The Unravelling of Cassidy Holmes by Elissa R Sloan (Review by Lisa Albright)

2 min read

Rating: 3 stars

This book gives a backstage view into the lives of four young successful pop stars and the events that led to one of them leaving the group. Years later, the death of that starlet comes as a shock to all who knew her.

I was really looking forward to reading this book and I thought the concept for the story was very interesting. Popular girl band, the men they date, the tension among them, a crisis that changes everything all add up to a book I want to read. I was ready to figure out what caused the unraveling of Cassidy Holmes. But wait.

The story takes place in the present, but also flashes back to the years that they were together as a band and gives the reader the opportunity to get to know the girls through their own narrative. This was a great way to experience their early days, but then it would jump back to present day and I felt like something was missing. What about the time in between? What was Cassidy doing during that time? It seemed odd that there wasn’t anything of note to include in the story, yet there also wasn’t any personal growth or healing in all that time. Was she existing in an already unraveled state and no one, including her family, noticed that something was wrong for fifteen years? All of those questions that went unanswered left me feeling very unsatisfied at the end.

The multiple viewpoints initially added interest, but also delayed the forward progress of the story and I found myself watching the page numbers. It did pick up, but not until the last third of the book and that was almost too little too late. The one character that had the potential to bring a level of excitement was mentioned a few times, but then never again leaving me to wonder, whatever happened to Jerry??

The bandmates, despite having the opportunity to express their side of the story, remained a bit flat and one dimensional. None of their personalities stood out and I didn’t really have any type of emotion for any of them. Cassidy was not all that distinct besides being the one that unraveled and I’m still not sure how because so much time had passed between leaving the group and her death.

Overall, I didn’t dislike the book, I just felt it was a little lackluster and emotionless for me. I never felt invested in the story, but this was the author’s debut so maybe I’ll love her next novel.

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