The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes by Elissa R. Sloan: A Review

Yes, yes, I’ve been missing for a bit. I’ve had some personal life stuff that has kept me from writing reviews, but I’m hoping to be more consistent with blogging as I head into my fall semester. Writing on this blog makes me happy. I want to do it more.

I had to come back and review this specific book because it made me cry. I’m still tearing up thinking about it, because I love some of the characters so much, and all of them have been treated horribly by the world and I want to wrap them up and hold them close. Alex, Yumi, Merry, and Cassidy, let me love you and hide you from the cruel world.

If you, like me, have read and enjoyed Daisy Jones & The Six, you should give this book a shot. I liked Daisy Jones & the Six a lot, but (WARNING: UNPOPULAR OPINION TIME) found myself dissatisfied by Daisy and Billy’s relationship. I really wish that the book had allowed for Daisy and Billy to be friends, to be such the kind of friends they deserved to be. Billy’s story wasn’t about Daisy, it was about his alcoholism, and his deep, overwhelming loyalty and devotion to Camila. Sorry, that turned into a mini-rant. I think about Billy and Camila a lot and what that relationship meant to me.

This book is not happy. It’s heartache after heartache, the realities that come with stepping into an industry that turns you into an object. None of the characters have been left unscathed. Even characters you hate (I personally wanted to punch Rose a good 95% of the time), you still understand. You see all four of the girls in this book as full people. You see how they see themselves, how their peers see them. Ultimately, you see who they are in the way they respond to their individual traumas, you see them through the lens of their actions and their mental ailments.

In all honesty, my favorite part of this book is the Author’s Note at the front of the book. Elissa R. Sloan begins her book by softly urging her readers to “please be gentle with yourself” and consider what effect this book could have on you. There is something so kind and affectionate in this statement, and this love and care can be seen in the way she writes for the rest of this book.

There are quite a few possible triggers in this book, including but not limited to suicide, emotional/physical abuse, depression, disordered eating, body shaming/dysmorphia, and racism (specifically towards the Japanese community). A lot of these triggering elements are presented on page one, in the author’s note. Elissa R. Sloan is not a woman to leave you drowning simply so you’d read her book. She wants to tell her story not to harm, but to uplift, and I have so much love and respect for her because of this.

If you are in the right headspace, give this book a try. It brought me to tears. It will forever hold space in my heart, and I hope you have the room to enter it in to your own.

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