Cassandra

Cassandra

And They All Fall Down

Young Adult - Horror
244 Pages
Reviewed on 02/01/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Danita Dyess for Readers' Favorite

In Cassandra: And They All Fall Down by Julie Hodgson, Cassandra Jones has violently beaten Braydon Taylor, a six-year-old. But that was 10 years ago. Now Dr. Somner has taken her off her meds. As a 16-year-old, Cass enjoys hanging out at iCandy, an ice cream joint, with her best friends, Bindi and Leo. She attends Garden City High and loves learning Shakespearean plays from the handsome Mr. Mac. She's also in love with the town's newest resident: Braydon Taylor. But when she's alone, Cass battles incessant hand itching and hallucinations of creepy tentacles wiggling out of her skin. A compulsive need to run to remote locales places her at the center of an epidemic of dead teenagers being found at Jenson's Park. Will her alibi clear her of any wrongdoing or is there a serial killer loose in Garden City?

I was drawn into this dramatic work of fiction simply based on the beautiful yet sinister female that graced the cover. The action was dispensed at a moderate pace that kept me guessing. The dialogue was exceptional and accurately depicted teenage angst. It also added depth and credibility to the characters. I appreciated the fact that the storyline dealt with real world adolescent issues e.g. mental illness, homosexuality, murder, activism, dating, etc. Cassandra is highly recommended.

Jack Magnus

Cassandra: And They All Fall Down is a dark coming of age novel written by Julie Hodgson. Cassandra was almost sixteen years old when her doctor said he thought she could stop taking her ADD medication. She had been taking it since she was six years old, ever since she attacked and seriously injured another classmate. It was something she had learned to live with, the medication and the guilt and confusion over what had happened all those years ago. Braydon Taylor was a cruel and twisted child who enjoyed making the other kids suffer. One day, when the class was on a field trip to a farm, which was made hellish by the extreme heat, Braydon went just a bit too far in his persecution of Jakey, a smaller boy. He had gotten other children on the bus to sing a nasty song about Jakey, and then he'd proceeded to strip his clothes off and steal his money while his classmates were all watching. Then, when they'd finally reached the farm, Jakey went missing. Braydon had locked him into the chicken coop and refused to say a word -- that is, until Cassandra rushed at him and began to attack. Even after Braydon revealed what he had done, Cassandra continued her assault until she broke it off to rescue Jakey. To finally be free of the medication was both a heady experience and a troubling one. Cassandra felt different; a difference that seemed more substantial than merely a withdrawal from a drug. Her senses were heightened, and she could run like the wind.

Julie Hodgson, in her dark coming of age tale, Cassandra, examines concepts such as vengeance, vigilantism and redemption. Her Cassandra is a sympathetic character whom this reader couldn't help but begin to care about. While she's coming to grips with the inexplicable changes going on in her body and mind, she's also found true love in the most unexpected place, and it's marvelous to see how it transforms her. Hodgson's tale is an absorbing one; a psychological thriller that kept me guessing until the last page. Her characters are marvelous, and the plot is intricate and clever. Cassandra: And They All Fall Down is most highly recommended.

Rabia Tanveer

Cassandra: And They All Fall Down by Julie Hodgson is the story of a teenager named Cassandra, a girl whose body is not in her control. There are some ferocious instincts that she kept buried for far too long with the help of medication, but now they are bursting at the seams. Cassandra was just 6 years old when she became wildly angry and hurt a boy so badly that he had to be hospitalized for several months. Her family had to move in order to live without the shadow of the past.

Cassandra’s rage was treated as a bad case of ADD, for which she took medicine. Now she is 16 years old and her doctor, Dr. Sommer, wants her to get off her medication. When she stops taking her medication, her rage is back, her emotions are all over the place, and she is finding it hard to control her body. As she is trying to rediscover and control her body, something terrible is happening to young women around her. Men are attacking young women, and Cassandra realizes that there is something much deeper going on, and somehow she has the answer to everything that is happening.

Julie Hodgson did a great job at describing Cassandra and her feelings. I loved the way Hodgson described her struggle and her emotions to readers. The beginning of the story was very powerful and it was carried throughout the novel. You will not be able to put this book down. It is amazingly well-written and you will enjoy the tough ride that this 16-year-old girl is on. This is brilliant, even the cover of the novel is absolutely brilliant and goes really well with the whole mysterious theme of the novel.