Arionna is probably the character I can relate to the most. That's not to say I'm anything like her, because, well, she's actually kind of normal and I'm a menace to society. What I mean is that I can understand Arionna.
When her mom dies, she has her entire world turned upside down in one fell swoop. If you've lost someone close to you, you can probably relate to what that's like. If you haven't, you can probably imagine how you'd feel if you lost a parent or a sibling.
Death is one of those facts of life that can change everything for a person. You expect someone to be there like they have always been, and when they're gone, it's hard to wrap your mind around that fact.
My grandfather died unexpectedly in 2006. He and I were really close for a long time, so when he passed, it picked my world up and gave it a good, hard shake before dropping it again. My family had just lost a 2 year old cousin in a car accident a month before, Aloshua was in the hospital and we didn't know when he'd get to come home, and then grandpa died. It felt completely impossible to deal with all of that at the same time some days.
In Fade, Arionna is going through something similar, though in an entirely different way. She's lost her mom and had to leave her home. When she meets Dace, these weird, wonderful and frightening things start happening to her. Naturally, trying to deal with all of that at once leaves her feeling a little lost at times.
I appreciate that about her, because I think it's something we can all relate to in some way. Change is scary and we tend to be resistant to it at the best of times. When it means letting go of someone we love, change is a whole lot more frightening. We're not always graceful or pleasant to be around. We have days where even getting out of bed hurts. And then we have days where something makes up laugh and we feel like we've betrayed the loved one we lost by being able to laugh at such a time.
There's also this disconnect between who we've always been and who we are now because some sliver of our identity was wrapped up in our relationship with that other person. If we always had drinks with Jane on Tuesday, and Jane dies, we don't know what to do with ourselves, especially on Tuesdays. For a while, we tend to just freeze on Tuesdays when drink time rolls around, and wonder who we're supposed to be now or what we're supposed to do now. If you've lived with a parent your entire life and could talk to them about anything, when they're gone, you wonder how you're supposed to make it when the person you talked to isn't there to listen.
It can make the entire grieving process downright brutal!
The way Arionna handles it though, is what I love the most about her. I talked about Dace in a previous post, and mentioned how he struggles to let anyone in and can be very tight-lipped and hard to read.
Ari is the opposite. Even though she's having those emotional ups and downs, the experience with her mom has taught her to fight harder for the things that matter to her. She tends to be a little more honest about her feelings as a result. She's also as stubborn as Dace is, so where he's pushing, she's pulling.
I've noticed a trend in YA and romance novels lately in which the heroine is this damsel in distress who can't or won't stand up for herself where the hero is involved. The hero pushes, and she caves and just goes along meekly with whatever he wants without protesting too much or fighting for what she believes in. Or she gives up a big part of herself to make it work with him while he continues on like cock of the walk. Arionna is nothing like that.
Even though she's having a hell of a time and is in distress, she fights for what she believes in, she fights for herself, and she fights for Dace. I can respect that about her. She may be sad, but she's not a pushover. I think that quality, mixed with Dace's personality, makes for an interesting dynamic. But then again, I might be a little biased. ;)
Have you seen the cover yet?! I'm still processing!
smooches and smooshes,