REVIEW: The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell

I received this book for free from Random House Childrens Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

REVIEW: The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah BenwellThe Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell
Published by Random House Childrens Books on 29th January 2015
Genres: contemporary, young adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Random House Childrens Books
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And these are they. My final moments. They say a warrior must always be mindful of death, but I never imagined that it would find me like this . . .

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 feel like The Last Leaves Falling is a friend I’ve watched grow up. I’m so incredibly excited for Sarah and the release of it because I loved it and I know so many of you will too!

The Last Leaves Falling tells the story of Sora, a boy with ALS, a neurodegenerative disease that means he is going to die. The novel is so much more than that though – it’s a tale of friendship and discovery, as well as acceptance.

Whilst I loved The Last Leaves Falling, I found some scenes very painful for me to read because of personal experience. It did bring back some hard memories, but something I think people will be able to relate to is the experience of death and illness that everyone has to go through in their lifetime.

My favourite thing when reading Benwell’s debut novel was the major involvement of Internet culture, which, surprisingly, isn’t something I see a lot of in YA fiction, despite how huge the Internet is in our daily lives.

Something I noticed throughout reading was that this book made me realise exactly what is important to me. In places, it’s deeply philosophical and I began to understand what should be valued.

I enjoyed The Last Leaves Falling a lot and can’t wait to see what Benwell writes next.


Lucy Powrie

Lucy Powrie is a blogger, YouTuber and author from the UK. When she's not reading, she enjoys cuddling guinea pigs and eating Oreo chocolate, but let's be real: she's mostly always reading.


  1. Reply


    19 January, 2015

    This looks really good! I generally avoid books with illness because it makes me quite sad to read about it, but I think I might pick this up. Great review, Lucy! 🙂
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    20 January, 2015

    This sounds like a heart-wrenching story. I feel the need to pick it up. I like a tale that deals with many different subjects. Great review!

    Sidenote: The cover and book title are so cool.
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    22 January, 2015

    I love books that really make you think about life and what’s important. I’ve read nothing but good things about this book and cannot wait to read it. The subject matter is heartbreaking I’m sure but it seems to be handled wonderfully by the author. Lovely review, Lucy!
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