" - Kirkus
"This is a gritty, hard-hitting, and, for many readers, unfortunately necessary exploration of what's really behind the lures of self-destructive behaviors, and what real recovery is and isn't.
" - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The companion to The Dead Inside, "[An] unnerving and heartrending memoir" (Publishers Weekly)
This is the story of my return to high school. This is the true story of how I didn't die.
High school sucks for a lot of people. High school extra sucks when you believe, deep in your soul, that every kid in the school is out to get you. I wasn't popular before I got locked up in Straight Inc., the notorious "tough love" program for troubled teens. So it's not like I was walking around thinking everyone liked me.
But when you're psychologically beaten for sixteen months, you start to absorb the lessons. The lessons in Straight were: You are evil. Your peers are evil. Everything is evil except Straight, Inc.
Before long, you're a true believer.
And when you're finally released, sent back into the world, you crave safety. Crave being back in the warehouse. And if you can't be there, you'd rather be dead.