Number of pages: 384
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 1
Release date: September 12th 2017
*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher (Macmillan-Tor/Forge) for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.
I really wanted to love this book, but try as I might I didn’t. In the beginning, I even forced myself to laugh and tear up where I knew I should be laughing and tearing up. In the end, too many things went wrong for me to enjoy it.
Firstly, the characters are written very young. If Ruby and Everett’s age hadn’t been explicitly stated, I would have pegged them for 12 years old at the maximum, and 6 years old at the minimum. I think Ruby and Everett were supposed to come off as super innocent, but they ended up sounding far too young for their age instead. I was a really innocent 16 year old surrounded by other innocent 16 year olds, so I know what an innocent 16 year old sounds like. Dashiell’s voice also reads more like a 17 year old than a 22 year old. It didn’t help that the Bohnacker siblings called each other Dash Dot Dot, Ruby Slippers/ Ruby Ru, and Never Ever far more than they used their actual names.
This book tends to ramble. The characters will be having a conversation, and the conversation will go another direction. Then, they will return to the previous topic for no reason. This made it difficult to follow. The chapters also seemed to share every thought that went through that character’s head. There are some thoughts that are just unnecessary to include. I’m not sharing every thought I had while reading When I Cast Your Shadow, because some of my thoughts are not necessary to indicate to someone whether or not they should read it.
There also isn’t much of a plot. Dashiell basically just poses Ruby for no reason. We find out later that there was technically a reason, but the book itself makes a case for why it is a terrible one.
The villain is not only basically non-existent for the majority of the book, but he also isn’t very well done. We are told that they can feel how evil he is, but there is nothing in this book that actually proves it. “I feel his badness” (not an actual quote) is not a good enough reason.
Ruby and Dashiell have a weird relationship. Ruby is infatuated with Dashiell in a really un-sibling like way. It’s actually kind of disturbing to read from her POV because she is so infatuated with her brother.
The romance on Everett’s side wasn’t much better. It’s one of those “she would never notice me, since she’s amazing and I’m a geek”, “I’ve always noticed you, Everett” deals. That’s not even the best part; this ridiculous romance is crucial to the “plot”. It dictates not only Everett’s decisions throughout the novel, but the love interest’s as well.
Overall, I wanted to love When I Cast Your Shadow, but it had too many issues I could not ignore, earning it 1 star out of 5.