Skip to content

Today's Hours: Sun: 12 – 5 pm

View Hours

Mon – Thu: 9 am – 9 pm
Fri: 9 am – 6 pm
Sat: 9 am – 5 pm
Sun: 12 – 5 pm

View Closures

Erica’s Pick of the Week: Cassandra in Reverse

As superpowers go, time travel seems like the best one for a bookish person — it would let you loop back around as needed, until every last page was read. Then again, time loops, as anyone who has ever watched Groundhog Day can tell you, are tricky things. Holly Smale’s adult debut, Cassandra in Reverse explores both the promise and the peril of time travel, to delightful effect.

This is the story of Cassie Dankworth, who is fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend on the same day – and shortly thereafter, discovers she can rewind time. The time travel here is a device: the true heart of the story is Cassie’s quest to fix herself and her life.

Cassie’s new gift comes with rules. She can only go back to a certain point in time – not far enough to undo the death of her parents, but far enough that she can “meet” her ex-boyfriend Will as many times as necessary to set things right. And once she reverses time, everything reverses – which means even the tiniest alteration has big repercussions. The simple, streamlined nature of her time travel allows the story to focus on the emotional impact instead of the mechanics, making the events of the story easy to follow. 

Cassie has a distinctive voice – she’s prickly, forthright, and uncompromising, intelligent and hyperfocused, with an eye for unexpected details and a knack for vivid metaphors. She is also on the autism spectrum, as is the author, who wanted to create a character true to her own experience. The result is a vividly drawn, authentic character who is also immensely appealing. 

Watching Cassie’s misadventures is alternately charming, exasperating, funny, and heartbreaking. She develops skills to navigate the world, and reconsiders what she thinks she knows, repairing damaged relationships along the way. Cassie, it turns out, does not need to fix herself so much as she needs to understand herself – and the people she cares for.

If you’re a fan of books with a hint of magic (or time travel), engaging characters, and genuine emotion, such as Matt Haig, Rebecca Serle, or Josie Silver, Cassandra in Reverse offers plenty to love.

Categories: Books and More

Tags: Books and More

Cook Memorial Public Library District

Install Cook Memorial Public Library District

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap then “Add to Home Screen”