on July 5, 2016
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Living in Justin Flaherty’s mind has never been easy. Unfortunately, things are about to get much worse…
At eighteen years old, most guys are chasing girls or dreams. Justin, on the other hand, wants to draw and be left alone. He’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but it’s more than that. He’s in tune with the Dark Energy that surrounds us all, and can see how it controls people’s actions. Sometimes, the Dark Energy will give him visions, to help him on the road to enlightenment.
When his mother hooks up with a Baptist preacher named David who believes Justin’s schizophrenia can be cured with prayer, Justin knows he has to get out—or risk involuntary commitment in a religious facility.
After a brush with incarceration, Justin takes off to San Francisco, where his drawings are not just noticed, but admired…
Justin’s bizarre and beautiful drawings create a stir in the art world. Meanwhile, he’s homeless, couch surfing, and trapped in a continuous battle with his mental illness. His salvation is a girl named Liria Czetski with a shady past. They’d met a year ago, and she’s appeared in his visions ever since. It turns out Liria has been sharing those visions, something that is a surprise to everyone but Justin…
When secrets surface, Justin is forced to realize that being a genius has a downside. Surrounded by people who want to exploit his talent, he must fight not only for his career and freedom, but perhaps for his life…
“Bugs Bunny was a true hero. Everyone was always trying to attack him, but he never fought back. He just let his enemies destroy themselves through their own ridiculousness.”
The Other Place was an extremely interesting and engaging book and definitely a departure from what I normally read. I have to say that I was extremely surprised at how much I liked it. This book is about Justin Flaherty and his journey through life, a very unconventional but extraordinary life. Justin has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but from the get go, you can tell that he is so much more than that. Justin is also brilliant, funny, beautiful and an extremely talented artist.
“It seems like the price for artistic talent like that is pretty high, sometimes.”
Life is a little harder for Justin, since he doesn’t conform to the normal standards of society and he’s just not good at the “social dance”. It also doesn’t help that his mom doesn’t want to deal with him and has her own agenda, which includes getting together with an overly religious man that wants to send Justin away.
Despite all that, Justin has great friends, and an awesome girl that loves him. I totally loved Mina, she was so amazing to Justin. I loved Justin so much! I loved everything about him, he was so cute and funny and brilliant and endearing and so not afraid to just be different.
“You’re brilliant and funny and handsome. You maybe think a little bit differently than everyone else, but that’s good.”
It’s kinda hard to explain everything that happens on the book. Even though some of the subjects are heavy, the book is pretty light and uncomplicated. This is mostly Justin’s journey and all the things that happen on his way to become the next great artist.
“You’re not crazy. Everyone else is crazy.”
Along the way, Justin also encounters Liria, who shares some of his traits and who for some reason not explained is attuned to Justin and they share the same dreams about “The Other Place”, which is the place Justin goes where everything is too much for him.
“We’re great, glorious freaks, both of us together.”
There are a few things going on at once that might seem confusing and hard to follow the story. When I originally signed up for this book, I was under the impression that this was a standalone but I believe it isn’t. There is a book #1 that I wasn’t aware of, that book is Liria’s book and where Justin and her meet for the first time. Because I didn’t read book #1, I was totally lost in some parts and I had zero attachments to Liria, especially not the way Justin has so I recommend that you read book #1 first. This book also seems to end in a cliffhanger, there’s no real ending to the story so I assume that another book is coming. Overall, this book was definitely interesting and refreshing and I recommend if you’re in the mood for something different, and special!
“I don’t feel like a genius. I feel like a man without a home or much money, and a girlfriend who is angry at him. I feel like a man with a problem they call schizophrenia, who can’t quite find the right vibrational current in order to fit into this world.”
**An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review**
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