The Cassandra Complex, Holly Smale

The Cassandra Complex opening lines: Where does a story start? It’s a lie, the first page of a book, because it masquerades as a beginning.

The Cassandra Complex

My blurb:

Cassandra wakes up, and immediately she knows something is wrong. Her watch which was definitely stolen yesterday when she had a meltdown is right where it belongs. Then Will texts her to see if they are still on for their date, and she goes to work. Only to be fired again! She realizes she can bend time and go back. Which is exhausting and somehow changes the future. So just one last time seems OK in the end to make everything perfect.

The Cassandra Complex
Cassandra Penelope Dankworth is a creature of habit.
She likes what she likes (museums, jumpsuits, her boyfriend Will) and strongly dislikes what she doesn’t (mess, change, her boss drinking out of her mug). Her life runs in a pleasing, predictable order. Until now.
She’s just been dumped.
She’s just been fired.
Her local café has run out of banana muffins.
Then, something truly unexpected happens: Cassie discovers she can go back and change the past.
Now, Cassie should be able to find a way to fix the life she accidentally obliterated. And with time on her side, how hard can it be…?
My verdict:

I always pick a light read from the choices offered to me by Penguin. Usually so that I can read something without having to follow a heavy plot. And where the narrative will be easy and relaxing. This book ticked all of those boxes and more. It was funny in places, and heart wrenching in others. The story is about growing up and learning to accept who you are. And who others are meant to be. What a brilliant read, with a touch of education thrown in. A novel that I can highly recommend.

Read an extract:

Where does a story start?

It’s a lie, the first page of a book, because it masquerades as a beginning. A real beginning – the opening of something – when what you’re being offered is an arbitrary line in the sand. This story starts here. Pick a random event. Ignore whatever came before it or catch up later. Pretend the world stops when the book closes, or that a resolution isn’t simply another random moment on a curated timeline.

But life isn’t like that, so books are dishonest.

Maybe that’s why humans like them.

And it’s saying that kind of shit that gets me thrown out of the Fentiman Road Book Club.


Here are some other things I’ve been asked not to return to:

– The Blenheim Road Readers Group

– A large flat-share I briefly attempted in Walthamstow

– My last relationship

– My current job

continue reading.

Publishing information:
ISBN 9781529195941
Format Trade Paperback
Published June 2023

Penguin Random House South Africa sent me this novel to review.

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