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Chasing Shadows

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Before: Corey, Holly, and Savitri are one unit—fast, strong, inseparable. Together they turn Chicago concrete and asphalt into a freerunner’s jungle gym, ricocheting off walls, scaling buildings, leaping from rooftops to rooftop.

But acting like a superhero doesn’t make you bulletproof…

After: Holly and Savitri are coming unglued. Holly says she’s chasing Corey’s killer, chasing revenge. Savitri fears Holly’s just running wild—and leaving her behind. Friends should stand by each other in times of crisis. But can you hold on too tight? Too long?

In this intense novel, Swati Avasthi creates a gripping portrait of two girls teetering on the edge of grief and insanity. Two girls who will find out just how many ways there are to lose a friend…and how many ways to be lost.

320 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 12, 2013

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About the author

Swati Avasthi

2 books199 followers
Swati Avasthi has a BA from the University of Chicago and an MFA from the University of Minnesota. She has received numerous awards and grant, most recently from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Her first novel, Split, has received a silver parents' choice award and a CYBILS award and was named a best books for young adults, 2011 from YALSA. Split was also nominated for a GoodReads Choice Award and a Minnesota Book Award. She is keeping her fingers crossed.

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5 stars
171 (21%)
4 stars
278 (34%)
3 stars
252 (31%)
2 stars
68 (8%)
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29 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 200 reviews
Profile Image for Swati.
Author 2 books199 followers
November 29, 2013
...but I might be a tiny bit biased.
Profile Image for Keertana.
1,126 reviews2,161 followers
January 31, 2014
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Although I loved Avasthi's debut, Split, I sadly cannot say the same of her sophomore piece. Chasing Shadows is, by no means, a bad novel but it simply was not tailored to my tastes. It is a tale of two best friends, Savitri and Holly, who must heal after Holly's twin brother, also Savitri's boyfriend, is shot by an unknown gunman in Chicago. Avasthi tells this tale using both words and images but, unfortunately, the graphic novel-like pictures didn't work for me. While extremely well-done, these detailed drawings make this volume fly by; they also make it a little too fleeting. Since so many pivotal moments in this plot line were told through pictures, not words, I wasn't able to connect with either of these main protagonists. As such, I cannot claim to have been interested in their stories - Savitri's attempts to hang on to normalcy, Holly's slow mental disintegration, the rifts that arise between these two girls as they both try and fail to be there for each other while really needing to heal themselves first. Moreover, I simply wasn't a fan of the plot direction in this story...not sure why. Chasing Shadows will certainly appeal to readers of graphic novels or comics, but it wasn't my cup of tea. While containing a lot of depth, I wasn't able to appreciate the subtle connections Avasthi wove through this novel - the fact that her protagonists held connections to comic book heroines - but I know that in the hands of the right reader, this book would be a definite winner.
Profile Image for Jonathan Hiskes.
512 reviews
December 18, 2013
Chicago teenagers leap across rooftops, solve a major crime, and visit a Hindu underworld. Y'know, teen stuff.
Profile Image for Stephanie Ward.
1,176 reviews116 followers
September 27, 2013
'Chasing Shadows' is a young adult contemporary fiction/graphic novel that follows the lives of teenage friends Holly, Corey, and Savitri as they enjoy life running through Chicago. Soon their world is turned upside down when Corey is killed. Holly and Savitri are coming undone in their own ways - Holly wants to find Corey's killer and serve up revenge, while Savitri is scared by Holly's actions and afraid that she'll be left behind. But how far should you go for a friend? And just how far is too far?

This was a fascinating and completely unique novel unlike anything I've read before. I loved the illustrations interspersed throughout the novel. They really added depth to the characters and the story, as well as bringing a whole new visual level to the book. The characters are very well done, specifically Holly and Savitri. They are deeply grieving the death of their friend, seeking revenge, wallowing in grief and fear, and walking the line of insanity. They were very realistic and easy to identify with from early in the novel. The story is told from two separate points of view - that of Holly and of Savitri. I loved that the author did the story this way because the reader can get an inside look at what each character is feeling and thinking throughout the book. It's a deeper peek inside their characters that most novels don't reveal. I think it worked well with this plot - especially because the reader can see how each girl is reacting to the death of their friend and what exactly is going through their heads at different times in the book. The plot is realistic and possible in real life, which hit a lot closer to home than most books. The thought that this could, and probably does, occur in our world made me really upset and horrified. There was a great flow to the story and it was fast paced, which had me eagerly reading to see what the girls would do next. Overall, this is a fantastic blend of contemporary fiction and graphic illustrations that brings a fresh breath of air to the YA genre. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary and realistic fiction as well as fans of graphic novels.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,220 reviews1,651 followers
November 14, 2014
Actual rating: 2.5 stars

For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Chasing Shadows didn’t get any marketing to speak of, and I really didn’t know much about it. What lured me into requesting it was the mixed media element, the combination of a regular novel and graphic novel. Turns out Chasing Shadows is just as unique as that suggests. Despite there being a whole lot to like about it, the book missed worming its way into my heart, and I ended up feeling rather bored a lot of the time.

Chasing Shadows has a great hook. The first couple of chapters are incredibly intense. Holly, Corey and Savitri are free running through the city, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, doing flips and handstands. Holly and Corey are twins, daring and willing to take risks. Savitri’s the careful one, the one who might be heading off to Stanford in the fall and leaving her best friend and boyfriend behind. As they’re confronting this fact, a shooting comes out of nowhere, killing Corey and sending Holly into a coma.

Basically, my jaw was on the floor. Before you get on me about spoilers, this all happens before page 20. It’s intense and terrifying and random. I thought this was going to be totally my thing, but then the book got weird. The graphic novel sections then often show Corey in death, where Holly’s trying to save him from Kortha, an evil snake man. Apparently this mixes a lot of Hindu mythology, learned from Savitri, but it was a bit much for me. Every time that happened, I was thrown out of the book and going “REALLY?” It’s a unique idea, and I do like the way that Avasthi blended in Hindu mythology, so I think it will work for some readers more than it did for me.

Savitri is definitely the best character. She works really hard to be a good friend to Holly, who’s going off her rocker, while also trying to deal with the death of the boy she loved. For once, a book depicts a POC character without making a HUGE deal out of her or having her end up being a terrible person. Savitri’s the one who’s got it all together. She’s smart, she’s a planner, and she’s a really good person. There is mention of her heritage and it’s obviously important to her, but Savitri is also very blended into American culture.

Chasing Shadows is often startling and terrifying. If you connect emotionally to the characters, events will probably ruin you. On the one hand, I did love the subject matter, dealing with grief in the wake of Corey’s death, but I just wasn’t sure if Holly’s reaction was realistic or not. Her insanity after such a tragedy, particularly knowing he was right next to her when he died and probably saved her life, does seem possible, but the whole thing with Kortha and the Leopardess, her favorite superhero, was so ridiculous I had trouble taking it seriously.

I also ended up struggling with the graphic novel sections. They always happened in Holly’s point of view, but she also had prose POV too. It seems like the graphic novel bits are meant to represent her madness, but it’s stated at one point that she’s very visual, and that’s not a crazy thing to be. It would have worked better for me if Holly were ALL graphic novel, not just when she’s going off the rails, because I don’t like the comments that makes on a visual thinker.

Ultimately, I think Chasing Shadows has a lot of draws: free running, mental health, and diversity. Though I didn’t love it, I would definitely recommend it to the right reader.
Profile Image for Liviania.
957 reviews63 followers
November 15, 2013
CHASING SHADOWS is a contemporary novel that incorporates elements of superhero comics and Hinduism in a very visceral way, which gives some passages the feeling of speculative fiction.

CHASING SHADOWS begins with Holly, Savitri, and Corey running across rooftops. It's a tight-knit group: Holly and Sav are best friends, Sav and Corey are dating, and Holly and Corey are twins. But it's when they get in their cars to go home that tragedy strikes - Corey is shot and killed and Holly ends up in a coma. CHASING SHADOWS alternates between Sav and Holly's points of view, and Holly's point of view alternates between prose and graphic novel panels. It's a wonderful effect that demonstrates her breaks from reality quite well.

I wasn't expecting to ugly cry throughout this book, but I did. Both girls are extremely traumatized and CHASING SHADOWS is about Holly and Sav reclaiming their lives, their futures, and eventually their friendship. Because yes, their relationship is under quite a bit of strain. I particularly liked the way Swati Avasthi wove the cops' search for Corey's murderer into the girls' story. Because Holly was shot and Sav got a better look at the guy, they are defined as only a victim and only a witness respectively. But both girls are victims and witnesses, and those labels are important to their internal story, even if it doesn't help the case.

(Side note: I loved that Sav can't give a great physical description - white, not tall - but notices exactly how the guy walks because that's what is important to her as an athlete.)

Two graphic novels shape the girls' stories. One is a series about the Leopardess, a heroine Holly admires. The other is a telling of the legend that gave Sav her name. The girls are both inspired by these comics and shamed by them, feeling guilty because they weren't fast or clever or something enough to save Corey. Holly's reality is distorted by them, the imagery and iconography bleeding into her waking world. It's a very interesting look at the way that fiction can shape lives. And, in the case of Sav, it's very clear how important her collection of comics starring Indians is to her and the ways it shaped her childhood.

CHASING SHADOWS is a real gut-punch of a novel. It's dark, and heartbreaking, and the triumphs are tempered by tragedy. It's also, I think, the book I wanted when I read WHAT WE SAW AT NIGHT. The freerunning and the mystery are incorporated better into the characters' story, as is the Chicago setting. I don't think I've ever read a book quite like CHASING SHADOWS, and it's more than just the inventive format that makes me say that. This is a book well worth reading.
Profile Image for Justice.
593 reviews26 followers
April 28, 2020
This was a hard book to rate. For most of it, I thought it was just a fun story with superhero/supernatural elements. I enjoyed it, but thought it was forgettable. The ending kinda changes things though.

Profile Image for Olivia Bozich.
4 reviews5 followers
July 29, 2017
For my first choice book I read Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi. Corey, Savitri, and Holly are inseparable friends who live in a very dangerous neighborhood on Chicago's south side. They had been friends almost all of their lives until suddenly, tragedy struck. Corey and Holly were on their way to school and stopped at a stop light. While stopped, a man in the car next to them shot both Holly and Corey, killing Corey and putting Holly into critical condition. Luckily, Savitri was right behind them, and tried to save them as much as she could while waiting for the paramedics. After Holly recovers she is determined to find her brothers killer and bring them to justice.

I really enjoyed this book because it had a lot of action in it. There was never a dull moment while reading this book. Readers will be forced to be put in the characters shoes and ask themselves how they would handle these situations. I recommend this book for teenagers and young adults.
Profile Image for ElphaReads.
1,613 reviews26 followers
January 31, 2019
Remember my deal? That unless I already had them on my list to read or loved a book, I wouldn't count my school books towards my year's book count? This one falls in the latter category, and I had no idea that I was going to love it as much as I did. I got it from the library, but I think I want my own dang copy of it. It's just so good. And painful.

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Holly, Savitri, and Corey are a tight knit group. Corey and Holly are twins, Savitri and Holly are best friends, and Corey and Savitri are dating. They like to do free running, which essentially means they do gymnastics choreographed into sprints and jumps. They live in Chicago, and plan on going to school together when they go to college (though Savitri is considering going to Princeton without them, albeit silently), as they've always been a threesome through thick and thin. One night while they are running, the unthinkable happens; Corey and Holly are attacked by a gunman as Savitri watches. Corey is killed instantly, while Holly is put into a coma. While under, Holly has visions of Corey being taken away by a half man, half snake to a place known as the Shadowlands. When Holly wakes up, she is convinced that Corey isn't really gone, and that she can retrieve him if Savitri is there to help her. Savitri wants to be there for her friend while they both mourn the loss of Corey, she is also alarmed by Holly's sudden obsession with finding the man who did it, and getting Corey back. Torn between being a good friend to Holly and doing what is right for herself, Savitri gets pulled further and further into her own grief, and Holly's grief and slowly building madness.

This book was incredibly powerful in multiple ways. The first way is the way that Avasthi handles grief. It shows how Holly deals with losing her twin (slow descent into lunacy), how their parents deal with losing their son (his father being high up in the Chicago PD), and how Savitri deals with the dual loss of her boyfriend and her best friend. Seeing everyone's raw sadness and emotion was difficult to read and raw, but it seemed to incredibly real and relatable that it blew me away. Another powerful aspect was that of guilt, namely the guilt that Savitri feels throughout the story and how Holly uses that guilt to her advantage. Savitri feels guilt for not being able to save her boyfriend, for not being able to ID the person who shot him, for thinking of dumping him if she was accepted to Princeton, for thinking of GOING to Princeton and leaving Holly behind, for not being able to help Holly. You can understand the pain and guilt that she feels, but you can also feel the frustration with this guilt because you just want her to get out of this grief cycle no matter how much her mentally ill friend tries to yank her back in. I also loved how complex the friendship is between Holly and Savitri. At one point Savitri's Mom says that Holly brings out the worst in Savitri, and the reader definitely gets the impression that's the case, no matter how badly you feel for Holly. Holly has a way, even before the tragedy, to get Corey and Savitri to do anything she wants them to. The large example is that they froze out her boyfriend who was part of their group after they broke up (admittedly, he was a dick and deserved to be broken up with, but you get the distinct feeling that maybe the complete freeze out that continued even after he changed was extreme). And the entitlement that Holly has regarding Savitri's attention and friendship is already a little disturbing, and even more so after the fact. But at the same time, you get that they really, really care for each other and have been through a lot together. The complexities were fabulous. I also really liked the graphic novel sections, which so beautifully conveyed Holly's sadness and madness. And ultimately, the story runs you right through the ringer.

At times upsetting, at times funny, all times gripping, CHASING SHADOWS is a tragic and immersing story that I just loved. I recommend it those who like the complex and dark stories in life. This one will beat you up emotionally, but I found it to be so worth it. Even if it hurts too.
Profile Image for Andrea.
291 reviews55 followers
October 2, 2013
I love graphic novels. I think the art work is amazing. I love that you can get so wrapped up in a story through just pictures and dialogue. The fact that Chasing Shadows is both a prose novel and a graphic novel is something I knew I couldn't pass up. Of course, the synopsis did help a bit in my decision to read it.

The story itself is heartbreaking. Savitri witnesses Corey's murder and Holly's attempted murder from a car not 45 feet away and is racked with survivor's guilt. Holly herself nearly dies and is in a coma for about a month after the attack. While in her coma, Holly envisions herself in the Shadow Lands with Corey and a half-man half serpent named Korha, who is taking Corey's soul to the Cage of Souls. When Holly does wake up, she is obsessed with rescuing Corey and isn't ready to fully move on. Svaitri on the other hand is doing her best to be there for Holly, who is slowly unraveling, while trying to deal with Corey's death herself. You can't help but feel for these girls.

I find it hard to relate to either character. No, that's not right. Both characters are very believable and I can picture them vividly in my mind. They both stand on their own merit and have distinct personalities. My problem stemmed from that fact that I couldn't/didn't want to have to think about my boyfriend or little brother (I know Holly and Corey are twins, but I don't have one of those) being murdered right in front of me. Some of these scenes are so profoundly emotional that I found tears in my eyes. At these times all I wanted to do was lock my brother and boyfriend in the basement. I don't care that they're bigger and stronger than I am. I'd find a way.

But back Chasing Shadows and the majestic writing ability that is Swati Avasthi. It's not just what is happening in the scene that makes them so emotional. It's Avasthi's writing. Her words are strong and her sentences just flow. You picture yourself in this story, but not as an outside. You are Holly and Svaitri. You're the one who lost their boyfriend and wrestling with the decision of going to Princeton or staying with Holly. You're also the one who lost their twin and are determined to bring him back from the Shadow Lands.

Told in alternating narration, both Svaitri and Holly have strong voices. I always find it intriguing when authors write a dual perspective in first person, but I'm also wary. Avasthi however had no problem whatsoever pulling off the dual narration. If anything, it made the story stronger.. Even without checking the chapter headlines, you know exactly who was talking. Her writing style differed slightly between the two girls, which I found completely wonderful.

The artwork, done by Craig Phillips, serves to enhance the story. While I would have liked to have seen more of his work, I think it is the perfect addition. I love the scenes that Avasthi and Philllips chose to illustrate, making the novel feel more personal on some level.

Even if you're not a fan of graphic novels, you cannot pass up the opportunity to read this harrowing story about two young girls dealing with the murder of a loved one. With an engaging story line, beautiful illustrations, and wonderfully written prose, Chasing Shadows will stay with you long after you finish the last page.
Profile Image for ☼Bookish pam in Virginia☼ .
1,161 reviews46 followers
January 31, 2014
CHASING SHADOWS isn't the type of book I normally read. I'm an action oriented, zombie-loving kinda gal, but I read Swati Avasthi's SPLIT and was so taken with it, that I quickly picked up this book the second I saw that it was available

One of Avasthi's great strengths are her characters. They live. They breathe. They are dimensional and so realistic that it's hard not to be drawn into the stories where she places them.

In CHASING SHADOWS the principle characters are Holly, her twin brother Corey, and their best friend and girl friend, Savitri (Sav). They are high schoolers in their senior year, and while deeply bound to one another, they face the divide that can be college. Corey and Holly are interested, but not inspired to leave the home town they love. Savitri, however, has high aspirations and all three of them are trying to come to grips with the fact that Sav is moving on. That Princeton or another school beacons.

All of their feelings about this are stripped away and made absolutely insignificant when Corey is shot and dies right in front of the girls.

What follows is a descent in sorrow and madness as the girls try to cope with the depth of their loss; and as they get the crazy notion to track down Corey's assassin.

CHASING SHADOWS is told in a partially graphic novel style. There is mostly text, but also some wonderful graphic novel pages by Craig Phillips.

As a read I found it gut wrenching. Swati's portrayal of their grief and their parents' grief made me have to put the book down twice. But I always came back, because there's a mystery involved. And because I needed to know what the girls would do.

This is a good Halloween read, by the way. There's a creepy under-story to the real world adventure. I think other would like it better than I. It's just not my genre and the characters and I didn't really click.
Profile Image for Liza Wiemer.
Author 5 books656 followers
November 18, 2013
Swati Avasthi pushes the limits, and then goes even further to tell a raw, emotional, story of murder, friendship, love, sanity, and mental health. Using a combination of a graphic novel and first person narrative from two perspectives, readers will be hooked into the world Avasthi masterfully created. Bravo!!!!

Chasing Shadows tells the story of twins Corey and Holly, HS seniors and the children of a Chicago police officer. When a gunman targets their car and shoots Corey pointblank and barely leaves Holly alive, everything changes. The murder was witnessed by Corey's girlfriend Savitri who was stopped in her car, waiting for them to go through the intersection after Corey and Holly became stuck at a red light. The three friends have had a long history together. They also have been involved in a unique sport - Freerunning, which involves incredible athleticism. The scenes describing their activities are breathtaking.

After Corey dies, Holly's mental health slips. Readers will be brought into her world, which is often depicted in graphic novel format. It's no less than astonishing.

I commend Avasthi for this BRAVE novel. The time and energy, the emotion, the heart, pain, and ultimately her soul had to have been poured into this novel. I think readers will learn a lot about taking risks, what friendship means and when you should put yourself first over a friend, and how one's sanity can slip quickly and how critical it is for those around to recognize the symptoms. Everyone copes with loss differently. This novel showed an honest portrayal of how people can react in times of deep grief. The novel doesn't have all the answers, but it shows that one needs to grasp on to what you can in order to find a way to continue, to have hope, to live.

Highly, highly recommend this novel.
Profile Image for Michelle (In Libris Veritas).
1,929 reviews80 followers
May 23, 2014
Chasing Shadows really surprised me with how enveloping the story turned out to be and left me with chills. Centering around two high school seniors who must deal with the aftermath of the death of someone very near and dear to them, Chasing Shadows spins a fast paced and unique story of loss, recovery, and mental illness.

The backdrop of Chasing Shadows is Chicago which Holly, Corey, and Savitri have turned into their freerunning haven. This is the first book I have read with freerunning incorporated and now I need more. The passages where Savitri and Holly are sprinting and leaping are so much fun to read, even when it’s in the middle of something heavy. When I first started this novel I had no idea that it was going to have graphic novel type sections, and I must say I loved it’s incorporation. It is used during Holly’s chapters and sort of marks her slow decent into mental illness, but I think being able to see what she was seeing made her pov seem more ‘real’ even though it’s clearly unreliable. The whole journey that Avasthi takes us on is full of emotion, ranging from exhilaration and love to panic and fear.

The friendship between Holly and Savitri is at the forefront of this novel. It focuses on how close they were, how the death of Corey begins to tear them apart and glue them back together into something else entirely. It touches on how sometimes friendships become bad for you, and how even though it hurts letting go might be for the best.

Overall Chasing Shadows was a pleasant surprise that left me wanting more from this author. I loved the setting, the incorporation of mental illness, and even though parts of this tore my heart out I enjoyed seeing how Savitri and Holly dealt with their grief.
Profile Image for Mrs. Kenyon.
1,217 reviews24 followers
February 11, 2014
Corey, Holly and Savitri are a trio who would do anything for each other. Corey and Holly are twins that are closer than friends, Holly and Savitri are friends who are as close as sisters, and Corey and Savitri recently celebrated their one year anniversary. Between freerunning through Chicago and planning to get an apartment together during college, this threesome is inseparable. Then a bullet is discharged and Corey is dead. Holly is half a person with her twin suddenly removed from this world and Savitri must cope with her own grief, help keep Holly from embracing insanity and decide what direction she wants the rest of her life to travel toward.

Chasing Shadows spins a tale outside of normal boundaries. The story is told in alternating chapters with a graphic novel twist. Many portions are presented in comic book format that gives additional detail and insight into the thoughts of Holly. Avasthi catches the reader from the start and drags them through a tragic experience that affects both girls in astonishingly different ways. Whether the reader is experienced with graphic novels or is being newly introduced, Chasing Shadows will give enough vivid information without feeling as if it is all pictures. I found myself hoping for a satisfying resolution and feel Avasthi gave this troubling issue the proper exploration and plausible closure. I can’t wait to recommend this book to students in my library.
Profile Image for Sara Grochowski.
1,142 reviews567 followers
July 6, 2015
Savitri, Holly, and Corey are a team. Holly and Corey are twins, Savitri and Holly are best friends, and Corey and Savitri date. The three operate as one, whether at school, at home, or when they're out in Chicago freerunning. Their world comes crashing down one fateful night when Holly and Corey are attacked by a gunman while Savitri looks on, helpless. Now, Corey is dead, Holly is barely holding on after awakening from a coma, and Savitri is left alone, unable to fix what has been broken and unable to let go.

CHASING SHADOWS, told in part via graphic sequences, explores the fallout of the shooting through the eyes of Holly and Savitri. Moving and intense, CHASING SHADOWS is a stunning read about the bonds of family and of friendship that can simultaneously hold us together and tear us apart.
Profile Image for Jo.
1,110 reviews60 followers
October 11, 2013
4.5 stars
What a great book on all levels! The writing was excellent, and the merging between text and illustrations was seamless and intriguing. The story had great characters, great plotting and great sentences. My copy was a digital ARC and some of the words in the comic section were unreadable, but I imagine editing will fix that for actual copies sold. The violence is real and brutal. Avasthi rips the band-aid off quickly, but the pain of watching a family break apart is still there. The trauma stays with you long after the last page is flipped. I think this is an important book to examine and discuss the grief process. Letting someone go is never easy, and this is such an honest appraisal that I think it would be a beneficial read. I am very excited to learn that the library has the author's other book as I will definitely be reading it.
Profile Image for Katastrofekat.
324 reviews10 followers
August 18, 2015
I got this book in a subscription box and I have to admit that of not for that, I probably wouldn't have picked up this book at all. Wow, am I glad it came my way after all. What intrigued me was how the author chose to mix text with comics to tell the story and mostly I was curious about how that would be pulled of. Seamlessly, as it turns out.

This is a book about friendship, and the cost of loyalty. And it's beautifully written and you really feel like you get under the skin of the characters. I don't really know what to say to bring justice to this book, other than that it blew me away and I lived it. There really isn't enough ya books about friendship, not unless it somehow involves romance.
1,405 reviews3 followers
October 3, 2013
Wow. One of those books that you juat have to stay up and finish reading despite having an early and long day coming up. Loved her first book--SPLIT--and this was just as powerful. When Holly's twin brother is murdered and she is severely injured, after her initial recovery, she begins to spiral into mental illness. She wants to rescue her brother from the Shadowlands in the personal of the Leopardess. Her friend and Corey's girlfriend who is lost in her own grief, tries to save Holly putting her own life in danger. A powerful read with a wonderful blend of alternate narrative text and graphic novel. A must for my next year's YA Trends and Issues reading list.
Profile Image for Mary Farrell.
Author 11 books81 followers
February 16, 2014
This book is so well written. On the sentence level, and on the level of character and plot. I did not want to put it down, and read it in two sittings. It's not a book that allows you to feel comfortable. It is a close look at grief and mental illness. It also ponders the question of friendship and loyalty and does it very well. I highly recommend this book. It is part graphic novel and very clever in the way the traditional text comes together with the graphics. Everything is pulled together exceptionally well.
Profile Image for Anita Cellucci.
129 reviews4 followers
August 2, 2015
I was excited to read another book by Swati Avasthi as Split was intense! Chasing Shadows was a more mellow story even though the topics within the story were heavy. I'm not sure if it was missing the emotional rollercoaster of Split or if it was my mood. I did really like the graphic aspects of this novel and think that it added a lot for the reader.
Profile Image for Shannon.
1,178 reviews4 followers
June 3, 2015
Wow. After checking this book out on a whim I definitely wasn't expecting to love it so much! It's a heartbreaking, raw, and emotional story with 3 dimensional characters. I'm really not sure how to sum up how powerful and amazing this book is. I'll just say that you have to read it for yourself.
2 reviews
April 13, 2018
In this story there are basically three main characters, yet two of them are the narrators of the story. There is Corey who is dating his sister Holly's best friend Savitri; the two teenage girls are the narrators of the story of their lives told in their perspectives in first person. This story takes place in the city of Chicago, where everything to this group of teenagers is a playground. Including buildings windows and the streets. They are all a group of freerunners; which is a hobby where a person jumps over obstacles in their environments and uses them as a playground for their enjoyment. These thrill seekers believe that they are untouchable as they run across buildings and through the streets doing death defying feats. Until one day when they are proven very wrong, as a gunman fires upon Holly and Corey in their car. Savitri can do nothing but watch in horror from her car window as her life is turned upside down. She was just about to leave Corey to go to Princeton for college and then he is taken from her, and she realises how wrong she was to ever want to leave him. Holly survives, but her life is changed forever and she becomes a new person in the end.
This is a very enjoyable book, with some incredible twists and turns. It was very hard to put down after reading through the first couple chapters. It is filled with action and there are no dull moments which keep the readers glued to their seats. It could be difficult for some readers to handle the switching between perspectives if they are so immersed in the book. Yet I did not see this as a problem it is always a risk when using two different narrators. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys action packed books. The other amazing thing about this book is it does not only showcase action yet a lot of drama, love, betrayal, and friendship which keeps the storyline very interesting. I also enjoyed the twist at the end of the story which really challenged my beliefs on how people should be treated after such a horrific accident. Overall this book was a fantastic read and one of my favorite books that I have read in this challenge so far.

Works Cited
Avasthi, Swati, and Craig Phillips. Chasing Shadows. Ember, 2015.
Profile Image for Candace.
62 reviews3 followers
October 1, 2018
I found this book under the "Graphic Novel" category in Libby because I wanted some quicker reads to catch up on my reading challenge. I could not put this book down, but not because it was easy or light.

This book was full of emotion from the beginning and did not stop until the final words of the novel. The friendship between Holly and Savitri is written so intentionally, and the book conveys how guilt, shame, grief, and tragedy all contribute to the change that happens to their friendship. This is also a story about independence and dependence between two people, but also between people and their connection to the world.

I loved the graphics in the book, I think that element added depth and raw emotion to the story. This story also has changing POV which is something that I usually do not enjoy at all, but I think that both POVs were needed to accurately tell this story. I also think that the prose of this book was different than a lot of other books that I've read. The prose definitely kept me engaged in this book and I pretty much read it in one sitting (while feeling like I needed to be in fetal position).

There have only been a handful of books that I've read in my entire lifetime that make me have a physical reaction to what I'm reading, and this book has now joined that list.

I'd recommend this if you're looking for something a bit different that will keep you engaged but is raw and real. If you're looking for a touching friendship story...keep moving.
July 30, 2018
Chasing Shadows shines a dull light on the life of Corey, Holly, and Savitri. The three of them are free runners who use the city they live in as an urban obstacle course. They are practically inseparable since Corey and Holly are twins, Holly and Sav are best friends, and Corey and Sav are dating. After a gunman shoots Corey and puts Holly in a coma she is determined to get revenge for her brother. While in a coma she has a terrifying dream about Corey and his gunman and can not let it fo upon waking up. Holly and Sav deal with their loss in different ways, while Sav is trying to forget about the incident Holly cannot let go of her hurt and anger and drives herself insane looking for the gunman and trying to get revenge for her brother.

Chasing Shadows in, unlike any book I've ever it's such a bold book and is so unique. The novel is about grief, mental illness, and friendship. I found these topics relate to my life as can most people. This book has been stuck in my mind ever since I read it a few weeks back. This story gets the reader thinking. This book is almost terrifying to read because it is so amazing writing. I would most definitely read this book for the second time. In all, I would suggest this novel for all ages because no one can pass up such an amazing novel as this one.
Profile Image for Morgan Drake.
69 reviews1 follower
July 18, 2021
Based in the city of Chicago, we start the book focusing on the two seventeen year old twins, Holly and Corey, and you really find the love for these characters. They run through the city as their own playground of fun. But, after Corey "randomly" get killed you feel for Holly as she become this new superhero her best friend and also brother's girlfriend created and follow her perspective on figuring this out becoming Leopardess. This book is very intense and focuses on one major topic of mental illness. I think this would be a great read aloud with students to show that graphic novels can touch on these hard topics while also having the illustrations to support the text. While this book might not be the best for younger students, it would be the perfect read for students around the grades of 7-12th. You could use this to bring up the topic of mental illness and how it is portrayed in society, what can we do to help this problem as human beings?
Profile Image for Emma Geng.
7 reviews2 followers
July 19, 2019
This novel starts off by telling us about an inseparable group of friends named Holly, Corey, and Savitri. These three are full of energy and love doing jumping and flipping on the streets and rooftops of their city. Suddenly one day, while the friends are hanging out, Corey is murdered and Holly injured. Everything changed from that point on. Holly starts envisioning her brother in the afterlife with a devil-like Hindu snake god. Savitri thinks twice about moving out of town to attend a prestigious college.

I chose to read this book because of its intriguing title and cover page. I actually really enjoyed this book. From the action-filled pages to its incorporation of Hindu stories and myths, there's never a boring chapter.
Profile Image for Jill Davis.
159 reviews
June 2, 2020
Alright. The beginning of the book confused me. They were jumping, scaling, and I was confused as to how and why they could do that. Later on I figured out they do hardcore training. I liked the book. I actually thought it was a bit poetic. The way the words and sentences were set were just beautiful somehow. I like the dark humor Savitri has. Now...the ending. It wasn't what I expected and for me, that wasn't actually a good thing. There was all this drama and supernatural stuff and then, SPOILER ALERT: it was all made up. That's why I didn't give this book 5 stars. It went from really good, to "huh??"
Profile Image for Sammi.
280 reviews
December 2, 2018
This book was sad. After watching a gunman shoot her boyfriend and best friend, Sav has to then also watch her best friend fall apart after her brother’s death.
The plot was straightforward. I liked the comic book elements woven throughout the story. How Holly tries to become a comic character to resurrect her dead brother. An interesting look at grief.
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