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This Shadow Follows Me

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Composed from true life events and personal manuscripts, This Shadow Follows Me, is a riveting fiction novel of Alec Andrews and the friends and family that faltered around him.

The story begins with the death bed of Andrew's ex-boyfriend Troy who was dying of AIDS complications. Alec tries to tell his life story in hopes that he can make up for all that he could not tell T
Paperback, 222 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Joseph McGinnis
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A Child Called "It" by Dave PelzerThe Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsDear Teddy by J.D.  StockholmTelling Teddy by J.D.  StockholmStupid Boy by J.D.  Stockholm
Non-fiction Dysfunctional Families
10th out of 45 books — 53 voters
Geography Club by Brent HartingerTorn by Amber LehmanNor All Thy Tears by Gerry BurnieTurning 16 by Perie WolfordA Life Without You by Erica Pike
Gay Coming Out Fiction
17th out of 76 books — 71 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rick F.
"Composed from true life events and personal manuscripts, This Shadow Follows Me, is a riveting fiction novel of Alec Andrews and the friends and family that faltered around him.

The story begins with the death bed of Andrew's ex-boyfriend Troy who was dying of AIDS complications. Alec tries to tell his life story in hopes that he can make up for all that he could not tell Troy when he was alive. Alec's life story lurks with the self destruction of a family that drove him to crucify himself, in h
Rodney Boynton
Aug 04, 2011 Rodney Boynton marked it as to-read
I can't wait to read this. From a paragraph in the description...

"Alec is ultimately haunted by a dream where he took his own life. In the dream he killed himself, only to be told he would have to live his life over again without making the same mistakes, but not able to remember the previous mistakes to stop them from coming true."...

gave me chills up and down my spine.
Feeling incredibly guilty that it took me so long to read this, but it was worth the wait. Well written and intense.

I won a copy of this through goodreads first-reads giveaways.
Audrey Pena
Well written, an emotional ride through the life of a young man searching for love, respect, true friends, but mostly someone to trust. This story is a sad reminder that there are way too many young people being disrespected and cast out by ignorant family members stuck living in the dark ages.
I enjoyed the timely topic of AIDs and HIV in 2011.
Great novel. Very heart felt, had me in tears though and also made me laugh. I love the ending, but I can't spoil it for everyone. Joseph McGinnis has a great writing style that flows very well together. One of those novels that will stay with you. I hope they make this into a movie.
Great novel. Made me really think about my own prejudices. I am a very liberal person, but this novel made me realize I have a lot of growing up to do. Very well written and very power.
Oct 13, 2011 Josh rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: drama readers
Recommended to Josh by: found online
This novel was something I had to read slow and could not speed read. It was very powerful with a lot of twists and turns. I did not expect this novel to take the directions it did. I am amazed by this story. Even though Joseph McGinnis says it is fiction, I have a hard time believing this is not a true story. You can't make this stuff up. I think the cover does not speak to the novel as well as I expected. It appears as a major dark novel, but in a lot of ways it is very positive. I look forwar ...more
Stacey Vaughn
"This Shadow Follows Me" captured me from the beginning to the end. I have been living with HIV for 14 years. This book I will recommend to people who are living with HIV, and for people who love those living with HIV. If I could ever explain in words what my life is like, this book is the explanation.

Joseph McGinnis is a strong, compassionate man who has the courage to put his heart and soul on paper.

This book is a must-read!
From the first page you are welcomed into Alecs life with open arms. The story gives a good insight into Alecs life & the struggle facing many young men in this situation.
The book starts out as a sad heatbreaking story, it transforms into a book full of strength and courage. Full of twists and turns, and plenty of setbacks, with a beautiful ending. It's a fantastic read.

(I got this through a goodreads competition)
MaDonna Lemmen
For some reason I struggled with the beginning (probably because the subject is to close to my heart) but I'm so glad I stuck it out and continued reading. Some parts had me in tears and others laughing. The book took a twist I didn't see coming. Such a great ending. I'm so glad I won this book. It's a keeper for sure :) It makes you realize what's important to you.
Mar 31, 2012 Andreaoflove rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Adult aubiences
Recommended to Andreaoflove by: found on amazon
This book, omg this book made me really think about life and what could happen for those that do not have the stegnth to survive through the difficult time of life. I think this will never make me fill the same. I can not believe how this book has effected me. I have to tell everyone that may read this be prepared for a great journey. It is substantial.
Misty Nordyke
This book is composed from true life events and personal manuscripts. It is a fiction novel of Alec Andrews and the friends and family that faltered around him.

This story begins with Alec at his ex boyfriend Troy's death bed. Troy was dying from AIDS.
Alec tries to tell his story in hopes he can make up for all he could not tell troy while he was alive.

Alec's life story lurks with the self destruction of a religious family who drove him to crucify himself, in hopes that they were correct with the
The emotions that went through this novel were easy to pick up as I read it. I felt a little cheated at the end as the happiness was glossed over and it was so obvious that the main character need some happiness. I guess it was a statement that someone could give him the life that he couldn't give Troy.
Brenda Ayala
I kind of feel like an asshole for saying this, but this wasn't a very good book. The message is good, and one I 100% agree with.

...But the writing is atrocious. It felt so unnatural, it didn't flow at all. Contractions were sparsely used in the dialogue, which is extremely inaccurate to the way people talk these days. Skin color was capitalized, such as "I think they were more surprised by a naked White man running down the hall" or "he was a buff Black guy" which was just odd. There were far
As with any book, there is content and execution, and I am going to qualify my review on this one and focus on content. One's reaction to the book's content will depend on one's taste for drama, angst,and an honesty that is rightly described as painful. It is this content that I alternately connected with and sometimes felt overwhelmed by as I read the book. The main character, Alec, seems to have been cursed with everything from bickering parents who don't accept his sexuality to boyfriends who ...more
Roger - president of NBR United - Grace
This is a novel that starts out dark because it does not shy away from the grimmer part of reality that GLBT people like all people use sex drugs alcohol as anescape from life's unfairness and hatreds. the premise is based on a dream the protagonist had as a seven year old; that if he killed himself he would relive the life all over again without any memories of his previous life to right the wrongs so hhe wouldn't kill himself. The last few chapters are more hopeful because he get to he point w ...more
When I read the description of the book I was intrigued. When I won a copy in a Goodreads giveaway I was thrilled! I started reading as soon as it arrived at my doorstep. Here's what I enjoyed about the book: the concepts and insight. Here's what I didn't like: the writing. For me writing is probably the biggest draw or turn off in a book which is why I had to rate this so low for my own review. I felt like the book would have benefited so much from further editing and revision. The ideas were g ...more
I liked this book but had some issues with the way it was written. I thought Alec was telling Troy about his life but at times we was refering to Troy as if he were speaking to him and others like he was telling someone else about him. And I really had a problem with not learning from other people's mistakes. I mean there were so many ways for Alec to avoid getting HIV and he was still an extremely careless person. I ended up skimming through a big part of this book because it was confusing and ...more
This book was very overwhelming. I think the art of passion is difficult to write. The story explains something about the world we are all scared to actually respect. The author hit it on the nail. I did want more from the characters. I want to see what happened to them. I have to say then ending was well thought and made sense. One of the best books I have read in a long time. It was raw and needed for people to read. I didn't know half of this stuff, but I'm a simple person. Glad I read this b ...more
Jan 01, 2013 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone going through problems with their sexuality.
This was an amazing book. I got it off of Goodreads and while unpacking in my dorm I came across it again. It interested me so I read it. I finished it during my trip in Israel. For me it seemed very personal because I am/was going through some of the same stuff that is in the book. I went through the book and highlighted parts which I felt that I connected to me. The problems the main character goes through with his sexuality, his health, his love life, and his mental health was described in a ...more
Sally Jessica Hvid
I won this book in the Goodreads Giveaways. This is a very emotional thought provoking story that had me hooked from the beginning. It is well written and have such detailed expressions of the characters upbringing. It is such a shame that this is how a segment of our own population are treated even in today's age and such tragic consequences often result. A "sad" but good read that i highly recommend.
Jessica Stewart
This novel was a quick read. I loved the story line and the monologue style writing. It is amazing to see novels on these social issues be talked about. This Shadow Follows Me, was a great journey in the life of someone that is strong. I found the in depth jump into a mind very refreshing. This is not just another written novel. You can tell the author spent time working through these characters.
The Shadow Follows Me...A journey not for the tender hearted. Shaping words from life experience that force the reader to relate to similar experience in their own journey....When the author speaks his becomes our truth..we feel his pain..his need for love..
Patricia lambert
What a fantastic book sad but uplifting also.
I couldn't put this down and read it quite quickly.
I wish there was more to the end to see what happens to Alec.
I won this through first reads.
Feb 26, 2012 Amanda marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I spend a majority of the part of this book I read thinking WTF? I am totally lost and giving up.
Darren Mitton
This was quite touching and sad.... I DO recommend it.
Fantastic, moving and sad. I couldn't put it down.
Made me cry from the 1st chapter. Lovely, bittersweet.
john albarado
great book a must read
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I live near San Francisco where I focus on a career in fiction writing. This Shadow Follows Me book 2 will be out in 2015.

I have an extensive background in creative writing and social science. My first novel, This Shadow Follows Me, hit the shelves in 2011 where it was followed with immense controversy. I write to cause change and poignancy for readers. I want the reader to experience different r
More about Joseph McGinnis...
The Weathering, Dawn of the Apocalypse

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“A couple hours went by, and the storm began to turn back to the sea. The dark clouds rolled away, leaving white, fluffy ones in their place. We were safe, and the rock in the distance was still there. We stepped out of the car and walked over to the rock, noticing the families of seals were back again. The seals were strong and ready to make it through any storm that would fall their way. My parents’ love was still there; that is what love means. I envy that love, and I hoped to find it someday... and I did.” 3 likes
“My mother picked me up in her arms, touching my checks comforting my distress. I stared into her eyes and held her hair in my small hands, for the first time realizing what a moment in time meant. I touched her cheek and then looked away, knowing this was the truth to life, and there was nothing I could do about it. The truth that her death would one day occur made me realize that I never wanted her to leave my side. It was something I could not control, something no one could ever stop no matter how strong they were.” 2 likes
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