The Dead Inside by Cyndy Drew Etler

A difficult read, both technically and emotionally. Cyndy Drew Etler is now a successful author, a teacher, a public speaker, a wife…but this is written in the words of the troubled teen that she was. Abused by her stepfather and homeless at 14, Cyndy Etler was admitted to Straight Inc., against her will by her parents. To the outside world Straight Inc. offered an image of ‘tough love’ rehab for drug and alcohol abuse; to Cyndy, it was an abusive brainwashing prison where she spent sixteen months of her life before being turned out, apparently reformed, into the real world.
In very blunt, direct terms, Cyndy details the emotional – and physical – abuse she received at the hands of those in charge of the facility. The reader feels her desperation as, in her need to escape, she ultimately succumbs to their teaching and systems – and then finds herself unable to ‘fit’ in the world she longed to return to.
Emotionally, a sad book of a misunderstood teen; technically, direct, but at times a little difficult to follow as if the author is struggling to put into words exactly what she saw.
I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.


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