We Can’t Be Friends by Cyndy Etler

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publish Date: October 3rd

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon


In the follow-up to Cyndy Etler’s chilling memoir, The Dead Inside, Etler details her turbulent readjustment to life at home and high school after spending sixteen months in Straight, Inc. Advertised as a rehab program for troubled teens, in reality, Straight subjected Cyndy and her fellow Straightlings to cultlike brainwashing and bizarre “treatment” methods. There was no privacy, no freedom, and no room for error. But when Cyndy is finally released, she discovers she’s living by an entirely different set of rules than her peers. What new extremes will she go to in order to fit in?


Horrifically truthful, this book tells the true story of Cyndy Etler after her experience in a Rehab Center called Straight Inc.. After Cyndy’s release her life remains turbulent and the amount of times Cyndy mentioned she wished to return to the horror that was Straight left me sick inside.

The effect this book had on me was mostly psychological. I kept wanting to reach out to this girl that kept rushing into bad situation after bad situation and to just be there for her. To be one of the few people in her life that didn’t have some sort of ulterior motive. Gosh there are a couple of people I wanted to strangle for treating Cyndy the way they did. But I especially wanted to reach out when she called herself a druggie or when she felt like she wanted to go back to the hellhole that was Straight. That’s when I got really frustrated. Maybe even more then that though was when it felt like she had to do certain things to fit in or to be liked and that that hurt a lot to see.

My favorite parts of this book were the little lights of hope that came when she talked about those people who lead her into writing. Those parts made it so I couldn’t help but smile. It made me feel that now finally she is at the place where she is meant to be.

This book is inspiring because it is one where you know that despite her many struggle Cyndy made it out of Straight and eventually does start to heal and then goes on to write her story. This is hard book to read, but it is an important one and I am happy to have read it. What Cyndy went through was only one story out of the many Straightlings that entered through Straights halls and that’s the scary part, it was all real and it affected more kids then it ever should have.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

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