For readers of Girl Interrupted and Tweak , Cyndy Etler's gripping memoir gives readers a glimpse into the harrowing reality of her sixteen months in the notorious -tough love- program the ACLU called -a concentration camp for throwaway kids.-
I never was a badass.Read more...
For readers of Girl Interrupted and Tweak, Cyndy Etler's gripping memoir gives readers a glimpse into the harrowing reality of her sixteen months in the notorious -tough love- program the ACLU called -a concentration camp for throwaway kids.-
I never was a badass. Or a slut, a junkie, a stoner, like they told me I was. I was just a kid looking for something good, something that felt like love. I was a wannabe in a Levi's jean jacket. Anybody could see that. Except my mother. And the professionals at Straight.
From the outside, Straight Inc. was a drug rehab. But on the inside it was...well, it was something else.
All Cyndy wanted was to be loved and accepted. By age fourteen, she had escaped from her violent home, only to be reported as a runaway and sent to a -drug rehabilitation- facility that changed her world.
To the public, Straight Inc. was a place of recovery. But behind closed doors, the program used bizarre and intimidating methods to -treat- its patients. In her raw and fearless memoir, Cyndy Etler recounts her sixteen months in the living nightmare that Straight Inc. considered -healing.-
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Etlers unnerving and heartrending memoir begins in 1980s Connecticut when she was 13; Cyndys father died years earlier, leaving her in the care of her mother, whose second husband sexually abused Cyndy. When Cyndy began fighting back and attempting to escape, she fell in with a bad crowd from nearby Bridgeport. Choosing to enter foster care rather than live with her mother, Cyndy was eventually sent to Straight, Incorporated, an ostensible rehab program/boarding school where she spent more than a year being abused, bullied, and brainwashed into believing she was a drug addict. Given Etlers recounting of absurd and abusive scare tactics such as spit therapy, in which Straightlings are spit on by higher-ranking children, and carrying, in which newcomers are carted around by their belt loops and underwear, readers may be stunned that a place like Straight could exist, let alone that a parent would willingly send a child there. Details about the history of Straight, Inc., are included in an afterword, not seen by PW. Ages 14up. Agent: Myrsini Stephanides, Carol Mann Agency. (Apr.)