Cassandra in Reverse by Holly Smale
Fiction | Time Travel | Romance
I have been all about time travel books lately and the premise and adorable cover for this new release, Cassandra in Reverse by Holly Smale, absolutely captured my imagination.
Unfortunately, I had a bit of a rough start with this book. While I usually love time travel, the first several chapters had me utterly confused as to what was happening. There weren’t any clear explanations as to why Cassandra suddenly started time traveling and it was difficult to follow some of the transitions.
Cassandra is a character that was initially difficult to get to know and love. Her lack of awareness and her abrasiveness often felt jarring as a reader. But that’s also one of the great strengths of the story. Cassandra is a strong, honest, and witty, neurodiverse protagonist that invites you to view the world from a unique perspective. The plot shift in the second half of the novel, and the character growth that occurs at this point was what really connected me with Cassandra. Her journey is about way more than just a cute romance or the ability to time travel to fix mistakes. It’s a story about the restoration of relationships, grief, and not only finding (but loving) the unique parts of ourselves that make up who we truly are.
While I would have liked the time travel elements to be a little clearer, it also provided some really fun scenes. I loved watching Cassandra on her dates as she traveled back in time and kept “re-starting” in order to get the perfect outcome. I also appreciated that the second half of the story was less focused on romance, and instead, focused on Cassandra’s growth and history. The necessity for the time travel element became clearer as the story went on and while the pacing was quite slow in the middle, I enjoyed how everything wrapped up.
Ultimately, Cassandra in Reverse is a unique story that I think will resonate with a lot of readers with its message about self-growth and second chances.
Fans of contemporary time travel stories and unexpected heroines
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Advance e-copy of the book provided courtesy of the publisher, Harper Collins Canada. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher): Cassandra Dankworth has always had more than her name to contend with. But today is a new low. This morning, Cassie’s boyfriend breaks up with her. By lunchtime, she is fired from her PR job for not being a ‘People Person’. This evening, her ex turns up as if nothing happened, and Cassie is too relieved to ask questions. She’s just glad her longest ever romantic relationship (four months) is back on track. Tomorrow, Cassie finds herself being dumped again. By lunchtime, she’s being fired. When Cassie realises she is gifted–or perhaps cursed–with the power to travel back in time, she has a chance to do things differently, but will things keep going wrong for her when she has infinite chances to get them right?