Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

February 8, 2013 Young Adult Book Reviews 4

cassieTitle: Dear Cassie (Pretty Amy #2) [Goodreads][Amazon]
Author: Lisa Burstein
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format: eARC
Pages: 352
Release Date: March 5, 2013
In My Opinion: Add to cart!
One Line: A funny and quick read that’s also got a lot of emotion in it.

About the Book: What if the last place you should fall in love is the first place that you do?

You’d think getting sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp for a month-long rehabilitation “retreat” and being forced to re-live it in this journal would be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

You’d be wrong.

There’s the reason I was sent to Turning Pines in the first place: I got arrested. On prom night. With my two best friends, who I haven’t talked to since and probably never will again. And then there’s the real reason I was sent here. The thing I can’t talk about with the guy I can’t even think about.

What if the moment you’ve closed yourself off is the moment you start to break open?

But there’s this guy here. Ben. And the more I swear he won’t—he can’t—the deeper under my skin he’s getting. After the thing that happened, I promised I’d never fall for another boy’s lies.

And yet I can’t help but wonder…what if?

I’d say the best part of Dear Cassie is really Cassie. She’s such a crass, stubborn, and snarky character who you can’t help but like. She’s also pretty messed up. The story revolves around her coming to terms with the mistakes she’s made, learning to forgive herself, letting go, and moving on. Sure, there’s a bit of a sweet romance in there, but the focus is of Cassie growing and evolving. Lisa’s writing is pretty raw and it seem like you’re getting a sweet story, but there’s a lot more realism and emotion in it that I enjoyed.

Cassie is stuck in the hell that is a rehab retreat where she’s forced to do some serious manual labor, tough it out with some other lost souls, battle her feelings for Ben, and let go of the demons of her past. Everything is told from her POV, as she is writing to the reader through her private journal that Turning Pines is making every participant write in. In it, she’s counting down the days until it’s over, while recounting what brought her to this place. She’s had a pretty rough life and she’s definitely not your “good girl gone bad”, she’s just had a lot of crap happen to her, done some things she shouldn’t have and had a life-altering event that she does her best to hide from the world. As things are slowly revealed, Cassie becomes more open and free, and it’s really all about her journey of self-discovery, with a lot of hilarious stuff that happens in between.

I really enjoyed Lisa’s humor, not the normal funny that you might think, but a more raw kind that you don’t see around a lot today. It was pretty refreshing. Her characters are quite an array themselves and even though Ben is a key player in all this, we don’t learn too much about him, which sucks, but it was understandable because it wasn’t really about him. I’d say the most memorable character besides Cassie would be Nez, she keeps things lively throughout the book and her interactions with Cassie were entertaining and funny.

Dear Cassie is a pretty fun read filled with colorful characters and one hilariously snarky female lead. The story starts off really strong and captures you, but I’ll admit it kind of slows down towards the middle, like it loses its steam, and my ride towards the end was a bit blase, but it was still a decent read.

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4 Responses to “Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein”

    • Vivian

      Yea, this one was def a different kind of read for me. I really liked it and am a fan of Lisa’s writing.

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