The Last Leaves Falling (2000)
The Last Leaves Falling (2000)
4.69 of 5 Votes: 3
1909531227 (ISBN13: 9781909531222)
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This is a great book. It seriously blew me away. It’s an emotional, moving read which I’m pretty sure has made its way to my all time favourites list.I immediately felt compassion for Sora our main character. Sora is diagnoses with ALS at a young age. It’s heart breaking. ALS is an awful disease. Sora’s outlook on the life he had left was, at times, really painful to read. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must feel like for anyone, let alone a teenager. Sarah Benwell’s writing really tore at my heart. I don’t often feel emotional/have real tears when reading a book but this book moved me to tears.Sora finds friendship online, and the friendships he made were believable and brought joy to his life (and yet more tears to my eyes).I don’t want to say much about it. It’s one of those stories that I think is best left to be unfolded by its reader. Each reader will take something different from it, but what I know all readers will take from this stunning début is a strong message about valuing the life you have. This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.The Last Leaves Falling is an emotional read by the author Sarah Benwell. Set in modern day Japan, Abe Sora, a 17 year old boy is trying to come to terms with his diagnosis: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ASL). Although Sora is aware that he will die soon he is ashamed of his deteriorating muscles and his inability to walk and function like other boys his age. In order to attempt to have a "normal" life he signs up to KyoToTeenz forum where he hides behind the username SamuraiMan. He never lets on to his new friends about his disability but they soon find out when they meet in person.Despite his initial predictions, Mai and Kaito want to stick by Sora and remain his friends. The three of them spend as much time together as possible making Sora's life more bearable while his body rapidly deteriorates. It is very sad to read about Sora's life knowing that he will never grow up to be the person he always wanted to be. Even though there will never be a happy ending to his predicament, Sora encourages his friends, particularly Mai, to fight for who they want to be rather than giving into the the pressures of parents and school. Knowing that Sora is going to die makes the ending slightly predictable however it is still heartbreaking. It makes the reader wonder what happens to the other characters: Mai, Kaito and Sora's mother; after the final pages.This is a brilliant book for young adult readers. As well as dealing with difficult themes such as death, Benwell emphasises the importance of wishes and dreams. Due to certain aspects of the story (death and suicide) this book is unsuitable for the more vulnerable reader. Overall The Last Leaves Falling is an excellent work of fiction.
Simple, heartfelt and deeply affecting, this is a beautiful story about the importance of life.
Very emotional story, beautifully written. Full review to come.
4 stars
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