Dyed Souls

Dyed Souls

by Gary Santorella


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781788038096
Publisher: Troubador Publishing
Publication date: 04/17/2018
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.59(d)

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Dyed Souls 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
ClaireBear74 More than 1 year ago
this book by Gary Santorella was terrific! Once I started reading it was hard to stop until I’d finished the whole thing. It was all I could do though not to rush it… this isn’t a ‘quick-easy beach read” but more like something you sink back with and let it take you away from your safe, ordinary world for a while. I enjoyed Santorella’s literary voice and way of writing both the narrative and the character dialogue that progressed the plot at a nice pace -- intelligent, shocking and at times upsetting and sad, and not predictable, and (most of) the characters were all genuine and interesting in their own right and they all felt very real, not like cliché figures - flawed, and it made them more believable, more human, if you will. Nothing I hate more than perfect leads! (Boring!) I have to commend Mr. Santorella on the way that he managed to tell not only an addicting, engaging story, but did so in a way that I didn’t feel like I’ve read this a million times before. Sure it’s a book about a precocious young man who has family and social issues, and faces the challenges of an uncertain adolescence… but it has philosophical and intellectual depth it covers an array of important themes and topics about life in general. Nicely edited and only a few minor formatting glitches but nothing that hindered my reading experience at all.
JennaBrewster More than 1 year ago
much to my surprise, I found “Dyed Souls” to be more emotionally complex and intelligently-written than I first gave it credit for. It seems to have something of everything… seriously. Family drama, romance, death, rape, philosophy, personal struggles, teen life, abuse, addiction, humor, and social/cultural/mental issues… but I was impressed by the seamless narrative transitions and the way that we are able to experience the story through Charlie’s perspective, but we are still able to really feel what the other characters are experiencing as well. And while I’m not usually a fan of reading about the emotional angst of a teenager in extended narrative form, here it not only worked without feeling gratuitous (or to navel-gazing), but it really added to the depth of the characters, especially in regards to Charlie’s and his mom’s relationship with one another- definitely more complex than a typical mother/son relationship and it affects his interactions with others around him. The writing was fluid and had great pacing…. Always found myself reading for longer than I planned to—especially towards the end. But I think it will wide-ranging appeal due to the fact that it comes across in a mature manner, but is relatable to a younger audience as well.
SamRyan More than 1 year ago
Lately I’ve been in a rut of quitting books and not picking them up again because I lost interest at one point and just never continued. And honestly for a while in the beginning I wondered if that was going to happen here too, because it took a while for me to really get into it. It was intriguing enough, and Santorella does a good job setting the stage for Charlie’s unorthodox life and his relationship with his mom, as well as his unique personality right off the bat. But it seemed very heavy on the narration and while this is fine, it also was unclear exactly what the exact point was… what were his goals, what is making us invested in his fate… why we care. I know that sounds maybe harsh, but it’s true. Things just seem to happen, yes, it is edgy and evocative and troubled, but it took me some time to really connect. But fortunately, I kept going--- because I was in no way expecting things to develop as they did! The book description only hints at the true scope of the things that Charlie goes through in the course of the story, as well as with the other people, like his mother, and how their actions impacts others as well. Not formulaic or cookie-cutter at all, Santorella’s writing is candidly-natural. Even though there are definitely some horrifically dark moments (that kitten scene is very upsetting), in a way this book is more ‘enlightening’ than anything I’ve read in a while, and very introspective. Makes you think about Charlie’s life – his choices and the cards that fate has dealt him – what happened with his mother, and how it impacted things with them and even the rest of both of their lives— her fate was a bit of a shocker too. The ending was beautifully bittersweet. This is more of a ‘snapshot’ of life versus some straight linear ‘beginning, middle, end’ story, and when I was done I found myself pondering Charlie’s future. Definitely a moving story that I’ll remember and would recommend to others. While not a perfect book (is any, really??) In my opinion it is well worth the read and I look forward to more great novels by Gary Santorella.
BenjisMom More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars What can I say about this book? First off, I can tell you that “Dyed Souls” is far more riveting and involved than a brief summary can properly describe (at least in my opinion). A delightful mix of some of my favorite themes in books – it is excellently written, with literary, thoughtful prose that belies keen intelligence and maturity of younger characters (so as to be readable to adults as well) character-driven, with profound life-changing events, flawed characters, and the loss of ‘innocence’ in a memorable, dramatic way. Gary Santorella hit the metaphorical nail on the head over and over again each step along the way of Charlie’s emotional journey back to his past, and what he faces in adulthood all these years later. This compelling story moves from scene to scene effortlessly, and Mr. Santorella shows exceptional talent when it comes to believable storytelling. He has the ability to make the reader feel like we are really there in this world and part of Charlie’s life – whether it’s with his mom or grandpa, at the Treatment center, or returning to face the ghosts of his past. While mostly a character drama, it touches on so much more—how we can err and make mistakes, and the challenges one must go through, regardless of the when or where. Couldn’t put it down and can’t wait to read more from Mr. Santorella. Recommend for ages 16+.
MegKing More than 1 year ago
just a heads up…when starting “Dyed Souls” by Gary Santorella, make sure you don’t have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won’t want to stop reading until you’ve finished it all! Trust me on this! The book starts off very enticing, setting the tone for the book and how Charlie’s story is going to be different than perhaps what we are used to reading about…and just keeps going from there. Warning: this book will touch on some serious issues, and there are some scenes that might upset you. Santorella holds nothing back in terms of exposing the darker, damaged side of humanity, and the story is better for it. But not for those who need a sanitized fairy tale with a sweet happily ever after. The characters and storylines are so well-developed you feel like you know them personally, and I think what I liked the most about this book was just the overall feel the author managed to create where it felt intimate, like a close friend was telling me this really riveting and engaging story that I didn’t want to stop listening to. The writing is very descriptive and you can picture everything perfectly. One of the better young-adults I’ve read in some time, and would appeal to fans of John Green and Steven Chbosky.
SherriWarner More than 1 year ago
This novel by Gary Santorella was really good and so different from what I normally read, but I really enjoyed it! I was impressed with how he managed to work in many real-life events and social issues with this sentimental, and shocking tale. It is intelligent, profound, and poignant but still had its darker moments and some surprising twists. I enjoyed the personality of Charlie – how bright he was and while he really does sound much older and wiser than his 13 years (but we see at the end it is because he is older). All these characters experienced deep and relevant life dramas, and intense conflicts and it does have its lighter moments as well, much is connecting through mutual suffering and helping each other to get stronger. We feel transported not only into their lives, but their experiences and it is fascinating to watch Charlie’s relationship with his mother unfold throughout the novel. I thought that overall the book was very incredibly written – quite literary and almost had a poetic quality and even though I did wonder on occasion where exactly the story was going (what the true conflict was), it was interesting to see how it all tied together in the end. Recommend to YA/NA literary fiction/drama fans. Some language and adult situations.
GillianH More than 1 year ago
oh wow, I loved this book!! I was drawn to the description and liked the easy writing style of the author in the beginning pages (that shark hunting metaphor was bloody brilliant), so I read the whole thing – in just one afternoon and evening! I was really impressed! I liked Gary Santorella’s way of writing scenes and characters where there isn’t all this excessive descriptions or needless actions, but everything was focused and mattered to the heart of the story. We really get inside Charlie’s psyche… it has much in the way of insightful and profound moments, as well as solid character development as his relationships with others, from his mother, to grandparents, to a girl he crushes on and even his friends at the treatment center all shape his development into a ‘man’ – one with demons and flaws and scars that may never really go away. In the beginning I remember thinking that it seemed kind of slow and that I was anxious for something to ‘happen’. But then as it progresses and we see some flashbacks, and new developments, you realize that those ‘slow’ times are just as important for the story because you see just what an impact it all has on his whole life and of innocence. This is just a slice of life that felt so real—almost like reading a memoir, but I am quite sure is not the case…… It is so powerfully written and I did like getting to know Charlie (and the others) and witness his struggles and experiences. Ponders and reveals some harsher realities of life and of human nature, but good things too. Recommend for readers of literary fiction/ coming of age/ family drama. Adult language and some sexual/violent content.
essieh More than 1 year ago
In “Dyed Souls”, author Gary Santorella brilliantly delivers a literary treat that had me captivated from the first to the last page. The characters and scenes are so well depicted that I felt like I was right there in the story with Charlie, his mom and grandpa, Margo, Javier, Jon, and all the others in this gut-wrenching, emotional tale of growing up in in a different time (this is set in the 80’s), but not the conventional childhood most people know, but one that is lacking a father and has a troubled mother. Despite the emotional trials and tribulations, Charlie shows intelligence, resilience, as well as weakness, and courage, and ultimately some dramatic character growth that will keep you hooked to the final scene. Page after page I was drawn deeper and deeper into this emotionally engaging and at times quite surprising story. All too often I read works that feel clearly derivative of other books and although I appreciate literary influences, when something this original comes along it is a refreshing change of pace from the norm! Some of the writing was downright lyrical in the simple elegance of the prose, and other times I was nearly breathless from the intensity and rapid-fire, gut-wrenching events. It packs such a huge emotional punch, and I enjoyed the end even though it isn’t super ‘happy’ all around, it fits well. I was surprised to see that this seems like it is Gary Santorella’s first novel? (at least I didn’t see any others). It reads like it is written by a seasoned pro! Recommend for readers of literary fiction, coming-of-age drama.
KayleeeKS More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars "Dyed Souls” (perfect title!) by Gary Santorella is an excellent book that captured my attention from the beginning, pulled me in, and never once let go. Each scene was so descriptive and written with such insight and clarity, normally I don’t like books written in first-person present-tense but it works perfectly here. This is a great blend of “real life” issues (murder, death, mental illness/instability, family drama, first love, sexual encounter) and appreciated the profound depth and complexity to these different characters. And while it might have more narrative than normal ‘YA” novels, it flowed smoothly from one scene to the next… never a “dull part” where you get bored or want to skip ahead… in fact totally the opposite with the various interweaving plotlines and watching Charlie develop, and the ramifications of his tormented familial relations…. The descriptions were very strong, and I mean with the author’s word choice… vivid and powerful with a nice literary slant, and while I do think at times some of the dialogue and conversations weren’t really necessary—more chit-chat that did little to advance the plot or the tension— it was authentic and real, like how people/teens really talk and act. I felt like I was genuinely inside Charlie’s life experiencing the world through his eyes, for better or worse. The last chapter was executed in a manner that really made the whole story work, in my opinion. I hope to read more from Mr. Santorella in the future as he has a natural gift for creating a powerful story and bringing memorable characters to life in an unpredictable and unforgettable way.
LauraClarke More than 1 year ago
this novel by Gary Santorella was amazing! I really liked it, even more than I anticipated I would. There are charming and sweet moments, some intense and scary, some definitely sad and jaw-dropping… definitely different from many books I’ve read lately because I usually read paranormal romance. In a way it reminded me of novels like Catcher in the Rye, or The Outsiders—books featuring teen protagonists, but with an adult feel, heavy issues, and more real-life situations than just silly teen shenanigans or superficial romance. Charlie is very intelligent, and questions everything. His situation is more unique, but he still faces many of the same familiar issues that many have experienced at some point on their lives – as well as a few tragedies and awful situations that hopefully most of us don’t. But it is his choices and his interactions with the characters that shape his destiny and theirs - each participate in the story in their own meaningful way and provided depth to the overall story dynamic so as to not make it just another run-of-the-mill “coming-of-age-drama’. Santorella’s writing is literary and evocative and some of sentences he wrote were positively profound. One of my favorite lines --and I hope this is not a spoiler!-- “I have tried to reconcile the fact that the seed of my conception was also the germination of her destruction”. Wow… just wow. Would love to read more from him in the future.
CodyBCB More than 1 year ago
A very impressive effort by author Gary Santorella in his literary novel “Dyed Souls”. While this has the raw, intimate feel of a bio/memoir it is a novel (and therefore fiction) but definitely manages to authentically cover experiences that will affect some people on some level---from difficult parentage and lineage, to strained relations and a loss of family and homelife stability, among other things… they are just so poignant and real. Santorella’s writing is fantastic and kept me turning the pages very quickly – finished it in just two evenings! (fast for me). Characters that are flawed and three-dimensional. Even the side characters (and events) are drawn, with complexity and emotional impact – especially with Charlie and his storyline. Overall very solidly-crafted and with steady rhythm – nice balance of narrative and dialogue but in the beginning if felt more mundane or things just ‘happening’ that didn’t forward the plot much. Early on I yearned for more heightened action and a clearer hook, but when it came, boy, did it deliver - and definitely not predictable! (and even shocking!) I don’t want to spoil anything, but by the end I was turning the pages as fast as I could, and marveled with how much life story and profound experiences Mr. Santorella managed to get in these pages in such an impactful and entertaining way. Really ran the gamut of emotions with this one and was even a little sad when it was over – I wanted more! Best suited for mature teens and older. Recommend.
JhonniP More than 1 year ago
At first I thought this novel would just be about Charlie’s troubled childhood and maybe falling in love (or having his heart broken) but it is about so much more than just that. It’s about finding out who you are, good and bad, with ups and downs and conflict and important relationships and the crazy parts of life with characters who will take you by surprise. I liked the unpredictable feel, but also took comfort in its familiar, classic tropes. There are some pretty shocking reveals and twists that give the book a whole new perspective, and I absolutely loved that last chapter – how it brought it all home like that. Terrific writing, and I was surprised at how quickly I finished reading it. Never a good place to stop! There is a lot of narrative – more than a ‘dialogue-driven’ book like most YA’s are, and that gives it substance and more personality insight that many lack. I did not like all the italics when doing dreams/flashbacks as that is hard to read in such quantity. Slows it down. Some characters are more fleshed out than others, but nevertheless a remarkable coming of age novel that will entertain and make you think and make you feel.
SteffyC More than 1 year ago
Well-written, heart-wrenching (and warming), and with a timeless feel, “Dyed Souls” by Gary Santorella is an absolute must-read for fans of literary drama and coming-of age novels. While the main characters are still very young for most of the story, it definitely has a more adult tone to it, both in subject matter and in narrative voice. This is not the ‘voice’ of a normal 13-year-old (referencing Darwin and Dante and just being incredibly self-aware, mature and articulate), so this is not a ‘young-adult’ book only, even though the cast is younger. Through Charlie’s first-person narration, we are given a candid look into his troubling childhood, where he deals with issues with his family and his peers and himself. I was really intrigued right from the opening pages as we really feel like we are in Charlie’s head and heart though this pivotal, tragic time in his young life. He experiences many difficulties of his upbringing – born of a mother who resents his existence (for good reason) and has many problems of her own. I think Mr. Santorella did a great job of bringing in a very authentic feel and letting the characters carry the weight of the story, instead of contrived melodrama. The pace is as fast, with short chapters and dramatic scenes throughout (more towards the end). It has the edgy rawness of life’s struggles set against the backdrop of adolescence. Great character changes and conflict – both external and internal- and I liked the ending. Not some forced ‘happily ever after’ but real and organic. Haunting. Recommended for mature teens and older fans of literary fiction and drama.