When I Cast Your Shadow by Sarah Porter
Published: September 12th 2017 by Tor Teen
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
NetGalley provided an eArc in exchange for an honest review
Dashiell Bohnacker was hell on his family while he was alive. But it’s even worse now that he’s dead…
Ruby. Haunted by her dead brother, unable to let him go, Ruby must figure out whether his nightly appearances in her dreams are the answer to her prayers—or a nightmare come true…
Everett. He’s always been jealous of his dashing older brother. Now Everett must do everything he can to save his twin sister Ruby from Dashiell’s clutches.
Dashiell. Charming, handsome, and manipulative, Dash has run afoul of some very powerful forces in the Land of the Dead. His only bargaining chips are Ruby and Everett. At stake is the very survival of the Bohnacker family, bodies and souls…
This story was a lot different than normal ghost stories about haunting and possessions, which is why I picked it up in the first place. Then it took me about 4 months to actually finish reading this book. It took not having TV and wifi for me to be bored enough to tackle this book.
What I thought and what we got were almost two completely different things. I thought we were going to get a very different take on a ghost story, and on that aspect I was right. What we got was a dysfunctional family who for some reason love Dashiell even with all of his faults. Honestly, I don’t know what they all see in him. Everyone and their mother seems to be in love with him, and all he did was used people and did drugs until he died and then continued to use people even in death. I couldn’t find a single trait that made me like him as a character. He was, I think 20, or so and talked to his siblings like they were 5. His siblings didn’t help their cause, because they acted like they were 5 as well.
What made this book hard to read was that I did not like any of the characters. Dashiell, I already mentioned above, but to go into further detail he was just one of those characters that you dislike in the beginning and then you were supposed to like by the end but it never happened. Everett and Ruby were not much better, like most everyone else, I had high hopes for Everett but he was on a one track mind and never really grew as a character. Actually, none of the characters actually grew. Ruby, I thought, was the most annoying character in the entire book. It seemed as if she whined over every single thing, and took everything as a personal attack against her and Dashiell. Speaking of that, they had the weirdest relationship no siblings should ever have. It almost bordered on incestuous (with a scene that was and then was never brought up again like it didn’t even happen). That right there almost made me stop reading, but I was almost to the end and I had suffered so much already I figured I might as well finish.
Ok, I think I’ll leave the characters alone now and talk about something else. The plot. This book had the potential to be very good and original, but it was seriously lacking. First, the beginning moved agonizingly slow. Then, when new characters were introduced, I had no idea how they fit in or what their role was in the overall scheme of things. Okay, he is the bad guy. Why is he the bad guy? For about 95% of the book, I never really understood Dashiell’s motivation for anything until the big scene at the end. Everything else had moved so slow, I thought the big finale would take up some time but no it seemed as if it was over in a page or two. Then it was like everything went back to normal. It was strange. Very strange.
Overall, this book was not my favorite of Porters. I loved her Vassa in the Night and the writing style was pretty much the same in both books. I think if I liked just even one character in this book I would have enjoyed it much more.