Review - "My Brother's Shadow"

"My Brother's Shadow" by Tom Avery 

Fans of David Almond’s Skellig and Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls will embrace this deeply affecting middle grade novel in which a girl suffering from terrible grief befriends a mysterious wild boy.

When I saw him that first time I screamed—a small and silent scream, all inside, in my gut. Eleven-year-old Kaia, who has felt isolated since her older brother committed suicide more than a year before, befriends a wild boy who mysteriously appears at her London school. Though the boy is mute and can only communicate with a flash of his gray eyes, he might be the friend Kaia needs to bring her through her grief.

Here’s a fascinating story, which offers a fresh and completely original portrayal of loss and renewal.

Since her brother committed suicide, Kaia has been frozen. Her father is long gone and her mother abandons her and drinks her pain away. One day, 11-year-old Kaia meets a boy in school. A wild boy with gray eyes who helps her cope with her grief. 
Tom Avery has an amazing writing style, where everything sounds so poetic and picturesque. I've read books like this before (e.g. Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls is my favorite), but Avery's story is great as well. What I didn't like about it tho, is the distance Avery keeps to his readers. Like, we are watching Kaia from afar, but we aren't really "part" of her pain. We are just spectators watching her, but unable to understand, so we aren't fully capable of relating to her in that sense. Also the ending left me quite unsatisfied, because we don't really see what happens to the boy (*spoiler* or if he's even real), or that Kaia (*spoiler* had to get in an accident to snap out of her frozen-ness). 

But I would still recommend this to people who don't mind open ending and just want to read meaningful and deep books with great writing! 


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