Customer Reviews for

Dear Cassie

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted February 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Dear Cassie was a nice book. There were plenty of funny moments,

    Dear Cassie was a nice book. There were plenty of funny moments, as well as meaningful ones. There were characters with their quirks and secrets. I got a clear idea that the book was mostly about forgiveness and, most importantly, Cassie's forgiveness of herself. I liked Cassie and how her story progressed. She had an attitude, yet had a lot of fear. However, she did soften a bit and begin forgiving herself.

    I did like the book, but it didn't leave much impression on me. It didn't stand out as a fantastic, must-read contemporary read.

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  • Posted July 10, 2013

    (source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a re

    (source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and Netgalley.)
    This is book 2 in the ‘Pretty Amy’ series, although this could probably be read as a standalone novel.
    17-year-old Cassie is being sent to camp to straighten up after being arrested for drug possession the night of her prom.
    Why is Cassie so angry though? What makes her constantly pick fights and swear? And can camp really help Cassie?


    This was an okay story, but I found it a bit boring in places.

    Cassie was obviously a very angry girl, and every other word out of her mouth was the f word. She spent a lot of time pushing people away, and telling people that she didn’t need them, when really she was punishing herself for the mistakes that she had made.
    Strangely enough it seemed that she still wasn’t over being stood up at her prom, even when she had more important things to worry about, and still blamed a lot of other people for the way things had turned out.

    The storyline in this book was mainly about Cassie and the things she learned about herself whilst at camp. There was a touch of mystery over exactly what it was the Cassie couldn’t forgive herself for, although I personally guessed what that was very early on in the story. There was also a bit of romance, although not much, and also a little insight into the lives of the other campers.
    Although the story was alright, I did find it a bit boring in places and very little seemed to actually happen. Most of the story was taken up with Cassie moaning over one thing or another, or trying to get cigarettes from one of the other campers. I also thought that there was a lot less humour in this one compared to ‘Pretty Amy’ which was a shame.
    The ending of the story was okay, although I’m not really sure Cassie made that much progress. She certainly hadn’t improved her language, and I don’t think she’d really forgiven anyone, least of all herself for the events since the prom. I thought the whole idea of this book was for Cassie to move on, but I wonder if she will continue to repeat past mistakes.
    Overall; an okay story, if a little dull in places.
    6 out of 10.

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  • Posted May 11, 2013

    Cassie has been sent to 'rehab' for the events that happened on

    Cassie has been sent to 'rehab' for the events that happened on prom night in Pretty Amy, the first book in the series. However, while she was expecting a spa-like atmosphere where she would be sharing her feeling in front of her peers, what she encounters at Turning Pines is at the other extreme of that scenario. Through hard labor, hiking and other physically straining activities Cassie is to work through her problems so that she can get on with her life and serve the sentence she was handed down. What she was not planning on was encountering her demons head on and opening her heart to another boy, especially after her experience back home.

    I loved this story! If I thought that Amy was complex and suffered through a lot of heartache after the events on prom night, Cassie exceeded Amy's emotional turmoil and then some. This time around I found myself not only sympathizing with Cassie, but also emotionally invested in her well being and survival.

    From the heart wrenching emotions that had me crying along with Cassie and feeling her frustrations, hesitations and pain to the lightness in spirit of having finally found a shred of hope in having a future, Lisa Burstein did an amazing job in bringing this emotional charged coming of age story to the page.

    I loved the way the author went about telling Cassie's story through diary entries. By using this method the author plunged me head-on into Cassie's emotional state bringing forth her every emotion in a way that truly touched me and endeared her to me. I admit that when I met Cassie in Pretty Amy I thought that she came across as a bully - selfish and uncaring. I was happy to see that this was all a front, a way for her to hide her true self so she wouldn't get hurt. Although she came across as strong, independent and a fighter, to have her break down and shed all her armor was a beautiful sight to see.

    Although Dear Cassie is the second book in the Pretty Amy series it can be read as a stand alone since the author provides a lot of back story of what happened in the previous book so that the reader can follow the story easily.

    I received this title from Entangled Publishing through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    Dear Cassie is Lisa Burstein¿s follow-up/companion novel to Pret

    Dear Cassie is Lisa Burstein’s follow-up/companion novel to Pretty Amy. 

    After the whole prom night incident Cassie ends up getting arrested. She is given a choice to either go to jail or to a rehabilitation camp. Rehabilitation it is. She learns the hard way that there are consequences and that every action as a reaction. 

    I liked Cassie. She has a tough exterior, but inside she is completely different. Her big bad attitude is just a way to keep people at bay. Inside she is scared, lonely, and filled with guilt over the choices she has made. 

    She is given a journal at Turning Pines that she must write in daily. And it is through the journal that I was able to see the pieces of her past more clearly and discover what is really tormenting Cassie. 

    Cassie meets Ben at the camp even though he is intrigued by her, she could not care less about him. The way she blows him off only makes him all the more curious and he does not give up so easily. Being burned before I could totally understand why Cassie is not interested at first in Ben. It is so hard learning how to trust someone again. Especially when she is also hiding a secret of her own.

    Dear Cassie is an emotional story about a girl who is scared, confused, and unsure of the right choice to make. I think that Cassie being sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp helped her to work through some of her problems, learn to forgive herself, and grow. I would recommend this book to fans of Realistic Fiction/YA Contemporary. 


    ** I received this book courtesy of Entangled Publishing/Entangled Teen in exchange for nothing but my honest review. Thank you**

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  • Posted March 31, 2013

    Where do I start with this?  I fu**ing love it! And Cassie is pr

    Where do I start with this? 
    I fu**ing love it! And Cassie is probably one of my fav characters now. She's so real, so normal and at times, such a mess I can't help loving her. 

    This is the first Lisa Burstein book I read, I had Pretty Amy on my TBR pile since before it came out, I just haven't got the chance... But trust me after this, I'm so reading it!

    Cassie got arrested on Prom night and instead of jail, she gets send to boot camp: no cell phones, no bathrooms, no internet and no earings. Absolute Hell. But for her, getting arrested isn't the real reason she's there. There's something else, something worse that lead to boot camp. 
    What's even worse is that Lila run away and she was the one behind what got them arrested, and Amy ratted her out to avoid jail time. 

    There are many things I love about Dear Cassie:
    The book is told in the form of diary entries, and through them we get to know Cassie in such a raw and basic level. 
    The secondary characters add to the story in a particular way each. Troyer is everything Cassie isn't and through her silence and notes she helps Cassie trust in someone again. I also like to how in her up front way, Cassie was just what Troyer needed. Nez is Cassie's other roommate and probably the bane of her existence but she knew just how to push Cassie's buttons. 
    And Ben... He slowly but surely makes you fall for him. He's everything Cassie doesn't want, what she's afraid of, but at the same time she can't stay away.
    The relationship between Ben and Cassie is one of the best things of the book. Is slow, sweet, innocent and heartwarming. It has a first love feel to it and Ben is probably one of the most loveable male characters ever. 

    At first, I wasn't too happy with how easy to see what "the thing" was, but as I continued reading I saw this wasn't about "the thing" so much as it was about how Cassie was dealing with it. Denial is a powerful thing, and putting into word something painful can be one of the hardestthings to do, reading Cassie's entries as she tries to get through that and somehow live afterwards you learn to love her, all of her: the tough girl thiat curses non stop and the scare one who hides behind her. 
    The ending was a bit abrut maybe? I mean I knew that was the end, I just thought there would be a bit more to it. In a way it fitted Cassie's personally perfectly. She just ended that chapter of her life.
    I Just want more of her... I need more of her. 

    Dear Cassie is a raw, emotional journey about lost friendship and heartbreak. Is about how sometimes we make desitions that later become too painful. Is story about forgiving yourself and lear to love yourself again. Is about finding love again.

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  • Posted March 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    'Dear Cassie' is a raw and emotional novel about Cassie Wick, wh

    'Dear Cassie' is a raw and emotional novel about Cassie Wick, whose life has basically sucked for as long as she can remember - and only gets worse after prom. She's arrested for crimes she and her two best friends committed the night of prom. Only the one behind everything that happened that night has taken off and the other friend ratted Cassie out in order to avoid punishment. Now Cassie's left taking all the blame and she's being shipped across the country to rehab. But this rehab isn't what Cassie's expecting - this is a rundown summer camp reformed into rough rehab for messed up kids like her. The real reason Cassie believes she's been sent to this hell on Earth isn't because of what they did on prom night - it's what happened afterwards - what a cute guy made her believe and the horrible things that happened because of it. Now Cassie's tough outer shell is threatening to break wide open and all her secrets and pent up feelings are going to come gushing out. To make matters worse - there's a sweet guy at Turning Pines who is hell bent on getting to her, even though she swore she would never let it happen again.

    This was a deeply emotional and very real novel about a teenage girl's life and the consequences one must make in life - along with the heavy toll they will take. Cassie was a great main character - she was obviously very flawed and damaged, but she doesn't try to hide it. She knows that she has big issues and she's trying her best to fight her feelings by keeping everyone - including herself - from getting close to her heart. We get to see Cassie undergo major character growth and maturation throughout the novel, which is deeply personal and emotional for both the character and the reader. I had an inkling of Cassie's secret early on in the novel, although it takes a good while for her to admit to it in the book. Her journal entries, which make up the book, show her struggling with the truth and not being able to accept or forgive herself. It was an interesting choice to use journal entries as the way of telling the story, but it works really well because the reader gets to see the occurrences throughout the novel along with getting to experience Cassie's thoughts and feelings. The entire novel was gritty and realistic with lots of emotion and even some romance thrown in. It felt like reading a real journal of someone going through these terrible events, which I liked because it felt authentic. The novel deals with some deep topics like love, forgiveness, self realization, guilt, family, and friendship. It deals a lot with personal issues like forgiving yourself, accepting your flaws and shortcomings, learning to move on from devastating choices and events, and taking control of your own life. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary fiction.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    The first thing that caught my attention about this book was the

    The first thing that caught my attention about this book was the cover. I used to play around with pictures, adding text that was almost invisible on the image but still you could see the basic outline and maybe read it if you stared at it long enough. When I saw this cover, that was all I could think about and I knew right away that I loved this cover without a doubt in my mind. Then I was certain that if I could love a cover just by looking at it, studying it, I knew that the story just might capture me as well. I actually debated about whether to request the title or not for awhile and then decided that there was no way that I couldn't. I loved the cover too much not to. So here I am, dry tear tracks on my cheeks (thank you very much, Lisa Burstein, you've made it onto my list) and determined to give this book the review it deserves. Although, I know that I probably won't make you cry over it. 
    Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein is a heart wrenching story of Cassie, a girl who probably punishes herself more than anyone would think she deserves. In her life, all she had was her brother and her two best friends to depend on but by the time everything went down, all she had was her brother. One of her best friends served her up on a platter for a lesser sentence for a crime they all committed and it is was all because of a boy, one who didn't deserve either of them. This boy destroyed Cassie's world and was the final nail in her coffin. Now forced to spend one month in a wilderness rehab, she must face the demons that she hid away under the walls she built around it and the guy who just might be worth her trust. The only solace she can find is in this Assessment Journal as people betray and hurt her constantly. She knows without a doubt that she deserves all of the punishment they give her, in fact she punishes herself just to teach herself that she isn't worth anything. She isn't worth forgiving. But people are determined to help her see beyond her faults and realize that she can forgive herself despite everything that has happened. Will she be able to forgive herself? Can she move beyond the things that weigh her down? Will she allow herself to be happy?

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  • Posted March 15, 2013

    \Pretty Amy won my heart, and "The Next Forever" and n

    \Pretty Amy won my heart, and "The Next Forever" and now Dear Cassie have made sure it stays won.  Her writing style is just so... so... perfect.  Well perfect for me. 
    Dear Cassie, a companion novel to Pretty Amy, picks up a little after Pretty Amy.  This time the book is set with Cassie's POV *which is amazing* a little after Pretty Amy left off.  Cassie is off to "rehab" which is actually a wilderness training kind of place.  Personally, rehab sounds much better because at least it's indoors with a toilet that flushes and a shower with warm running water.  Cassie finds herself at a place that used to be a summer camp for kids that is now hosting seven messed-up kids who have an array of issues from stealing and compulsive lying to drug addiction.  Sounds awesome right?  
    The thing is Cassie has more than that infamous night of prom to regret.  For those who read Pretty Amy, Aaron is going to pop up again in this book.  And you will hate him more than you already do.  It's just going to happen.  Trust me.  There is so much more to this story than a month in the wilderness.  There is so much more to Cassie than just a tough girl who doesn't take anyone's stupidity. 
    Ms. Burstein once again clearly depicts that all people are broken.  We all have something royally messed up in us that we have to find a way to get past.  If we haven't come across the event that will do us the pleasure yet, we will.  The characters surrounding Cassie make the book so much more real and relatable and awesome.  Each one has a role to play, a life to live. 
    The character development in Ms. Burstein's books is just... my gosh.  It's amazing.  There are few authors I know that do what she does in her books.  Cassie, even though she will drive you nuts, is so incredibly deep *as many people really are* and everything she is appears among these pages.  I was pulled in, emotionally put through the wringer, and left feeling emotionally exhausted but incredibly satisfied.  This author is one who will make you think, feel, and above all enjoy the riding she is taking you on. 
    As the teacher I am, I will say that there is a lot of language in this book.  It's not something I would put in the hands of my middle schoolers, but there are a lot of high schoolers who would relate with what Cassie is going through during the book.  Teenagers need authors like Ms. Burstein, and us adults get to enjoy her too. 

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  • Posted March 13, 2013

    By now, it¿s pretty much a given that anything Heather Riccio te

    By now, it’s pretty much a given that anything Heather Riccio tells me to read, I will read no questions asked.

    So when she asked for reviews for Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein, I was all over it. Heather never steers me wrong and Entangled publishes amazing work. I have a free copy of this for the express purpose of review, but I enjoyed it so much that not only is it a definite “MUST READ” for me, I’ll be purchasing a copy so that Lisa will write many, many more.

    Book Blurb:

    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?

    The Good:

    Needless to say, the story is gripping. It’s told entirely from Cassie’s point of view (obviously, as it’s a diary) and all of her turmoil is conveyed in raw, moving descriptions of her time at Turning Pines.

    Ultimately, Cassie is just an average teenager. She isn’t extraordinarily bad. She isn’t even really a little bad. She’s going through the same sorts of things that all teens go through as they try to figure out who they are and where they fit in with the rest of the world.

    As Cassie gets closer and closer to admitting to herself and more importantly to Troyer (I’ve already asked for her story!), it’s heartbreaking to see the effect that her secret has had on her.

    Cassie finally learns to start trusting herself, and others, again.

    Seriously, the writing is incredible. I felt all the feels that Cassie felt and I was right back in the middle of all the self-doubt I had when I was her age.

    Lisa doesn’t fall into the sometimes trap of writing teen characters for adults. They don’t have it all together. They aren’t confident. Her characters are still learning and trying to figure it out. They really are teens. Not teens the way that adults wish they’d been. So, BRAVA!!

    The Bad:

    Since it’s about Cassie and told from her point of view, I want more about the other characters! I’m looking at you, Lisa!

    Overall:

    Dear Cassie is incredibly touching. It’s a deep soul-searching journey for Cassie, as she struggles to come to terms with the long and often difficult journey into adulthood. (Doesn’t that sound all official and stuff?)

    Honestly, it’s just an incredible read and I think you should sit down and read it. Now.

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  • Posted March 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I loved Lisa Burstein's first book, Pretty Amy and have been eag

    I loved Lisa Burstein's first book, Pretty Amy and have been eagerly awaiting Cassie's story. It was everything I expected and more. I knew she was a broken person, more broken than Amy, but I didn't expect to embrace her as much as I did. I saw more of myself in Cassie, then I did in Amy so I think it was easier to connect with her. Their personalities were so different, yet the books gave me that same raw emotion. I really just love Lisa Burstein's writing and she has become an auto-buy author for me. She is able to capture the dark and real emotions that the characters go through so well that you want to climb inside the book and either hug them, yell at them, or smack some sense into them. That is what I look for in a book. That's what makes a book reach my favorites list!

    Cassie is not a character that I liked very much at first. The perception we get of her from Amy's story really makes her seem like a bully who doesn't care about anyone except herself, and really, she kind of is. But when you start to get to know the real her, and she gets to know herself better, things really change. It was so heartbreaking to know that she was beating her self up both literally and figuratively over something that she had gone through. That she wasn't able to forgive herself and thought she needed to be punished. She felt like she deserved worse than what she was going through. It was so sad to read some of it. She is not really a strong person for most of the book. When we start off she is actually weak, hopeless, unforgiving, and very much alone. It isn't until she lets herself open up, just barely to one of her cabin mates, and to Ben that she is able to start wanting to change herself. To start forgiving herself for things that she can't change. In the end, I really liked Cassie.

    What I really loved about this one was Ben. He is such a big part of it and he was so funny, and charming, but could still be super aggravating at times too. I loved the lightness he was able to bring to it. He never lets up on Cassie even when she tries so hard to push him away. He knows that there is a better person underneath than what she shows on the surface. He also knows that she is really hurting inside and wants to help her. He wants to care about her and have her care back. Ben was quite a mystery for a lot of the book. We know why everyone else is at this camp from hell, but we don't find out why Ben is there until almost the end and it made me love him that much more! I loved that he pushed Cassie's buttons and wouldn't let her shut him down no matter how many times she tried. He knew he wanted to get to know her and that there is a good soul inside of her even if she didn't think so.

    This book was amazing. I love to read stories that are realistic, honest, and deep. I love being proven wrong about what I might initially think of certain characters and grow to like, and even sometimes love them when I thought there was no way. The beauty and honesty of the writing is just breathtaking. I love how much Lisa Burstein can make me feel while reading her words on a page. I loved Amy's story, I loved Cassie's story, and I can't wait for Lila's story because I have no doubt I will love that too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Dear Cassie is Lisa Burstein's follow up to Pretty Amy. Dear Cas

    Dear Cassie is Lisa Burstein's follow up to Pretty Amy. Dear Cassie follows Cassie's story after the girls are arrested for possession and intent to sell after being stood up at the prom.

    Cassie has been sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp as punishment for her transgressions, which just may go deeper than the arrest. Real, raw, hurt, vulnerable. These things come across loud and clear. This is a story about a girl who deserpately wants to be loved and wanted and never has.

    There's an interesting cast of characters at Turning Pines. There's Nez, the compulsive liar, Troyer, the girl who won't talk, and then there's Ben. Ben with a good heart who accepts Cassie for who she is and wants nothing more than to help her.

    But, of course, Cassie wants nothing to do with Ben after what she went through before Turning Pines. Before that thing happened that sent her to Turning Pines in the first place.

    I would highly recommend this book to all teenage girls. And to us older girls, who are still teenagers at heart. I so wish there had been books like this when I was that age and so desperately needed to know I wasn't alone in the way I felt. Thank you, Lisa, for writing a compelling story that has the potential to touch, and change, lives.

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  • Posted March 5, 2013

    Review: Dear Cassie picks up after the events that transpired i

    Review:

    Dear Cassie picks up after the events that transpired in the book Pretty Amy. Cassie has been sentenced to Turning Pines wilderness rehab and is none to happy about it. Unfortunately for her it is that or jail and well 30 days in the woods doesn't seem so bad when you look at it from that perspective. Cassie is broken and doesn't know how to put herself back together. Worse she can't get that jerk Adam out of her head. Then their is Ben who just keeps trying to tear down the walls she has built up. He stirs feelings in Cassie that she'd prefer to keep buried. Along with her cabin mates Nez and Troyer will Cassie survive Turning Pines or continue on her path to self destruction.

    Lisa Burstein has a way with words that is really special. The characters come to life on the page. What they feel, we the reader do to. Her style of writing just flows across the page. I really have no complaints, her writing is what keeps me coming back to this world.

    As for the characters, I loved how fleshed out everyone was. Yes, the story focuses mostly on Cassie but that didn't make the others any less entertaining. Even the Adult characters Nerone and Rawe had depth and made you feel that they were just as much a part of the experience as those sentenced to Turning Pines. Everyone had a part to play and they did it very well. As for my favorite character, hands down it was Troyer. Though her character doesn't speak (instead writing everything down) for most of the book she also had some of the best scenes and I loved her spunk.

    Now while I highly enjoyed Dear Cassie I did find flaws. Cassie was much more enjoyable this time around but I could of used a lot less angst. Her situation sucks, I get that. What I don't like is her constant self loathing, It's not like she was an innocent bystander in all this. I said this on twitter while reading Dear Cassie but I still mean it. If a drinking game were invited from a book Dear Cassie would fit the bill. Cassie has this annoying habit of punching herself in the stomach anytime she gets emotional and since she's almost always internally punishing herself it happens quite often. She has a reason for doing this but, it doesn't make it happening any less of a nuisance. I didn't expect sparkles and sunshine from Cassie however I would of liked her growth as a character to move forward quicker than it did. Instead it felt like she regressed the moment she was faced with the unpleasant task of living in the wilderness, without her entourage of Amy and Lila in tow.

    I also really wish the book had ended differently. Cassie was healing finally which after all she had been through was great. However the ending did feel rushed and unsatisfying. I sort of thought it would of ended with a glimpse of Lila instead. Since I'm assuming we will get a book from her perspective as well (least I hope so).

    Overall Dear Cassie was a great read, I did enjoy it. The world building, plot developments, and pacing were perfect but the few faults it had did keep me from giving this book 5 stars. If you like Young Adult Contemporary pick this up. With that being said, I will be rating Dear Cassie ¿¿¿¿.

    *I received this book to review from the Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    I was given this review copy from the publisher in exchange for

    I was given this review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    After being arrested on prom night (which you can read about in Pretty Amy, another awesome book by Lisa Burstein) Cassie is sent to Turning Pines wilderness camp. Here she rooms with two other girls who have just as many problems as she does. She also meets Ben, who despite being attracted to she initially keeps pushing away.

    Dear Cassie is beautifully written, with depth and understanding. We see all facets of Cassie's character, from the snarky to the desperately vulnerable. It's an emotional rollercoaster of a read. I couldn't put it down and would one hundred percent recommend it to anyone.

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  • Posted February 20, 2013

    I really loved this story! Cassie comes across as such a tough g

    I really loved this story! Cassie comes across as such a tough girl but underneath she is just broken and trying to deal with things that have happened in her life. I didn't want the story to end! I really need to know what happens next;)

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