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Fade to Black

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  923 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
Three perspectives -- one truth
The victim: After his windshield was shattered with a baseball bat, HIV-positive Alex Crusan ducked under the steering wheel. But he knows what he saw. Now he must decide what he wants to tell.

The witness: Daria Bickell never lies. So if she told the police she saw Clinton Cole do it, she must have. But did she really?

The suspect: Clinton w
Paperback, 184 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by HarperTeen (first published April 1st 2005)
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Jun 24, 2011 kari rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, 2011
Short little book so short little review. Perhaps this one has something for everyone or not.
Basic plot: Hispanic boy who is HIV positive is injured when a letter-jacket wearing assailant takes a baseball bat to his car (and probably would have done the same to him had he not driven away) which is witnesses by a girl with Down syndrome and blamed on a white football player boy who's been harassing the Hispanic boy about having HIV. Got all that?
The story is told from the various viewpoints, Ale
Jan 13, 2009 Natasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
My 9th graders will love this book. Crisp writing and a simple, poignant plot. Even though there are multiple perspectives (a witness, the victim, and a suspect), my students will find it easy to follow the shifts. I like that it addresses the topic of what it means to be HIV positive in a realm other than the world of homosexuality where my students expect it.
Apr 09, 2011 Caroline rated it it was amazing
There are not a lot of Young Adult novel with the theme of HIV/AIDS. The new releases on the subject are just a handful each year, but each book published is a new adventure. From the few I have read and the others I have browsed, none are the same, and they all offer something different. Alex Flinn's Fade To Black is no exception and draws a bigger picture around people deemed "different".

The story is told through three different perspectives. From the point of view of the victim, Alex Crusan
Richie Partington
Aug 04, 2013 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
25 April 2005 FADE TO BLACK by Alex Flinn, Harper Tempest, April 2005, ISBN: 0-06-056839-9, LIB ISBN: 0-06-056841-0

One evening later this week Brook Haven Middle School will host its annual Open House. I spent a day in Shari's classroom late last week working hard to clean up the disaster zone in preparation for the occasion.

Shari is the school's drama teacher as well as one of the eighth-grade English teachers. Her drama students are notorious for leaving their thrift store purchased costuming
Ken B
Mar 15, 2017 Ken B rated it really liked it
I like and dislike this book. I liked how the mom and aunt took Alex out to see a show. I disliked how Alex had Hiv at a young age. I recommend this book if you like suspense.
Mar 15, 2012 Alina rated it it was amazing
Fade to Black
By Alex Finn
Reviewed by Alina Oswald

AIDS anxiety and stigma, prejudice, homophobia, harassment and hate crime, guilt and shame, pretense always clutter the truth. Unfortunately, they are all pieces of our reality and we find them in Alex Finn's Young Adult novel, Fade to Black where, the author-a former attorney-invites us to a small town trial where AIDS fills the courtroom.
The victim-Alejandro Crusan, or Alex-is a Florida junior high-school student attacked and hit with a baseball
I loved this. I think Alex Flinn is an amazing writer. I've read four of her books now and each one is so unique and so well written. What I loved about this story was the suspense and that there really was a lot of character development that made this hard to put down.

Alex is the character you like and feel bad for. He's got HIV and the whole school knows, so they treat him like a total outcast. I had a hard time imagining that a school would really tell its entire student body that a kid is H
When a hate crime happens in a small Florida town, a windshield is smashed and an HIV positive student is hospitalized, the police have a witness but can they believe her? It certainly seems like the "boy in the varsity jacket" was Clinton Cole, a boy who had been giving the victim a hard time but given her Down's syndrome is Daria Bickell's word enough?

This is a short fast paced story told from three distinctly different points of view. Or at least the three POV's seem to be different. What bec
Mar 12, 2014 Llana rated it did not like it
When I first saw this book floating around on the internet I was immediately interested.A YA story about AIDS? Maybe I've been looking in the wrong places but I haven't found YA with AIDS and since my knowledge of it is basically that according to my school if I do drugs,have sex,go to parties,have friends that go to parties,or anything along those lines I'll probably catch it and die.It's the abstinence bogeyman to be whipped out whenever we teens may think of breaking our true Christian values ...more
Charles Lai
Jan 21, 2016 Charles Lai rated it liked it
The book I read was Fade to Black by Alex Flinn is about three very different characters that are connected to a crime in some way. The teenagers that go to Pinedale High School in Florida. are Alex, Clinton, and Daria. Alex is HIV positive student who is the victim to a crime involving a bat and his car. Clinton is the suspect who everyone thinks did it. Daria is a down syndrome girl who likes Alex and thinks she saw the person you committed the crime. Alex and Clinton never got along and both ...more
Dec 26, 2007 Patrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: novelist-reviews
Perhaps no author since Robert Cormier, or Michael Cadnum in his early works, has dealt head on like Flinn with the violence in the lives of teens. Three teens tell the story of a violent hate crime: Clinton, Daria, and Alex. The victim, Alex is the new kid in school, but outcast due to his HIV status. The suspect, Clinton, has earned his homophobic stripes with past deeds and words, but Flinn develops him as a real person, not a stereotype, so the case isn't as clear cut as it seems. But it is ...more
Jun 04, 2008 bjneary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teens and relucant readers
Shelves: ya, realistic-fiction
I love Alex Flinn's books- they are suspenseful in their treatment of teen life....there is an HIV postive teen who is attacked with a bat in his car and there are 3 different viewpoints about what happened and who did it- it was the author's interest in witness reliability that prompted this book....her characters, their families, school and social scene are dead on---reluctant readers will love this.
Jan 24, 2017 Aidandenglish9 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. The story is about a teen named Alex who was recently attacked while sitting in his car. Alex in hospital and, because he has AIDS the crime is being investigated as a hate crime. The main suspect is Clinton Cole, who has been known to bully Alex at school. The novel is written from both Alex and Clinton's perspective and goes deeper into both of their lives, including their relationships with their parents, peers, and each other, as well as how Alex feels about his ...more
Zack Venesile
Sep 24, 2011 Zack Venesile rated it it was amazing
Fade to Black

Author: Alex Flinn Date Published: 2005 Genre: Realistic Fiction

This story is about a boy named Alex Crusan who has HIV-positive. In the city he lives, people are very judgmental about his disease and think he’s gay and contaminated. The bully that always harasses him is Clinton Cole. He always sends him threats and he even threw a rock at Alex’s house. He bullies Alex because he doesn’t want his sister, who is best friends with Alex’s sister, to get sick. Then one day while Alex is
Hasan Aladwan
Oct 10, 2012 Hasan Aladwan rated it really liked it
Alejandro (Alex) Crusan and parents move to Pinedale, Florida because of his dad's job transfer. They had no choice as continuous medical insurance coverage was a critical consideration. A new company wouldn't pay their med bills, because of the pre-existing conditions clause. Alex attends Pinedale High in his junior year. Alex is HIV-positive, doing okay, but the disease can progress at any time.
All at Pinedale know of Alex's condition, because school administrators announced it at a student a
Brad Howitt
Dec 13, 2012 Brad Howitt rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 10 and up
Clinton Cole gets in trouble for breaking Alex Crusan’s windshield on his car. Clinton chucked a big rock at his car while the Crusans were at church. This is the first time someone has done something like this to Alex other than people throwing bottles and garbage in his yard. Alex is HIV positive. Clinton doesn't want to sit by Alex because he thinks that Alex is gross for having AIDS.
Daria, a witness of the incident has Down Syndrome. She never lies so will she tell the truth?
Clinton has to
Brad Evans
Nov 15, 2013 Brad Evans rated it it was amazing
The book that i did this marking period was Fade to black and the author of the book is alex flinn.When the book was publcated in 2005 and there was no literary awards for the book. My overall opinion about the book is the main three character has lots of problems of there own to detail with. First is that the victim is having the hardest time because he is HIV positive. the witness is having the police come to her house and ask questions about the crime.

The setting of the story was at the hos
Feb 29, 2008 Zane rated it liked it
The book I read for the month of February was called Fade To Black, By Alex Flinn. It is a realistic fiction book that has a very interesting writing style.
The book is about a boy, Alex Crusan who is HIV positive. He is attacked by an unknown enemy. He saw something, but not enough for a positive identification. There is a suspicion that the attacker was Clinton Cole who was seen in the vicinity close to the time of attack. Also there was one other, a mentally challenged child named Daria Bicke
Dec 16, 2011 Bg rated it really liked it
Flinn has done it again. Not only is she one of my favorite authors, she also does a really good job at staying interesting and making you feel satisfied and new by the end of the book. Admittedly, I didn't want to read this book because of the heavy HIV element in the story. I don't like reading about topics to serious, but I took a bullet like a man!

HIV positive character Alex has not only been dealing with bigots at school about his illness, but he also has to deal with it at home. But the re
Sep 19, 2016 Jax rated it liked it
Spoiler Alert

Faded To Black is a story about a boy that is HIV positive named Alex Crusan who is having a hard time making friends at school. He is constantly bullied for having HIV by a boy named Clinton Cole. One morning Alex is driving to school and his windshield is smashed in and he is badly injured, Clinton is the first suspect in the case. Just after this happens Clinton Cole is also accused of throwing a rock through a window at Alex's house. Both of these have one witness, Daria Bickel
Jennifer Lavoie
I recommended this book to the novel preview team at my school for the high school, and it showed up for the middle school. I'm not sure how it will be taken for that level, but I loved the book. The story is told from three points of view and the narrators were fantastic. Were any of them reliable? Yes and no. It depends on what point of view you decide to look at the story from.

One of the male narrators, Alex, is a teen who is HIV positive. He tells people he contracted the disease from a blo
Apr 17, 2013 SARIT rated it it was amazing
Imagine that using magic has it price. Imagine that this price is very very costly, so the user has to get hear every time he use it. Imagine that the alternative is the cruelest thing in the world. The world Knight created is dark, eerie, and fascinating.
Francis Knight use qualities of the "film noir" - The world is dark, eerie, and fascinating. Layers on layers of the city close on itself from the outside, has some steampmank quality (like blade runner)but more the very very urban dark magic f
William Herschel
Sep 04, 2009 William Herschel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: short books, perspective of Down's Syndrome or HIV
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica P
Dec 02, 2013 Jessica P rated it really liked it
It's about a kid named Alex and he has Aids. He got beat up with a baseball bat. This girl named Daria she has a mental problem and sit's in a tree everyday to watch out. Then there is a boy named Clinton who has a problem with just almost everything in life. But Alex goes to Duncan Dounuts every morning because he likes the dounuts and his parents like there coffie. So he was stoped at a stop light and looked at he side mirror and saw a blue school jacket and a baseball bat in someones hand. So ...more
Ebonne Oiguel
Sep 11, 2014 Ebonne Oiguel rated it really liked it
Clinton must find himself a good lawyer that will get him out of trouble. He may or may not be responsible for sending Alex Crusan to the hospital. A witness said that Clinton did it. No one believes Clinton when he says he didn’t do it. Read this book to find out if Clinton could possibly do something like this, or is he innocent. Find out who the witness is.
I think this book is good because there’s a lot of unexpected turn outs in the book. There is also a lot of questions that needs to be an
Apr 16, 2011 Jenn rated it liked it
Okay, I'm starting to see how this author writes with this second book lol. She takes the stories of the unfortunate or misunderstood and tries to make them understood. If I were in high school still, I would have loved these.

Alex is a high school student who is also HIV positive. The students at his school are all freaked by this, which makes the book seem really dated. They're scared to sit next to him even. This book was published in 2006, so I don't know if the author was just really dating
Feb 07, 2009 Ashley rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I had high hopes for this novel, but it just seemed to lack... something. I enjoyed it, and thought that parts of it were well done, but I also felt that there could have been more to it. I think I would have enjoyed the book a little more if there was some question as to whether Clinton was the one who attacked Alex, the way the summary suggested, but it's pretty clear from the very beginning that something different happened. There were a lot of story lines going on that could have been someth ...more
Jun 18, 2011 Alan rated it it was ok
This book felt so short, I was so shocked. It had such potential to become a much bigger and complicated book.
The style of the book and the way it was written (diary entry style) meant that secrets came out far faster than any other style of writing. I liked the plot of the book, a with HIV is attacked and a boy who has been previously bullying him is accused of it.
It could have went into Clinton trying to prove his innocence. The end reveal is done in one sentence that I was kind of shocked.
Chloe Clik
Sep 06, 2011 Chloe Clik rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like books that make them think.
Recommended to Chloe Clik by: No-one. I just found it in the library.
I chose this book at random and as one of the protagonists had HIV I wasn't sure what type of read it would be or even whether I would enjoy it at all. Wow. I started the book last night and finished it the next day. It was incredible. I didn't want to go to sleep I wanted to read it so badly and it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up. The characters are so well thought out and the situations. I could see every persons point of view. It was so deep.
The plot features around Alex, His
Richard Denney
Feb 19, 2012 Richard Denney rated it liked it
When I hauled this book I said it was about a gay HIV+ guy who gets his window bashed in by a
dickhead with a bat. I was wrong lol The guy is straight and HIV+, now this didn't hurt the book for me, it was interesting to read and The characters were realistic and deep. But the mystery part of this story was a letdown. The main story line of this book is finding out who performed the hate crime but when the culprit is caught, it's just like it's no big deal... that was the main part of the story
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Fade To Black 3 7 Jun 21, 2013 10:52AM  
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NOTE: If you would like to contact me, please visit my Facebook, Twitter, or website or e-mail me (, but DO NOT MESSAGE ME THROUGH GOODREADS. While I have a bio on Goodreads as a service to my readers, I do not visit Goodreads on a regular basis. Like literally twice a year.

Okay, bio.

I was born on Long Island and grew up on a street called Salem Court. This probably influenced m
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