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25 January 2014

I've mentioned this book in one of my earlier posts this week, this is a book I received.

Casting Shadows Everywhere
L.T. Vargus
Swarmy Press
Publication Date
11 May 2013
This is a YA novel and clearly intended for the YA / teenage market. Both the title and the cover appealed to me straight away. 

The main protagonist is Jake, a 15 year old American teenager, living with his mother. By his own admission, he is a pussy who gets pushed about by school bullies and can only dream about the lovely Beth from his school. But then there is Nick, his cousin, who takes Jake under his wing to teach him to be able to stand up for himself. Only, Nick is not a very desirable character and has a unique style of teaching. He makes Jake his 'apprentice burglar companion' and tries to teach him 'what life is all about'. Jake does learn, and discovers an aggressive side in him which he didn't know was there. The story than takes a much more sinister turn and things will change for Jake.

The story is written in 1st person by Jake and uses his language, so I had to get used to this first. But the author has got it just right without being cringy. Jake is quite a deep thinker but there is also a fine and somewhat tragic humour within him. I liked about him how he befriends the 'not so popular' kids in school (an autistic boy for example). My perception of him changed throughout the story. Whereas first I felt a bit sorry for him, towards the end I was surprised by the changes in him. (Without giving too much away): Poor Beth! 

Here are some extracts which I highlighted:

The truth is that I am nothing like him. Nick, I mean. I am the one who froze up. The one that will never get the girl. The one that wet the bed up until the age of 14. The one who gets picked on and pushed around. I mean, come on. Nobody would fuck with Nick.


At this point I have probably spend more time in my life watching McDonald's and Wal-Mart commercials than i have spend talking to my own father. Kinda weird, you know?


(And yeah, I did choose King Cobra primarily because of the cool cobra on the bottle. It's also very reasonably priced. Bonus).


In any case, I am not scared now. That is the truth. I don't want to say that I feel powerful, cause that sounds weird, but I feel in control of myself. Like before I didn't know how to protect myself and now I somehow do.  I thought I would need to learn like fighting techniques or something, but it's not like that. It's like some animal thing just clicked into place, and everything makes sense now or something.


Like the goddamn idiots that line up around the block to get whatever new Apple gadget. They have this fervour about them like it's a religious experience, you know? Like they want it to be that. Desperately. They want to be so excited about this gadget, because maybe this time it will give heir life meaning. But it doesn't.  It just means you can watch episodes of Top Chef on a small pad instead of on TV. So congratulations.