Friday, 22 March 2013

Blog Tour Review: Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

Source: Received a copy of the book to participate in blog tour and give an honest review.
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: Already Released.
Number of Pages: 352 (Paperback)

Description from Goodreads:
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?

I haven't read Pretty Amy yet, the companion book that precedes Dear Cassie, but I did read the novella, The Next Forever, which briefly follows Amy after her story, so I wasn't completely clueless to what had happened to Cassie, but I wasn't sure on all the details...and that ended up being totally fine! I actually kind of enjoyed the mystery of not already knowing everything. :D I'm sure I would've loved Dear Cassie just the same had I read Pretty Amy first, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary to have done so. I figured it out just fine, and ended up thoroughly enjoying Dear Cassie. :D So, I think they work as either standalones or companion novels, it's really up to you! :D

Overall, I loved Dear Cassie! :D Cassie wasn't the friendliest of narrators, and tried very hard to keep people away, but her insecurities made her appealing. I was desperate to know her secrets, and I wanted to know what had gotten her into the position she was in. I also really enjoyed her sarcasm, and her need to swear constantly kept me amused. :P Another thing that appealed to me was the way that the other characters navigated towards her. She tried to push them away, but ended up making some great friends who helped her move on from her past. I think it also helped that Cassie wasn't trying as hard to push the reader away--instead we were privy to her thoughts and were able to see just how scarred she was, and we got to see her progress as she began to finally move on and start healing.

I do think that this book may be controversial to some because it deals with some very serious topics, such as sex, pregnancy, drug use, stealing, and all the stuff that leads to kids ending up in rehabilitation camps, but I also think that they aren't brushed over lightly. The book isn't preaching and telling the reader not to do things, but it also doesn't encourage it either, rather it shows us some of the consequences, including rehab and extensive emotional turmoil.

I loved reading Dear Cassie, and was able to connect with Cassie even though we are extremely different from one another, and I don't think I'm alone in that. Cassie is a vulnerable character who protects herself with an abrasive shell and when she allows people to see what's underneath, it's hard not to like her. I would recommend Dear Cassie to people who like contemporary YA with character-driven plots and a lot of emotional turmoil. :)

About Lisa:
Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats.

She wrote her first story when she was in second grade. It was a Thanksgiving tale from the point of view of the turkey from freezer to oven to plate. It was scandalous.
PRETTY AMY May 2012 Entangled Publishing THE NEXT FOREVER January 2013 Entangled Publishing DEAR CASSIE March 2013 Entangled Publishing

Where you can find her:

Blog Tour Schedule:

March 21, 2013: YaReads | The Girl in a Cafe
March 27, 2013: Book Labyrinth | A Soul Unsung
March 28, 2013: Seeing Night Reviews | BookCrush
March 29, 2013: Imaginary Reads | Making the Grade

Tour Giveaway!
- 1 paperback copy of DEAR CASSIE (US Only)
- 1 eBook of DEAR CASSIE (International)

Does Dear Cassie sound like a book you'd like to read?
Have you read any of Lisa Burstein's other books?


  1. This one looks good! I remember when Pretty Amy came out I was interested in reading that, but never got around to it. I will definitely have to check these out sometime -- Lisa sounds like a great author!

    1. I still have to read Pretty Amy, and I'm really looking forward to it after Dear Cassie. :) She is!


Comments are like smiles. Free to give, but precious to receive. Thank you for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment. I treasure every one. Also, check back! You'll probably find a reply. :D