lens of Sophie Blue, whom the story (usually) orbits.

Although the story is funny and as captivating, the lead-in is fairly difficult to navigate. While the writing itself is accessible and interesting from the very beginning, the style and format of the story seem to change at every chapter. And with a book that has 42 chapters plus one excerpt from a comic, at only 191 pages long, it averages about one style change every four and a half pages. But it doesn’t take very long to shift into high gear, and from that moment on I was riveted.

As most young adult novels do, Fade To Blue takes the time to tackle sexuality, but it does so in a highly intelligent fashion. While retaining the book’s characteristic humor, it lays out boundaries for its own sense of sex and doesn’t seek to break them, as other books, targeted for the same audience, seem to do out of a sheer desire to push their limits. Outside of one raunchy cartoon depiction of a nurse, I see very little to be concerned about in offering the story to the twelve and up category the story prescribes itself to.

Some readers will take the book for the thrill ride that it is, laughing and holding on through the story’s many adrenaline filled twists and turns and engrossing narrative. Others will pick the story apart, searching for meat in metaphor, or translating the binary code scattered throughout the book (although I believe it’s gibberish, I’m sorry to say). And they will be pleased if they do, for there’s a wealth of sustenance under almost every surface.

—Lukas, 20

 

Fade To Blue is a very different novel that puts a new twist on suspense. The book does a great job hooking the reader from the first couple pages, all the way to the ending. The protagonist Sophie Blue is a very well developed character who takes a new turn on her life after her dad’s disappearance. I really enjoyed the novel because I could relate to some of the things in the book which allowed me to look at it from a different perspective. I think that this book can really connect with its audience. Not only is it funny but it entertains you throughout the plot. A book worth reading!

—Hinal, 14

 

There is only one piece of advice I can give you about this book: never ever think you know everything that’s going on because trust me, you don’t. Fade To Blue is full of twists and turns that will keep you hooked throughout the story. In addition to delving into science-fiction matters—like another dimension and a mind-altering substance in the most literal sense of the term—Fade To Blue also includes the story of a teenager dealing with her father’s disappearance, her social isolation, and her not-altogether-there family. While this isn’t a book I would normally choose to read (I’m not a big sci-fi fan), I’m glad I did. It was a quick but enjoyable read. I recommend this book as something a little different, especially if you don’t normally read sci-fi. A quick warning: you’ll never look at Popsicle trucks the same way again.

—Sacha, 16

 

Fade To Blue by Sean Beaudoin is a fantastic novel. Each twist and turn of the plot keeps you on your toes, always thinking about the newest development in this crazy world. Sophie is such a strong character. I loved to follow her story as she tries to solve her biggest mystery.

—Laura, 18

 

For a book with a scary looking goth girl on the cover, Fade To Blue by Sean Beaudoin was really good. It was short and sweet, and at times confusing, but I couldn’t put it down. There are multiple clever plot twists and plenty of symbolic occurrences, from which many lovable characters learn lessons. The end is fast paced and feels somewhat like standing in the middle of a zoo with all sorts of animals throwing things at you, but, well, it’s cool. It’s funny and yet my intelligence wasn’t insulted. It was the unusual combination of an absolutely unrealistic story in a perfectly plausible setting that only some can pull off flawlessly. Definitely worth the time over spring break. 

—Meg, 15

 

I absolutely loved reading this book.  The plot was really captivating and intriguing, and I always wanted to find out what happened next. I also loved the interaction between characters that seemed unexpected. Each character had a distinct personality, and it made the book really interesting. Unfortunately, my copy of the book got lost when I was moving out of my dorm for spring break, so I was unable to finish it. (If I ever find it in my library, though, I would love to get to the end!)

—Aliyah, 18

 

Sean Beaudoin’s Fade To Blue is an interesting but generally useless book. The plot seems lost in an attempt to be possibly the strangest YA book ever written. Though it was interesting enough that one would continue to read, it’s disappointing. Too many questions are never answered, and those that are make little to no sense. Even though it’s filled with action, the reader always seems to be waiting for something real to happen. Most of the characters are under developed and the many switches in perspective make it difficult to keep track of who is doing what. All in all, a confusing, odd book that will probably keep you reading, but for all the wrong reasons.

—Rose, 17

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“Everything seems worse than it really is. Until it isn’t anymore. Just close your eyes, Sophie. Say The Nurse out loud three times, and I’ll see you in your dreams…”

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