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Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein Book Review

What if the last place you should fall in love
Dear Cassie 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?
Source: Publisher
Page Count: 352 pages
After reading and really relating to Amy in PRETTY AMY last year, DEAR CASSIE was originally one of my most anticipated reads! Unfortunately, however, the book couldn’t quite live up to my expectations…
One of the reasons why I really enjoyed PRETTY AMY was that I felt like I could really relate to Amy’s character. Sure, sometimes she was whiny and filled with angst. Sure, sometimes she was a bit of a brat. But that didn’t really matter to me, because realistically, it was somehow how I really could have felt. In DEAR CASSIE, however, I found that Cassie still had that teenage angst without the relatibility Amy had. Throughout the whole book, Cassie was either swearing at her campmates or whining about her situation. I understood that she was in an extremely unfortunate situation. However, until about 80% through the book, she never bothered to change herself or make her situation better.
The love story also didn’t work for me. I did like that it wasn’t the focus of the story, but it didn’t stand out to me either. Basically, you have the classic arrogant and cute boy who’s able to warm the heart of the broken and standoffish girl. Of course, the girl doesn’t really like the guy at first, but they eventually fall in love. Realistically, I’m sure we’ve all heard of that story multiple times :/ What’s more is how crazy the romance went in the end. For the sake of not spoiling the book, I won’t give specifics. But let’s just say that it went a bit too far…
The only real redeeming factor in this book was Cassie’s eventual development. The overall message of forgiving yourself was pretty encouraging, as was her more positive character. Despite my frustration with her character, I also felt like Lisa Burstein did a realistic job of getting into her head.
Overall, however, I did not enjoy DEAR CASSIE. Not only was I frustrated with Cassie’s voice for the majority of the book, but I also felt that the romance was subpar. Teenagers or readers who particularly enjoy stories about broken people might enjoy this book more, but I’d give the book 2.5 out of 5 flowers.

Ever since Rachael ended up with Nancy Drew book in my hands, Rachael has been obsessed with the written word! Outside of reading and blogging, Rachael also spends time playing three instruments, giggling excessively, eating good food and watching good movies. Currently Rachael lives in Northern California with her family and two rabbits.


  1. Hmm... The characters here seem darn right awful. Definitely not gonna read this then.

    Lovely honest review! <33

  2. Oh no...I was actually looking forward to this one! Although, I will read Dear Amy, I don't have high expectations for this one. That really sucks about the romance. I also need my romance to mean something more in a story. :( Sorry this didn't work for you! Thanks for the great review, Montana! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  3. That's good that it turned out to be realistic and had a good message. That just sucks you weren't able to connect to the love story a little more. Great review :D


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