casting shadows
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Casting Shadows Everywhere

L.T. Vargus
5 STAR Review

My best friend in college was a Dead Head. You know, Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, tie-dye, cool music, and dope. Lots and lots of dope.

My friend was way into acid. Not me, I couldn’t give up control like that, and besides, someone had to drive, right? And grass just made me sick at my stomach, so no pain. However, my friend told me about her “trips.” It was “trippy” listening to her, to say the least.

“Why,” you ask, “are getting into this? Is this a book about the Grateful Dead and acid trips?”

Well, no. But this powerful, horrifying book took me to a place in my mind that must be very like those acid trips. Weird, lost, surreal . . . and deeply, deeply moved by the experience.

Through the journal of a 15-year-old, we take a weird journey through what it means to be 15, powerless and alone. How easy it is to be swayed, to be taught by a 24-year-old sociopath who happens to be your cousin, that “There ain’t no magic power that makes right and wrong have real meanin’ is all.” It is so easy, when you are a beta, to fall sway to the alpha, especially when the school bullies become involved. To stare down that dark path, the one that leads to “Isn’t that the natural urge here? To find a way to grind the sadistic kid’s head into the ground so he can see what it feels like?”

This book moved me, pained me, in so many ways. It brought up memories best forgotten, pain, heartbreak. But mostly, it opened me up with the wisdom and compassion shown by the author. Many issues were touched on. The aforementioned bullying, of course. But also expectations, loss, grief, and how easy is is to turn an inherently good person to the dark.

Looking back on my review, it seems that I didn’t like the book. That couldn’t be further from the truth. This book touched me, inspired me, and drew me in like nothing else I have read in a very long time. I highly recommend it for what it represented to me. A walk into the dark. And a view of the light at the end of the forest.

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This book was provided to me by the author in return for a realistic review. All opinions are my own and are not predicated on receipt of the book by the author.

 

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