Book Reviews

When I Cast Your Shadow by Sarah Porter | ARC Review

Title: When I Cast Your Shadow

Author: Sarah Porter

Series: N/A

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror

Publisher: Tor Teen

Publication date: September 12th, 2017

Pages: 384

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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…. 

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“I’ve been waking up every morning gasping and sobbing, my hands thrashing at the air as I try to grab him, stop him, before it’s too late. That nightmare is bad enough, but this was so much worse.”

Well… take a seat and grab a snack because I feel this is going to be a pretty long review (we’ll see about that). I was really anticipating this book because it seems like a pretty creepy read now that fall is almost here and, yes, you guessed right, Halloween. So I was super excited to read it and love it so I could recommend it for Halloween. But unfortunately, this was a total no for me.

I haven’t read anything by Sarah Porter before, though I own her previous book Vassa In The Night. So when I read the synopsis, it sounded like something creepy but not too scary for a little nugget like me. And, though the premise was pretty interesting, I had mayor problems with the story and the characters, and unfortunately for me, it wasn’t as creepy or horror-y as I wanted it to be.

“People almost never believe things because they’re objectively true. They just believe in whatever made-up reality hurts them the least.”

The characters were a mayor turn off to me. I hated all of them. When I started the book I didn’t hate them but didn’t like them either, but as I continued reading they started doing things that didn’t make sense and it was a “no” to me. Ruby was incredibly naive and stupid, and she was one of the most annoying characters I’ve ever read from. Her way of thinking made no sense at all to me, and sometimes I felt she was acting like a twelve-year-old little girl instead of her actual age.

And oh, man, the relationship she had with her brother Dashiell was so messed up and toxic. If I was a bit upset before, this made me salty, guys. It was so toxic and problematic and she made it feel like it wasn’t like that at all, and he loved her. And yeah, he might, but the things he did to her and the way Dashiell treated her was so bad and just because he needed something of hers and his younger brother, Everett, that nope.

The only one I felt I didn’t hate as much was Everett. Of course he wasn’t perfect and there were plenty of things he did I didn’t agree with, but if I have to choose one of the sibblings, I would choose him. He wasn’t my cup of tea, but out of all of them, he made the most sense to me, and I liked his development.

“Nothing here is real, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a dangerous place for you. Unreality can follow you out of here by circuitous routes, Ruby-Ru, and dreams can have consequences years after you think they’re long gone.”

The story had that dark and eery vibe I wanted it to have, but having so many POVs was another mayor turn off to me. I didn’t get why there were so many and not the three of the sibblings, because they only confused me even more and came out of nowhere.

I’m so sad about the whole story because usually I really love books that are so confusing and twisted, but I considered multiple times DNFed it, but I pushed myself to conitnue just to see if the ending would compensate the whole story. And guess what? It did not. It wasn’t as mindblowing as I hoped, and to be honest, I didn’t like the ending, maybe because by that time I was pretty salty with the characters and the whole story. But oh, well.

Another thing I noticed was that sometimes I felt like there was no plot at all. Maybe it was because the story was so slow and confusing and there weren’t many things you understood, but at times I was thinking “okay, but what’s the whole plot in this book???“.

So overall, even though at first I thought this book was totally right of my alley and a perfect Halloween read, the story ended up disappointing me and the characters were incredibly problematic (yes, I’m talking to you, Dashiell!).

I recieved an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.

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