Sarah's Stars

Gail Giles. What Happened to Cass McBride?
HarperTrophy  $14.99 ISBN 978-0-00-639197-5  210 pg.
Reviewed by Emma, Age 15

Dorky David Kirby asked me out. What made him think he could dare ask me? Can U imagine? How far down the food chain would he have to go for a date? God, I thought he was gay.

The note that started it all: Written by Her Highness Cass McBride, reigning queen of the high school scene and Manipulator of Men. Left in a desk for the Chief Advisor and found by the very peasant who’d had the gall to wade beneath the drawbridge. The next day, the peasant is dead by his own hand, and Cass finds herself in over her head. Literally. She’s been buried alive. There are no dragons or dangling cages, but Cass has definitely been kidnapped, and she’s gonna need more than a knight in shining armour to get her out of this one…

Gail Giles is the American author of What Happened to Cass McBride? She wrote this book after being trapped in an Alaskan snowstorm, and has since moved out of that state; she lives in Texas with her husband and pets. Other works include Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters and Shattering Glass, which was selected for the American Library Best of the Best Award. Cass McBride should (ideally) be read in one sitting on a rainy afternoon.

This novel is good, but it is not great or grand. Like Cinderella’s slipper, it is see-through, and doesn’t fit quite right. The characters are unoriginal and unrealistic, and so is the entire scenario, to be honest. Though it improves as the story continues, Cass McBride is disappointing in so many ways: The plot is unquestionable, conspicuous fiction, the end is unsatisfying, and the dialogue feels forced. So many of these things could be overlooked if the novel was aimed at a younger audience, but key themes such as suicide rule out this possibility. Though there is nothing so wrong with this book, there is nothing in it to make a mind work or wonder whatsoever. Plus, it’s kind of creepy. A good filler, if you’re looking for mindless amusement, but otherwise not worth your while.

Three stars go to Cass McBride. As I said: good, but nothing more.

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