Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Review - When He Fell by Kate Hewitt

I’d had my eye on When He Fell by Kate Hewitt for a while before being asked whether I wanted to take part in the blog tour so quite literally jumped at the chance. When He Fell was one of those books that was emotional yet entirely gripping - I honestly could not turn the pages of this book quickly enough and I managed to read it in one sitting. Everything about this book, from the way in which it’s written to the issues it presents, makes it extremely memorable and I don’t think I will be forgetting this book for a long time to come. 

In When He Fell, Josh and Ben whose personalities couldn’t have been more different were childhood best friends until their lives were turned upside down when Ben suffered a nasty fall in the school playground. Following the horrific event, which also changes the lives of the boys’ parents and an entire school community, an investigation is launched. Was what happened to Ben nothing more than a terrible accident or did someone have malicious intentions? Why was no one watching Ben as he played in the school playground? With Ben’s life hanging in the balance everyone is desperate for answers, but when the truth is finally revealed there are lasting repurcussions for both families. Can they ever recover and will their lives ever be the same again? 

This book contained absolutely no preamble, there was no slow build-up or introduction. It threw the reader straight into the drama and was fast-paced and action-packed from the start. It was also extremely unpredictable, there was no telling what was going to happen next, which I think was what made this novel so addictive. The ending in particular came as a complete shock to me, totally unexpected and something I never saw coming. I don’t think I’ve read a novel like this one in quite a long time. 

Alternating between the voice of Ben’s mum, Maddie and Josh’s mum, Joanna, the novel is excellently constructed. It jumps seamlessly between the two narratives and it’s clear that the author has taken the time to research the medical details discussed within the novel. Kate’s writing style really is consistent throughout the entire book, being powerful and highly emotive. I doubt it’s possible for anyone to read this book without being moved by it in some way. 

When He Fell is based around a moral dilemma for both the characters and the reader - who’s in the right? Who’s in the wrong? Who’s to blame and who isn’t? Even now, I still don’t know the answers to these questions and think they will play on my mind for quite some time. 

All in all it has to be said that this book was possibly better than I thought it would be and I’m really glad to have finally got round to reading it. This book deserves to be talked about far more than it has been so far to date and deserves a lot of recognition for its importance and the way it deals with some sensitive issues superbly. This is the first book of Kate’s that I’ve read but I’ll certainly be back for more by her in the future.