Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Book Review: Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

Goodreads summary:

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?

My review:

I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped.  I found it hard to care for the main character, and some parts of the plot just seemed unrealistic to me.

Cassie is an interesting main character.  You start off disliking her, and I know she's the type of character who's supposed to grow and change so that you end up liking her at the end of the story.  However, while I did feel sorry for her by the end of the book, I still didn't like her much, and I didn't like some of the choices she made.  But, I've read quite a few other reviews where people ended up loving Cassie, so this might just be me.

The romance was okay.  It was both realistic and unrealistic.  On Cassie's side, I can see why she doesn't want to let herself trust and fall in love with Ben (this part of her character was done very well), but this went on for so much of the book that I started wondering when she'd finally admit she was in love with him.  As for Ben, I didn't think it was realistic that he never gave up on Cassie.  For one thing, she kept a lot of secrets, so he didn't even know her that well.  And after her rejecting him so much, I was surprised he still kept coming back.

I like some of the supporting characters, though.  Rawe, Nez, Troyer were all complex characters.  But to be honest, the plot lost my interest at times.  A lot of what happens while Cassie's at camp is just kind of boring to read about, and it was only the fact that I liked some of the minor characters that made it more interesting.  Also, I wish some of the swear words had been edited out.  I understand that it's part of Cassie's character and is meant to show how tough she is, but it was really just overkill sometimes, and it did lessen my enjoyment of the story.

I have conflicted feelings about Dear Cassie.  While I didn't like the main character and had some problems with the plot, it wasn't by any means a terrible read - just not for me.  I'll have to try some of this author's other books sometime; hopefully I'll like them better.  If Dear Cassie looks interesting to you, and you like reading about tough heroines, I'd say this is worth giving a try.

* I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thanks!

My rating:  5 out of 10 (2.5 stars)

~ The Bookworm


  1. Aww. This looks really good, but I've been seeing a lot of neutral reviews.

    1. Thanks, Sarah. If you think it looks good, you might still want to give it a try. Seems like it's been hit or miss with most people.