Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
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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?
Why I Loved It: I have been pretty clear on this blog that I LOVE Lisa Burstein. 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.