Death and love in When I Cast Your Shadow with Sarah Porter (and a giveaway)


when i cast your shadow

When I Cast Your Shadow

By: Sarah Porter

Publisher: Tor Teen

Publication Date: September 12th, 2017

A teenage girl calls her beloved older brother back from the grave with disastrous consequences.

Dashiell Bohnacker was hell on his family while he was alive. But it’s even worse now that he’s dead….

After her troubled older brother, Dashiell, dies of an overdose, sixteen-year-old Ruby is overcome by grief and longing. What she doesn’t know is that Dashiell’s ghost is using her nightly dreams of him as a way to possess her body and to persuade her twin brother, Everett, to submit to possession as well.

Dashiell tells Everett that he’s returned from the Land of the Dead to tie up loose ends, but he’s actually on the run from forces crueler and more powerful than anything the Bohnacker twins have ever imagined….

I’m often drawn to fictional worlds which are almost our own, just… with a few key alterations. WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW is set in contemporary Brooklyn, and many of the locations described are real places. The Bohnackers live in one of the most beautiful and expensive neighborhoods, Park Slope, where everything is lush and comfortable and there are gorgeous old brownstones lining all the streets.

The trouble is that the world of ghosts keeps breaking through, pursuing the living through their dreams. The peace and safety of the Bohnackers’ lives is just an illusion. The family’s oldest son, Dashiell, has died of an overdose. But he’s returned to haunt and possess them, and he’s not alone.

So often in books and movies, people are possessed by something alien, unfathomable. But that never felt true to me, and I wanted to create a mythology of haunting and possession that’s closer to my own experience. After my ex-fiancé was murdered many years ago (long story) I dreamed about him every night, and most of those dreams were terrifying. The Land of the Dead that Ruby explores in WICYS is the same place I saw in my own nightmares. I know friends who went through something similar when they were grieving, especially after a violent or tragic death.

In real life, we’re most vulnerable to being possessed by what we love. Our own memories and longings take over our minds, or we can’t let go of destructive people. So Ruby and Everett still love Dashiell, even though they know he’s trouble, and it’s their tenderness for their dead brother that lets him possess them. They miss him, and that’s what opens their hearts to invasion.

So, who was I writing for? Anyone who’s ever lost someone they loved. Anyone who’s ever been haunted, whether by their memories or by their feelings for a living person. Anyone who knows what it means to live with ghosts, and how hard it is to let go. I hope WICYS will offer them empathy and maybe even a bit of solace.



SARAH PORTER is the author of the Lost Voices Trilogy (Lost Voices, Waking Storms, The Twice Lost) in addition to Vassa in the Night—all for the teen audience. For over ten years she has taught creative writing workshops in New York City public schools to students in grades K-10. Porter also works as a VJ, both solo and with the art collective Fort/Da; she has played venues including Roseland, Galapagos, Tonic, Joe’s Pub, The Hammerstein Ballroom, The Nokia Theater, and the Burning Man festival. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two cats.
Photo Content from Sarah Porter


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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author image, info, giveaway, and more were provided by Jean Book Nerd Tours.

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