I was given an ARC of this book for my fair and honest review.4 ½ Stars out of 5
I really enjoyed “Dear Cassie.”
I thought Ms. Burstein did a very good job of making her likeable but broken at the same time, a hard feat. “Dear Cassie”
comes after the book “Pretty Amy,”
which I didn’t know prior to reading. Had I realized that, I would have read “Pretty Amy”
before reading “Dear Cassie.”
While it isn’t mandatory to read “Pretty Amy”
first, I think it would have given me more insight into Cassie’s character and what exactly happened to her on Prom night which was just skimmed over in “Dear Cassie.”
I think that was the major flaw in the book. The lack of explanation of what exactly happened on the girls’ prom night, because the events are what landed Cassie in the rehabilitation camp and it was also the impetus to the devastating life changing event that nearly consumed her afterward.
The book follows Cassie over the course of her thirty day stay at a rehabilitation camp. We see her progress from a broken, miserable person who tries to hide behind a hard, snotty, foul-mouthed attitude and is absolutely adamant not to face her past—to a person at the end of the thirty days who, while still not perfect, is finally open to learning to face her past and forgive herself and move on.
This brings me to the thing Ms. Burstein did absolutely awesomely. She didn’t end the book with a perfect version of Cassie. She was still a broken individual who had a lot of work to do to heal and forgive herself. It would have ruined the book to have Cassie and her love interest walk into the sunset hand-in-hand both fully recovered, functional people who’d been completely reformed. That didn’t happen and that’s what made this book Superb.“Dear Cassie”
will have you laughing, crying, angry, empathic, and rooting for the characters through the entire book. I highly recommend. I’ll be reading “Pretty Amy”
based on my experience with “Dear Cassie.”
Reasons the book lost a half star: Language. I know Cassie was a hard-nosed, crude person trying to hide her fears and true feelings, but I still felt the language was over the top. Secondly, I felt some of the secondary characters were flat. I would have liked to have seen them interact more—have more of a group dynamic, especially Ben. While the glimpse we get of him, he is adorable, but I think we could have learned so much more.Bottom line: I loved the book and highly recommend it.