Author: Sarah Porter
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Hardcover, 384 Pages
Publication: September 12, 2017 by Tor Teen
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a 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…
I’m all about dark, twisted, macabre stories. Adding in family is just an extra bonus as Porter seamlessly incorporated both of these concepts in When I Cast Your Shadow. When I Cast Your Shadow follows the Bohnacker family, specifically twins, Everett and Ruby who are still grieving the death of their older brother, Dashiell. It’s been two months since Dashiell OD but the twins felt as if Dashiell was still around. And they weren’t wrong. Dashiell’s ghost is still lingering among the living and running away from another ghost; but the only way to accomplish that is by possessing his little sister, Ruby.
I was really stoked when I first heard the synopsis for this novel. I am all for books about ghosts, demons and family;it sounded right up my alley. I really like the concept of the novel and how Porter used dreamscape and possession. She took it to a whole new level. Especially when Dashiell or another spirit was in the driver seat. Talk about creepy! Then there were the characters. I had a problem connecting with the characters. They were pretty flawed, to the point where it pulled me away from the story; which isn’t good. I mean I appreciate flawed characters but they were too flawed, even by my standards. Ruby and Everett’s actions and choices were just plain ol’ bad and silly. They rationalize their action out of love; and I can see it from their side but most of the time it was down right disturbing and ill-advised. The Bohnacker family life is at times touching but also questionable. Everett will do anything for Ruby even if it cost him his sanity or life. And Ruby loved/loves Dashiell unconditional, but her love for her brother felt skewed and it was more like worship. If that makes sense. Their relationship felt toxic and extremely unhealthy.
When I Cast your Shadow started out promising, even enjoyable but that was short-lived as I got deeper into the story. I couldn’t get over what the characters did (or did not do). It also didn’t help matters that there were four different narrations; it was too much, too ambitious? I think having one narrator would’ve worked more in favor of the novel. In any story, It’s really important that I feel connected to the characters because if one is not connected to the characters then you become uninterested in the story and outcome; which is what happened here. Although I wasn’t a fan of the characters it wasn’t a complete lost. As I said, I enjoyed the concept and thought the writing was well done. That said, I’d round this book to a solid three stars. I really wished I loved this book and though that wasn’t the case….other readers may feel differently. I suggest checking an out a sample or except before reading.