New Novel Offers Insight Into Teenage Self-Harm and Recovery

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Ashley Sanders’ new novel explores four teenagers’ self-destructive behaviors and their recovery. Despite issues of child prostitution, gangs, homelessness, racism, and suicide, “Facing Demons” inspires by revealing that a second chance is possible.

When life is difficult, too often teenagers see no other way out than suicide, or fearing suicide, they indulge in self-harming behaviors. Author Ashley Sanders knows another choice exists, and it is never too late to make that choice. Sanders portrays four self-destructive teenagers who are given a second chance in his moving new novel “Facing Demons” (ISBN 9781426951701, Trafford Publishing 2011).

Dedicated to “those who deserve a second chance,” “Facing Demons” is the often frightening, but also inspirational tale of how four teenagers tackle their self-destructive lives when they meet in a rehabilitation program. The four teenagers are: Rebecca, thrust into child-prostitution, and seeking escape from it through suicide; Jason, a racist gang-member determined to avenge his family’s cold-blooded murder; Felicity, a manic-depressive grieving for her deceased brother and coping with her pain through drugs, alcohol, and self-harming behaviors; and Matthew, a homeless teenager, separated from his family after escaping his war-torn homeland only to end up burning himself severely.

Each character in “Facing Demons” tells his or her story in first-person, which provides an emotional experience for readers and a deeper insight into the individual characters’ minds. When Rebecca, Jason, Felicity, and Matthew come together for rehabilitation, it allows them to find camaraderie and strength in knowing others have experienced troubles like them, and their fellowship provides them support in their recovery. Together, their journeys will lead them to conflict and adventure, danger and romance, but ultimately, hope for a second chance.

Written for young adult readers, “Facing Demons” is an important look into the issues many teenagers face. For those on similarly self-harming paths, the story will resonate and provide hope for a better future. More fortunate readers will find the book educational and it will provide them with gratitude for their own lives as well as an understanding of others’ journeys. The book may also prevent other readers from entering the glamour of the underworld or a self-destructive life of drugs and alcohol.

Seventeen-year old reviewer, Avni Gupta, of Reader Views, said, “When I received ‘Facing Demons,’ I was quite excited to read it. I have always been pretty interested in reading about people who have had to go to rehab and the stories behind them. Normally, you just hear about them as a statistic, but behind every number and every statistic, there is a real person and a real story….This book was absolutely amazing. I definitely read it twice before I started writing this review! With every page I read, and every detail into someone’s story, I became more and more hooked on this book.” Avni’s response is sure to be that of numerous readers in her, and all, age groups.

About the Author
Ashley Sanders was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1984, where he has lived most of his life. He attended Eynesbury College before completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences at Flinders University. He then became a Paramedic with the SA Ambulance Service. Ashley found his love for writing throughout school and University. Although he has finished half a dozen manuscripts, “Facing Demons” is the first he has published. He is currently writing Prequels to “Facing Demons,” which explore the fascinating lives of the main characters prior to their meeting one another. He has also written several screenplays, including for the miniseries “Bazza vs. Wild.”

“Facing Demons” (ISBN 9781426951701, Trafford Publishing 2011) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit Publicity contact: Review copies available upon request.


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