here's a review i wrote awhile ago for magpies - a fantastic magazine that focuses just on children's and YA books. (http://www.magpies.net.au)
Falling by Sharon Dogar
Sixteen-year-old Neesha has had the same ‘picture’ in her mind her whole life – a man punts a boat filled with flowers and a woman steps off a houseboat into a lake but does not resurface. She knows the pictures will continue to torment her until she can bring them to a conclusion and let the ghosts rest. Falling is a compelling story of old wrongs and forbidden love. Sammy and Neesha, passionately drawn together against the will of their parents, find out whether they are destined to play out what fate has in store for them or if they have the free will to create their own future. The traumatised Kefin is a powerful character; his anger, confusion and misplaced violence make his part in the story frighteningly real. Dogar deftly explores the persisting rifts between the old and the new Britons, especially the teenagers, with characters from both sides of the story. There are a number of flashbacks to colonial era Kashmir, which affect and explain the present-day action. Falling is not an easy book to read; the many different voices were initially confusing. However, it doesn’t take long to fall into place and the plot picks up a great pace and strong readers will appreciate just how well written Falling is. Dogar is a cross between her fellow British writers Meg Rosoff and Kevin Brooks – frightening and disturbing, but ultimately enjoyable and very rewarding.