Monday, March 25, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

We are so very excited to participate in the Rock Star Tours, Dear Cassie Blog Tour. 
Lisa Burstein has quickly made a name for herself with her all too realistic YA Contemporary, Pretty Amy, and the sequel, featuring one of Amy's best friends and partner in crime, Cassie is already causing quite a commotion in the blogging world. 
We were lucky enough to get on the tour and snag our own arc so we could share our own thoughts of the very sassy and brassy Cassie in all her glory.

We hope you enjoy our spotlight and Shelley's review. 
Don't miss the rafflecopter GIVEAWAY at the end of the post and please be sure to check out the other stops on the tour. The schedule and links are also below.

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.

 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

If you've been following the blog you know I also just reviewed Pretty Amy and it blew me away. If you haven't read that review you can find it here. I ate up Amy's story like a pack of soft, airy red vines- left craving more and eager- to jump right into Cassie's exploits. And wow, it was so much more than I expected.

If you've met Cassie, you know she's a girl who doesn't put up with anyone's crap, and she doesn't let anyone get too close. 
After the events on prom night and being deserted by one bff, Lila, and "sold out" by the other, Amy- Cassie gets sent to a rehab camp you could only describe as every teenager's nightmare. Armed only with a paper bag brown uniform, an assessment diary, and outdoor toilets, she's stuck with two crazy bunk mates, a band of misfit boys, and two militant leaders for 30 days with the task of figuring out where she went wrong. Talk about torture.

Cassie, despite her "bad attitude" and ability to push everyone away, is so likeable. I couldn't help but sympathize with her situation. She wasn't really a bad girl. She certainly let herself be disillusioned by her so-called friends and didn't make the best of choices- again and again. So here she was at Turning Pines Camp- or Camp Hell- with the opportunity to make some serious changes and maybe even learn something about herself.
This camp was tough love at it's finest. Rawe (pronounced Raw), as the girl's team leader/counselor was hardcore. I didn't always agree with her methods but I loved her character. She never made things easy for the girls, but she gave Cassie numerous opportunities to open up and get some real guidance. Of course Cassie spends the majority of her 30 days, pissed off, closed off and in denial. Not a big surprise if you've been following her story.
The rest of the cast is just phenomenal. From weird and awkward to over the top assumed sexuality, everyone has a role to play, and Cassie's ability to be a team player is vital to their success as a whole. I loved everyone. Even the not so likeable Nez, but especially Cassie's other bunk mate, Troyer, and the undeniably charming Ben. Each one has their own story. Some more harsh than others, but all make you look at how people in your life treat you, their perceptions of you, and how those things can mold your personality and perception of yourself.
Ok, back to the story... there are so many trials, mishaps, confrontations, and revelations- some hard to deal with, even difficult to witness as a reader, but so crucial to our cast in their development and success at the camp.

Cassie pretty quickly finds out who she can trust, who to watch out for- and how to get what she needs. Still nothing is easy and not all is what it seems. 
Does Cassie see the light, face her truths and become a better person? 
Obviously you'll have to read the book yourself to find that out.

Dear Cassie was so well written. Beautiful and tragic. Dark and sometimes disturbing, but so real. It's hard to believe Lisa hasn't dealt with these issues herself. She has her pulse on what so many teens are struggling with, and makes not so ordinary people and circumstances seem like something we all go through.
Cassie may come off as a foulmouthed, tough ass chick- ok, she is that, but she's an incredible person with the ability to grow and change. Maybe even be productive and lovable. She may not be perfect, but in her own way, she's a great role model and her journey is well worth following. You'll learn a lot about social dynamics... and maybe even something about yourself.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I am really excited to read this book! After reading about it and Lisa's Dear teen me letters, I am sure that it is going to be amazing!

    1. OMG, Desiree, I ate up Dear Teen Me. And I cried and cried- and laughed. ;)
      I know you will love Dear Cassie. Lisa's writing just grabs and hooks you. <3