Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: The Other Place by Elizabeth Roderick

The Other Place
Elizabeth Roderick
(Other Place #2)
Publication date: July 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

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…

Goodreads / Amazon

My Review

Rating:  4.5/5 stars!

What a great book!  The Other Place is book two in the Other Place series by Elizabeth Roderick.  It is not a standalone, but it is not necessary to have read book 1, The Hustle, first; although, it does reference characters from the first book.  I also, really enjoyed book one, so there is that.

The main character, Justin, is a sweet, complicated eighteen year old with mental illness.  His mother is a nasty woman who looks at Justin as a nuisance and a meal-ticket.  She is unstable herself, bringing different men home all the time.  As the book begins, Justin’s mother tells him a man and his daughter are coming to help them.  The man turns out to be a preacher with bad intentions who wants to whisk Justin away to a “camp” that will reform him.  Justin has a burgeoning relationship with his friend, Mina, who stands by him despite his differences.  When things get tense, Justin, with the help of Mina, her father and Uncle, takes off to get away from his mother and the preacher and toward the opportunity of a lifetime.

The cast of characters are all quite quirky.  Lyria, from book 1, The Hustle, reappears and plays a big role in the book (but again, you don’t have to have read book 1 to get her back story.  It is explained well enough in The Other Place).  Roderick has a unique talent of writing complex, flawed characters with depth and likability.  Justin, in particular, was written so well.  You almost feel like you are in his mind, at times.

The Other Place is not a romance at heart, but there is romance and sexual situations are alluded to.  The book ends on a cliff-hanger, so I am assuming a third book is coming.

The Other Place is a unique and honest look into the life and mind of one young man with mental disease.


Author Bio:

ELIZABETH RODERICK grew up as a barefoot ruffian on a fruit orchard near Yakima, in the eastern part of Washington State. After weathering the grunge revolution and devolution in Olympia, Washington, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, she recently moved to a small cluster of houses amidst the vineyards of California’s Central Coast.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and worked for many years as a paralegal and translator. She is a musician and songwriter, and has played in many bands, rocking some instruments she doesn’t even know the real names for, but mostly guitar, bass and keyboards.

Elizabeth writes novels for young adults and adults; short stories; and memoir which is way more interesting than it should be. Her stories are about love, death, gang warfare, and madness; her characters tend to be of the type that society generally shuns: addicts, convicts, and the mentally ill. She believes if people get to know these characters in stories and in real life, they’ll find them more likeable than they originally thought.

She applies Hunter S. Thompson’s Gonzo method to fiction writing. It often gets a little heavier than what she had in mind, but she chalks it up to forced consciousness expansion.

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