Review: This Is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker by Terra Elan McVoy


This is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker by Terra Elan McVoy

Fiona and Cassie are supposed to be best friends forever. No one else listens or makes Fiona laugh like Cassie, and that meant everything when Fiona’s parents were divorcing. They love each other in spite of their (many) differences, and even though Cassie cares a little too much about being popular, Fiona can’t imagine life without her.

Until Fiona’s diary is stolen by the most popular girls at school, and her most secret thoughts are read out loud on the bus. Even worse: Cassie was there, and she didn’t do anything to stop it. Now, for some reason, she’s ignoring Fiona. Suddenly the whole world has shifted.

Life without a best friend is confusing, scary, maybe impossible. But as Fiona navigates a summer of big changes, she learns more about herself—and friendship—than she ever thought possible.

Title: This Is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker
Author: Terra Elan McVoy
Publication date: May 10, 2016

I received This is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker is the companion book to Drive Me Crazy, but it takes place first. In Drive Me Crazy, Cassie was a very difficult girl to like. In This is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker, she’s even worse. Both books set up the other girl — Fiona in this case and Lana in DMC — as the more sympathetic character. Cassie is barely actually present in this book because it’s entirely from Fiona’s point of view and most of it takes place during the summer when she’s off on her DMC road trip.

When Fiona leaves her bag unattended at school, she goes back for it only to find her diary is missing. It’s not long before she discovers that the popular girls read parts of it out loud on their bus, and then she’s surprised when Cassie starts ignoring her. She had written some not-so-nice (not terrible, just honest) things about Cassie just recently, so I couldn’t believe she didn’t know why Cassie was ignoring her.

I have to give Fiona a lot of credit for finding new friends quickly. She spends her share of time upset about Cassie and wondering what she did to drive Cassie away, but she also picks up two friends very quickly. They’re girls who have always been around, but in the past Cassie took up most of Fiona’s time and attention. Still, they’re not Cassie, and soon Fiona wonders if they have their own agenda.

But missing Cassie is not the only thing in Fiona’s life. Her father has a girlfriend who always seems to be around when Fiona doesn’t want her there, and even worse, Fiona’s little sister likes the woman a lot. When her dad invites his girlfriend on their Disneyland trip — a trip that was supposed to include Cassie — it’s the last straw and Fiona refuses to go. I felt bad for her dad and sister, and Fiona’s decision was a little cringeworthy. There are a lot of kids in this world, even in this country, who will never get to go to Disney and Fiona was so ungrateful. Her dad took them to very nice restaurants (I Googled them) and Fiona mentions that “we’re hardly going to any camps this summer.” Most kids don’t go to any camps, even day camps! Although her mom worries about money, Fiona seems a little spoiled.

That was probably Fiona at her most immature, though, and you do have to expect that with kids her age. The camp she wants to go to — to get out of the Disney trip — is really a creative writing program held at the library. So not really a camp at all. It’s perfect for Fiona, and she meets another friend there. Her Cassie-less life isn’t turning out so bad after all.

I get the feeling that Cassie was always the more dominant one in the friendship, and it’s only when Cassie abandons her that Fiona really starts to grow, to learn what she likes, and to stand up for herself. It might not be what she wanted, but it’s good for her to get out of Cassie’s shadow and just be Fiona.

I’m glad This Is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker was published after Drive Me Crazy because if it had been the other way around, I would have gone into that book hating Cassie. There are hints in this book of what happens on Cassie’s end in DMC, so I guess it would be interesting to see if readers who hadn’t already read DMC picked up on them.

3 1/2 stars