Raincoast Books

What Will You Read Next?

Dead Inside

A True Story


Available: 04/04/17
5.5 x 8.25 · 304 pages
Ages 14-17 years
CDN $24.99 · cl

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Cyndy Etler

[An] unnerving and heartrending memoir… "-Publishers Weekly

A fast-paced memoir that gives readers a glimpse into the unbelievable reality of a young girl's 16 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'sjean 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."


A modern-day Cinderella, CYNDY DREW ETLER was homeless at fourteen and Summa Cum Laude at thirty. Today she works at an alternative high school, cheerfully teaching ex-convicts that books work better than drugs. She lives with her husband and dogs in Charlotte, North Carolina. Visit cyndyetler.com.