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When Shadows Fall – Sita Brahmachari

Thank you so much to the publishers and Nina Douglas for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Kai, Orla and Zak grew up together, their days spent on the patch of wilderness in between their homes, a small green space in a sprawling grey city. Music, laughter and friendship bind them together and they have big plans for their future – until Kai’s family suffers a huge loss.

Trying to cope with his own grief, as well as watching it tear his family apart, Kai is drawn into a new and more dangerous crowd, until his dreams for the future are a distant memory. Excluded from school and retreating from his loved ones, it seems as though his path is set, his story foretold. Orla, Zak and new classmate Om are determined to help him find his way back. But are they too late? 

When Shadows Fall is one the most unique, heart-breaking, beautiful and raw books that I have ever read. Before going into this book I was unsure about quite what to expect but it is safe to say it completely blew me away.

I must say that before reading this book, please be aware of its trigger warnings. I always recommend this but especially with this book as it does not just touch on the sensitive topics. It shows us as readers in depth, how the topics in this book can affect people’s lives. It does this so thoughtfully and beautifully. But, please make sure you go into this book mindfully.

We get to see the story through the eyes of Kai and his friends. All of the characters bring something completely different to the story and the way in which we view the story as a whole. Kai is such an inspiring main character and I’m sure so many people will be moved by his story. We see him fight through the darkness he is facing to find any form of hope and we get to see how truly strong he can be. Kai really feels like someone we have all know or have come across in life which made his story even more heart-breaking and real. 

The other characters in this book are also beautifully written. In particular, his friends who we also see POVs from are incredible. We get to see all the different characters fighting their own battles as well as willing to Kai to see the light and their unconditional love.

I love the different styles of writing that we get to see throughout the book. At times it is written in verse, sometimes it is your standard paragraphs and other times the story is simply told in illustrations. 

The artwork in this book is stunning and like they say pictures can tell a thousand words. That is certainly the case in When Shadows Fall. The illustrations in this book are done by Natalie Sirett. The way the the story is told is unique and I would love to see more stories told like this in the future.

Sita and Natalie have done an incredible job to tell such a powerful and emotional story. It shows how strength can be found even in the darkest of times. Not only can it be found in daily life but also in things like music, art and love too.

Overall, When Shadows Fall is a beautiful, powerful and unique book that I would highly recommend. It will break you but it will put you back together again. I cannot recommend it enough.

I’m so excited to say, I’m part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of this book! So, keep your eyes out to see my post in the next couple of days where I got to ask Sita all about friendship in YA!

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