McVoy, Terra Elan. This is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker
May 10th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
In this companion to Drive Me Crazy, we meet Fiona, whose best friend Cassie does not stop a popular from reading Fiona's diary, and the two fall out because of it. Cassie is mad that Fiona wrote things about her, and Fiona feels that her privacy was invaded. Cassie then takes off on her adventure in Drive Me Crazy, and Fiona is faced with a summer alone. Since her parents are divorced, Fiona has struggled. Her younger sister Leelu is perfectly happy to hang out with her father and his girlfriend, Jennifer, but Fiona is alarmed by the thought of "losing" not only her father, but also her sister, to Jennifer. Tired of the school drama as well as her family drama, Fiona decides that instead of a family trip to Disneyland, she would rather go to a writing workshop. There, she meets others who share her quirkiness, love of writing, and dislike of friend drama, and makes her peace with having lost Cassie as her best friend.
Strengths: I liked that this was a problem novel that addressed problems that many of my students ACTUALLY have. Rather than dead parents or dying siblings, it covers families that split apart but are supportive, friends who make bad decisions that negatively affect other friends, and a student who has a particular interest that she wishes to explore.
Weaknesses: I understand why writers want to create characters who also like to write, but there are a lot of those. I'd rather characters who are interested in a sport, or recycling, or helping at a pet shelter. I also found it a tiny bit hard to believe that Fiona would be foolish enough to bring her journal to school. I kept journals all through school and knew enough to lock those babies up tight!
What I really think: I found Fiona to be an annoying character, but I liked the stories about the friend and family drama and think this will circulate well. It's nice that you could read either book first.