When I Cast Your Shadow
Author: Sarah Porter
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
A teenage girl calls her beloved older brother back from the grave with disastrous consequences.
Dashiell Bohnacker was hell on his family while he was alive. But it's even worse now that he's dead....
After her troubled older brother, Dashiell, dies of an overdose, sixteen-year-old Ruby is overcome by grief and longing. What she doesn't know is that Dashiell's ghost is using her nightly dreams of him as a way to possess her body and to persuade her twin brother, Everett, to submit to possession as well.
Dashiell tells Everett that he's returned from the Land of the Dead to tie up loose ends, but he's actually on the run from forces crueler and more powerful than anything the Bohnacker twins have ever imagined....
Praise for WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW:
"Tragic and engrossing, filled with nightmarish dreamscapes and menacing villains, it also treads the tender terrain of family, and the strange and sometimes dysfunctional ties between siblings. Highly recommended!" ―Kendare Blake, New York Times bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns
"You'll never think of your nightmares the same way again. Darkly seductive. Sarah Porter’s writing glitters and her storytelling stuns in this twisted tale of siblings, love, and death." ―Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
"Porter offers a poignant consideration of how far we will go for the people we love." ―School Library Journal, starred review
"A wildly innovative, whip-smart, and utterly spellbinding testament to family, memory, and love―and the messes and miracles of each―poised to possess legions of readers." ―Booklist, starred review
"A haunting tale of possession that explores the ghostly landscape of dreams and nightmares―but more importantly, the particular dynamics among siblings, both oppressive and redemptive." ―Kirkus Reviews
Top 10 Best Pieces of Writing Advice
2) Keep a special journal, and write down every random, crazy thought that flows through your head for ten minutes before you go to sleep every night. Make sure to keep the journal private, so you never have to imagine what anyone else would think of it! Over time, you’ll start to discover all kinds of ideas you didn’t know you had. (All my published poems came out of this process, and some stories, too.)
3) Ideas come from writing, not writing from ideas. If you sit around waiting, you’ll probably be disappointed.
4) Trust your own vision.
5) Forget about writing what you know, and write what you see in your mind. That world is yours alone, and it depends on you to reveal it. You are its only window!
6) No one else can be you, or write what you’ll write.
7) Love your characters, your dreams, your words.
8) Remember that literature is bigger than you are, and your voice is one voice in a force that is vast, wild, and magnificent.
9) Your writing will take over and create you, rather than you creating it. Let it happen!
10) Ignore any advice that feels wrong, no matter who’s giving it. In the end, you’re the only expert on your own work.
When I Cast Your Shadow is by far one of the most unique and imaginative books I've ever read. Even now, trying to write this review, my mind continues to reel. This is going to be one of the types of reviews where I don't make much sense and I ramble if I'm not careful. I don't want to do that, so I'll just break down the major points that I loved.
Plot: Completely original and nothing short of awesome. Unlike anything I've ever come across. It's a really complex blend of contemporary and paranormal that twists you up inside throughout the entire novel. I absolutely love anything supernatural - the weirder, the better. I haven't really read anything concerning ghosts or possession (at least not in a long time), so this was fresh and new for me. I adored every creepy and twisted aspect of the plot - from the ghosts possessing bodies, to visiting the borderlands and the Land of the Dead, to the battle of spirits and everything in between. There isn't enough room for me to list and explain each thing I loved and why, but I can honestly say that every single part of this novel had me captivated from the opening lines to the last word.
Characters: Each of the major characters - Ruby, Everett, and Dash - were all complex and well rounded. They were all very different from one another, yet all were realistic in their own ways. I loved getting to know each of them - seeing their emotions, fears, hopes, memories, and everything in between. There were definitely interesting secondary characters we meet too - Aloysius, Mabel, Paige, Dr. Bohnacker - each with their own interesting personalities and stories. I really loved seeing the characters' different relationships with one another and how complicated they were on so many levels. It made the story not just creepy, but also heartbreaking at the same time.
Writing Style: I have to mention this, mainly because the author did a wonderful job in my opinion. She chose to write the book in the first person, but from several different point of view. The majority of the story is told from Ruby's and Everett's perspective, but we also get portions from Dashiell, Mabel, Aloysius, and Paige. The first person is by far my favorite writing style because of the incredibly personal level the reader connects with the narrator. The fact that the author chose to write the book this way was fantastic, but when she mixed in not two or even three - but several - narrators, it blew the story out of the park (at least for me). It gave it a whole new depth that wouldn't have been there otherwise, and it was so much more powerful and intense this way. I couldn't have loved the writing any more. It was a perfect fit for the story and what needed to be told.
Overall, this was an amazing book that still has my mind spinning. I'll definitely be re-reading it some point soon, just to see what else I can pick up on. I very highly recommend this for fans of YA paranormal, horror, fantasy, and even contemporary!
SARAH PORTER is the author of the Lost Voices Trilogy (Lost Voices, Waking Storms, The Twice Lost) in addition to Vassa in the Night—all for the teen audience. For over ten years she has taught creative writing workshops in New York City public schools to students in grades K-10. Porter also works as a VJ, both solo and with the art collective Fort/Da; she has played venues including Roseland, Galapagos, Tonic, Joe’s Pub, The Hammerstein Ballroom, The Nokia Theater, and the Burning Man festival. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two cats.
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