Reader: Sophie D.
Title: Chasing Shadows
Author: Swati Avasthi
Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers
Pub Date: 09/24/13
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: This book was awesome. My favorite part was Holly's transformation over the course of the book. She slowly loses control, but because half of the book is from her point of view, it's not clear to the reader until close to the end what is really going on in her mind. The friendship between Holly and Savitri was also very real and relatable, which made it difficult for me to read at times. I very much appreciated that there wasn't a real storybook ending, their friendship was damaged by their choices and actions. It was not a satisfying ending, but that is realistic.
Memorable or Forgettable: I loved the way it combined prose with drawings, it really made the rest of the book more like a graphic novel. I would have liked to see more segments of graphics, that would have made the transitions more smooth.
Cover: I'm not a fan of this cover. I would have loved to see some art from the book, instead of a photo. Also, it's only a photo of Holly, when the book is as much about Savitri as it is about her - arguably even more about Savitri. Picturing the white girl and not picturing the Indian girl is problematic when there is already so little diversity in YA literature.
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Annotation: Dark and visual, Chasing Shadows follows Holly and Savitri's friendship as they try to survive the death of Holly's brother, Corey. When Holly becomes obsessed with getting him back, can Savitri save her from going too far?
tags: graphic novel / contemporary / realistic fiction / mental illness / ya lit