Every Sparrow Falling by Shirley-Anne McMillan

“Family doesn’t exist, I told myself. Not for people like me, anyway.”

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Every Sparrow Falling was a beautiful and moving book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
This story centres around acceptance; the acceptance of gay people by the community, of Cariad by her foster parents, of different options and views.
I really liked the LGBTQ+ aspect of this story and how important it was. I appreciated how central it was given that the main character is straight because we don’t see that a lot of that in fiction. Every Sparrow Falling does feature religious prejudice and homophobia, as well as one scene that came close to conversion therapy, but it was all very well handled and shone a light on the important topic.
As well as this, McMillan discusses foster care. This book was actually very informative to me about the foster system and the impact it had on children in it, and I liked that. But despite these heavy topics, there were also equally important ones of friendship and what it is to be a teenager.

I really liked the characters. Cari was very well done – her voice felt very raw and teenage, an honest and meaningful point of view. But despite this, I just couldn’t seem to relate to her, and that was one drawback of the book for me. I loved all the backing characters, especially Brains and Dawn & Jacky – they were really well developed and all felt very real. I really rooted for them and their happiness.

The ending was surprising and heartbreaking – it felt a little sudden to me but I still liked it – well, not liked it, but felt deeply emotional about it.

Every Sparrow Falling was emotional and important, and I hope it changes the world.

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