Tag Archive: L.T. Vargus


Genre: Young Adult

*I received a free copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Casting Shadows Everywhere by L. T. Vargus is a thriller about a 15 year old boy named Jake. He has low self-esteem and considers himself weak and pathetic. He can’t bring himself to ask his dream girl Beth out on a date, and he is bullied at school. To change his life, he seeks out help from his cousin Nick, a professional burglar.

Nick takes Jake under his wing in an effort to help him become more confident. Unfortunately, Nick’s way of doing that is to break into people’s homes and steal valuables. Besides breaking into homes, Nick teaches Jake about his belief system that nothing is right or wrong. In the beginning, Nick’s ideas aid Jake in overcoming his “weakness” and allow him to stand up to his bullies. However, as time passes, Jake begins to get more aggressive, and he realizes that Nick has done more than just rob people.

This novel really surprised me. It’s written like journal entries without dates. The main character Jake is writing about his experiences with his cousin Nick and his friend Beth while including sections about his dreams and lessons from his psychology class. The writing style is interesting and fits with the tone of the story. Since it’s in Jake’s point of view, the writing can be crude at times, and there is some strong language, but it adds to the realness of the story and makes it believable.

All of the characters are well-developed and have unique personalities. Jake has a hard time standing up for himself and has a lot of self-doubt. He knows that Nick isn’t the best role model, but Nick is the closest thing Jake has to a father figure. He enjoys learning about psychology and relates everything back to his every day life. Nick, on the other hand, has a dark philosophy that he lives by and teaches Jake. Nick doesn’t believe in right and wrong. He only believes in events that have no meaning. Burglary doesn’t bother him, and once the twist is introduced, the reader finds out that robbing people isn’t the only thing Nick is okay with doing. Another important character is Beth. She has her own problems that she has to deal with in the story. She’s a smart girl with a lot of helpful advice for Jake about being able to change yourself for the better.

While there are some slow points, the novel is pretty fast-paced and full of twists. The twists in this story are some of my favorites of the year. They’re not predictable and are a nice addition to the plot. They fit in with the overall story and make sense for where the novel was headed. I’m sure all of the twists will shock a lot of readers. I know I was pretty shocked while reading. The ending is a nice wrap up and fits the tone of the story.

Casting Shadows Everywhere is not an every day young adult novel. While there are some crude moments and strong language, there are some meaningful themes throughout that make the reader think. The characters are unique additions to the story, and the twists keep the reader guessing at every turn. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys surprises and interesting characters within their stories.

My Rating:  ★★★★

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While I was reading The Broken and We Are The Goldens, I also managed to finish The Moth in the Mirror. So I was able to read two books and one novella this past week. I love feeling so accomplished at the end of each week. I think I’ll make reading more than one book at once my goal for the rest of the year. I’m not sure I will do it every week, but I will do my best. Of course, I might skip a day or two here and there to do other things or catch up, but I’m enjoying myself so far. Plus, my TBR pile isn’t looking as scary as it used to. Anyway, here are the next two books I will be reading:

Red Bang – Brandt Monroe
Genre – Fiction

Adam Murphy is a Hollywood screenwriter who has clearly lost his way. His wife, Jess, is a Los Angeles publicist who just lost her job. With the bills mounting and nowhere to turn in the City of Angels, Adam takes a chance on a complete life reboot – taking a job in Seattle at a billion-dollar, Fortune 500 technology behemoth and bringing his family along for the ride.

While working at The Company is a gloriously heady, benefit-laden playground for today’s smartest minds, Adam quickly realizes he has descended into a foreign land where the language, customs and politics will either make him stronger or cause a meltdown of epic proportions. Faced with a ‘win or fail’ attitude, Adam must find a way to deliver an innovative new product, defeat his political nemesis, align with a mysterious Company founder, and save his wife from a weather-induced depression all before The Company finds out he has no idea what he’s doing.

Inspired by the unbelievable things that go on behind closed doors of America’s largest companies, and bolstered by a warm-hearted, humorous look at one family’s fight against a Stepford-like culture, RED BANG will take you on a hilarious journey into the ridiculous hive mind of today’s tech giants.

Casting Shadows Everywhere – L. T. Vargus
Genre – Young Adult/Thriller

In his own words, 15 year old Jake is a “huge pussy.” He flinches. Always. He’s too timid to make a move on Beth, the buxom girl of his dreams, and too busy getting face-slammed into lockers by bullies to do much else. He seeks the guidance of the biggest badass he knows, his cousin Nick.

Nick is a professional burglar and makes Jake his apprentice. They stalk suburban neighborhoods night after night, ransacking houses for jewelry and sweet valuables. Nick teaches Jake the finer points of breaking and entering along with his dark philosophy – that there is no right or wrong in the world, just a series of events that happen without meaning.

At first, adopting Nick’s callous worldview helps Jake get over his fears and confront his tormentors, but he also unleashes an aggression in himself he never thought possible. And as he learns more about his cousin, he realizes that Nick’s crimes go way beyond burglary.

In the end, Jake must face not only the monster in his cousin but also the one in his own heart.

*Descriptions taken from Goodreads.

I was fortunate enough to receive these books for free. Red Bang is an ARC that is expected to be published on May 19th of this year, and Casting Shadows Everywhere was published on May 11th of last year. If anyone is interested, Goodreads is having a giveaway for Red Bang. Both of these stories sound really interesting, and I’m excited to start reading them.