Dear Cassie

Dear Cassie - Lisa Burstein 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.