How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Random House Children’s Publishers
Japanese teenager Sora is diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Lonely and isolated, Sora turns to the ancient wisdom of the samurai for guidance and comfort. But he also finds hope in the present; through the internet he finds friends that see him, not just his illness. This is a story of friendship and acceptance, and testing strength in an uncertain future.
I only finished this book late last night, but I had to get a review out as soon as I could after finishing it. I just had to express my thoughts on what a beautiful book this is. 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.
Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!