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Dear Cassie

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
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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 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 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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  • 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


    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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  • 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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