Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

How I Heard About It:  There are times when a book ends up on my GoodReads "to be read" list and I can't remember how I learned about the title.  That is the case with this novel.  I read the book via "Cloud Library" which is an app that allows me to check out books from the public library.  

What It Is About:  Cassie has not had an easy life.  Her relationship with her mother has always been difficult.  Cassie tried to rely on her father and two brothers, but the "powerful" mother took them under her "wing".  When events escalate to a boiling point, Cassie finds herself in an institution for young people with emotional problems.  She knows she is here for all the wrong reasons, but has no power to do anything about it.  After spending two years here, Cassie is finally 18 and at a point to leave and head out into the world.  She ends up at college (the one where her mother attended) and tries to start her life over.  This isn't an easy task because of the tragic events that look place in Cassie's early life.  She tries to bond with a girl on her floor, a boy that shows interest in her, and a campus counselor that wants to help her.  None of these new relationships are easy, but of the past relationships that have never been healed.  Cassie isn't sure if she can put the past behind her and move forward in a positive direction.  

What I Thought Of It:  Once I began this book, I could not stop reading.  I love when that happens. I was immediately drawn into Cassie's world and captivated by her story.  She dealt with so much heartache in her early years that haunted her for years to come.  I'm not sure I have ever disliked (hated) a mother character as much as I did with Cassie's mother.  What a complex relationship they had.  Cassie was so lucky to find friendship and support at college.  It was gut wrenching to read how she tried to sabotage these friendships.  The story read fast, grabbed your heart, and made you "cheer" for Cassie the entire time.  Such a great and powerful young-adult novel.  

Who Should Read It:  I can see all young-adult and adult readers enjoying this story.  It isn't always easy to read about the things that happened to Cassie, but underneath all the pain was hope and the theme of survival and moving forward.  It is the perfect book for a summer read.  I highly recommend it.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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