Friday, February 28, 2014

Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi

Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi
With Graphics by Craig Phillips

Chasing Shadows blends genres between its pages of prose and graphic art.  It begins with Holly, Corey and Savitri freerunning on the streets of Chicago and little do they know that their lives are about to change forever.   Holly and Corey are twins and Savitri is Holly's best friend and Corey's girlfriend.  They are intimately connected.  As they drive home, the unthinkable happens.

A Gunman.

One loses their life.  One is in a coma.  One is the only witness to the crime.  Changed forever in an instant.

Chasing Shadows is completely different than Avasthi first novel SPLIT.  It is a type of different, that I love.  I loved the fresh style of this novel with the juxtaposition of prose and graphic novel twisted together in the mind of the characters.  The artwork by Craig Phillips is amazing!  The artwork pops in black and white and the Shadowlands come alive.  Holly and Corey are caught in the Shadowlands and it was cool to see what Holly was visualizing in her mind in graphic format.
The Shadowlands is a place somewhere between life and death.

According to wikipedia, Freerunning (or free running) is the art of expressing oneself in his or her environment without limitation of movement.  This is a super cool part of this book.  A sport that combines gymnastics with daring athletics, fast movements and death defying heights.  I'm curious to see this sport in action.

Avasthi is a great writer and her characters are so beautifully flawed that you can't help falling for them as she leads you through a plot that you don't expect.  Chasing Shadows brings you to the brink of death, through mental illness and grief and into the bonds of friendship.  Chasing Shadows is bold and strong and daring like its characters.

Chasing Shadowa is nominated for the 2014 Minnesota Book Award.

I will definitely read everything Avasthi writes as she is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA writers.