Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Last Leaves Falling, by Sarah Benwell. Simon & Schuster, 2015

Abe Sora is seventeen years old, and he’s got an older person’s degenerative and fatal disease: ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s progressing extremely fast. His school has been unwilling to allow him to continue since he’s now using a wheelchair, so he stays home, surfing the web, with his mother for company in the evenings. That is the extent of his life.

Then he meets some kids in a teen chat room, and friendship blossoms. Their first physical meeting is awkward, but the relationships evolve, as does his relationship with his mother. He gets to be a teenager again, doing things with friends as equals.

The joy he finds is always edged with sorrow because of his limited time on this earth, but he finds himself taking his life into his own hands instead of being told what to do or being limited by his condition. He blossoms, but the story is piercingly sad. It’s a coming of age story, but a coming of age that you know is going to end soon. Beautifully written; my heart ached for Abe. 

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I received this book free from the Amazon Vine program in return for an honest review. 

Neither of these things influenced my review.  

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