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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
When The Fireworks End is a work of fiction in the coming of age sub-genre, penned for mature young adults and new adult audiences by author Alex Lund. Focusing closely on the culture and experience of growing up in a close-knit Japanese coastal community, we meet our protagonist Tomoya and his good friend Ken, who are determined to enjoy a final summer together before life takes them off in separate directions as they enter adulthood. But when tragedy strikes, Tomoya’s world shifts and he finds himself struggling to cope with the new realities and realizations which he faces. What results is poignant self-exploration and an insight into the strength inspired by true community.
Author Alex Lund has a keen sense for emotive writing, from both the psychological and social perspectives. The narration keeps us close to Tomoya through each emotional experience, the physical and mental sensations of which are sure to resonate with readers and endear us closer still to the young boy as he tries to process his new journey towards adulthood. On the bigger picture level, the coastal communities of Japan are beautifully depicted in original imagery and almost poetic literary lines, which creates a truly bittersweet atmosphere of tragedy amongst such beauty. The warmth and strength of community play an important role in keeping the novel from descending too far into the morose, and overall this makes When The Fireworks End a truly superb and high quality coming of age read for one and all.