Cassie's Hope


Young Adult - Coming of Age
214 Pages
Reviewed on 03/03/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I'm officially addicted to writing!

Having relocated from the UK to Germany during the summer of 2015, I started working on a novel that I began to write over fifteen years ago.

I'm an unashamed people watcher and have a fascination with psychology. My passion for both enables me to add meat and bones to the characters who are smart enough to escape the confines of my imagination.

I love to read original fiction and enjoy the sort of book you can curl up with on a rainy day and devour. My primary aim in writing is to draw the reader into the story. I want to take you on a journey you will remember long after you have read the last words.

My recipe for a good book?

Strong characters, a believable plot and an oversized dollop of humour.

Favourite Author - Mo Hayder. Scares the 'you know what' out of me.
Favourite Food - Anything that doesn't run off the plate.
Favourite Movie - One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.
Likes - Writing, Reading, Travel, Keep Fit, Jelly Beans, Eating Out, Eating In (my partner in crime is a fabulous cook), Gin, Wine, Bourbon.
Hates - Inconsiderate people, War, Tripe - NO, JUST NO!

MY NOVELS

Delsey Prodigal - Awarded five stars - https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/delsey-prodigal

Cassie's Hope - Awarded five stars - https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/cassies-hope

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorSLloyd1

July 2016 Update

I've just finished writing The Diary of Harri Foxx. The novel is based in my hometown of Manchester and will be released summer 2016.

SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST OUT OF REACH

Harri Foxx had everything she could wish for in her simple, but perfect world.
Growing up in Manchester and settling with the love of her life was bliss.
However, life isn’t always kind, is it?
An untimely death and an ‘unspeakable event’ tipped Harri over the edge.
Her mind is now a tangle of mental torture.
Outside just isn’t safe anymore.
It wasn’t always like that.
Can Harri find her way to freedom?
She wants to tell her story in the form of a Diary.
It’s honest, raw, and heartbreaking.
Prepare yourself.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite

Cassie’s Hope is Sue Lloyd’s touching YA novel about a fourteen-year-old girl called Cassie who is in remission from leukemia, and an adorable beagle called Hope. Hope tests trials of a new improved drug for leukemia at Morton Animal Research Centre. In hospital, Cassie sees reporter Alice Anders visit and report for NOW! on TV and falls in love with Hope. She persuades her family to look into adopting her at the end of her trial. Alice is keen to help Hope too, and finds a way for Cassie and her family to visit the research lab to see her. Alice and the centre director, Herb, fall for each other and the story is as much about their unfolding relationship and love as it is about Cassie and Hope’s destiny to be together. When a fire breaks out at the lab with devastating consequences for the animals, Herb takes the chance to follow his heart and allow the re-homing of future post-trial dogs.

Cassie’s Hope is an inspiring and thought-provoking story that draws many issues together. Told from third person perspective, it is well-written with a plot that unfolds at a good pace. Cassie and her family – mom Taylor, Dad Greg who works away most of the time, younger sister Mallory – have had a grueling year as Cassie undergoes treatment and eventually goes into remission. I thought Sue Lloyd depicted her characters sensitively and realistically with the way she portrays the effects of life-threatening illness on each family member. Mallory’s need for closeness to her sister and parents (for example, wanting to sleep beside them in their beds) is often the kind of reassurance siblings of very sick children need. I love the little beagle’s name: Hope really is the theme of brave Cassie’s life and story as she looks forward to going home and getting back to school and friendships.

Hope and Cassie’s special psychic bond keep them both going – Hope needs a forever home and Cassie and her family need love and healing, and special pets so often provide this. “I’m not giving up on Hope,” she announces at one point, a poignant assertion that provides insight into her determination to get better as well as keep her promise to Hope. I also felt the author dealt carefully with the issue of testing drugs on animals and includes the views and feelings of protesters, making this a story that provides readers with much material for discussion and thought. This is a gentle but strong, brave and compassionate story that tugs at the heartstrings and brings sensitive, potentially sad or challenging issues to the reader’s attention. I recommend it and feel it deserves an award too.

Sue Lloyd - Author

I was touched to receive a five-star review for a book, which I felt very passionate about writing.

Cassie's Hope was a challenging journey for me as a writer.

The subject of childhood illness and biomedical testing required sensitivity and honesty.

I do hope you enjoy reading the story.

Amazon Customer

Cassie's Hope is a captivating young adult novel that tells the story of a young girl suffering from leukemia, who is consistently optimistic despite her battle. She falls in love with a lab dog who is having a new medication tested on her and then is destined to be euthanized, and makes it her mission to give the charming little beagle her forever home. It is a heartwarming tale, full of tear-jerking moments and relieving laughter. It had me hooked from the very first chapter, and I read the entire thing in one sitting, my heart in my throat as I followed the characters' emotional dilemmas.
One of the things that struck me most about this novel was how very thought provoking it was. Cassie's Hope is an excellent conversation starter for difficult ethical topics like drug testing on animals, without ever being pushy in a specific stance. It was a beautiful story about a difficult aspect of modern society, without ever having the feel that there was a social or political agenda behind it.
Also, as a mother myself, I very much appreciated that Cassie, the main character, was allowed to act her age. At only fourteen, she displayed all of the maturity of a maturing teen while still maintaining the innocence and purity that a child of that age should still have. Unlike most current young adult novels out there, she was not written with the behavior of an adult, nor plagued with a love interest too advanced for her young age (although there is a lovely romantic connection between two older characters that was very clean and appropriate). She is easy to relate to as she struggles with all of the usual problems that budding young women face, while being so remarkably socially aware, kind, loving, and generous. Cassie's story was very inspirational, and brought tears to my eyes several times.
Overall, this was a very well-rounded read. It was modest and appropriate for young minds, provided an engaging and heartwarming story that is relatable and enjoyable for anybody who would read it, and promotes intelligent thinking about a real issue that is normally considered taboo. I have a young sister who only just turned thirteen, and I would love for her to read this. It is so refreshing to discover a young adult novel that fully encompasses all that I ever hoped from that genre. I very much look forward to reading the author's other works as well

Joanie - Amazon

Dog Love
Cassie's Hope is a YA story about a teen-aged girl with Leukemia. While she is in the hospital she watches a news segment about animals kept in a testing center. She falls in love with Hope, a dog that is featured and is determined to save her. While this is a YA story, there is a budding love interest between the news anchor and the lab owner. I can see a young adult reading this (or a parent reading this to their child), however, they can easily skip the back and forth between the two adults if they wanted to, as it doesn’t really add or subtract to the story. I think young adults and even younger children who love animals would find this story touching.

Virginia B Craven

A Really Good Book

I enjoyed this touching story very much. I was drawn in immediately by the authors well written characters. Cassie determination to rescue Hope is heartwarming, almost heroic.
The topic of animal testing is a controversial one, but the author dealt with it sensitivity and portrayed views from many angles.
I was gripped, particularly toward the end of the story where the pace escalates due to a tragic event.
I was sorry to finish this novel and will probably re-read this book in the near future. It's a 'must read' for both young adults and adults alike. It has all the ingredients needed to keep you turning the pages, and I couldn't put it down!
I will definitely be recommending this story to my college friends

A. Christensen - Amazon

A lovely story

I was curious about Cassie’s Hope, because I have a teen daughter, who is an advocate for animal welfare, and wondered if she might enjoy reading it, and if it might be a book she could use to show the different sides of the story of animal testing. So, I purchased the book with the view of recommending it to her if I liked it.

Although the book is written for teens, I found I was engaged very early, and the story line was well paced. A story on saving animals, especially lab animals, might have been over emotional, but it wasn’t written like that. Through various character viewpoints, it balanced different sides of the issues of animal testing for medicine very well…through a teen with Leukaemia, whose medicine had already relied on such testing, but still had horrible side-effects; through the owner of the lab, who tried to do the best by his animals whilst still trying to maintain clinical objectiveness from them; through the protesters, who angrily stand outside the facility, and through the beagle, who is actually being tested for the very next generation of the same drug the teen is using.

I was a bit reluctant to buy the book at first, due to the only previous review on Amazon being a single-star, but I was pleasantly surprised that, not only was it engaging, but it was also very easy to read, and at a perfect level for my daughter.

Cassie, a teenager, happens to catch a television report re how animals are treated in a medical testing facility. She falls in love with a beagle, and, when she hears that the animals are put down once their usefulness is over, she is determined to save her. Persuading those around her to support her, she breaks down each barrier as it arises (Think Legally Blonde 2 :-D ).

Meanwhile, a sweet, romantic element builds through the relationship of the reporter and lab owner. What teen reader doesn’t like delving into issues of love! (I won’t say what happens) Also, the story sensitively covers some other family issues, for instance, how the father has to work away from home and how each member of the family copes with the leukaemia.

A horrible tragedy changes the course of all concerned (this bit was very well written, and I actually got a bit teary). Again, I won’t say what happens, but it wasn’t what I expected.

I debated whether to give 3 or 4 stars, because it was somewhere in between 3 for 'It's ok', and 4 for 'I like it'... I did like it, but there were a few things I thought might be improved, for instance, I did wish Cassie’s family weren’t quite so perfect (although it did occur to me that cancer does often cause a family to appreciate each other a lot more) and, although the story flowed nicely from scene to scene, I would’ve liked to see a little more conflict. However, that’s just me. If I was thirty years younger, I think I would enjoy the story just as it is, and have actually recommended my daughter to read it.

Hillary Koenig - Amazon

A Story You Can Truly Get Into, And Characters You'll Fall In Love With!

From the cancer battling older sister - to the hard-working, loving, sacrificing parents - to the lovable little sister, the Larimer family will draw you in. With a whole cast of lovable supportive characters, and a delightful storyline, the author is able to build off of real life issues, such as animal testing, and severe illness, in a most natural way. As a dog lover, you will know about that special bond that happens when you look deeply into a pup's eyes; the author does a great job with her imagery, and you'll be wanting a Hope of your own. Also, especially touching to me at points was the father-daughter relationship, unique to those who have worked so far from home for weeks at a time; I could relate to many facets of this family.

I typically have a hard time with finding a book that I can get into because of the tendency to sacrifice plot to make some big to-do over a romance, but not here! While there is a romance between the reporter and another character, it's nothing that put me off as a big fan of strong plots and innocent, genuine love.

One thing I did have to figure out was, despite the setting being in America, there were a lot of phrases, measurements, and idioms used that are unique to British English - but in the end, it just added to the charm of the characters, and so the charm of the book.

As someone who's worked with teenage girls with an appreciation for reading for over a decade, this is a book I could whole-heartedly recommend to any of my girls. It's the kind of book I'll put on a list for my own children to read in time. It's the kind of book I personally look for as an adult woman - it's real, it's honest, it's entertaining, and the characters are completely lovable and deeply inspiring.
I will be following this author!

Sheri's Reviews

A heartfelt story of courage, love - and hope!

CASSIE’S HOPE is listed as a Young Adult novel, but there’s plenty to keep older readers engaged, too. Not the least of which is a sweet love affair between a TV news reporter and one of the men she interviews.

But it’s young Cassie who’s the central force in the story. Suffering from Leukemia and often bedridden, she watches a news report about a medical research facility and falls in love with one of the dogs being used to test a new drug. The reporter hears about her plight and the book revolves around everyone’s attempts to unite Cassie and her four-legged friend, Hope.

These are not easy subjects to handle: sick children and animal testing, but it’s obvious the author has put much thought and love into both. She doesn’t try to preach about the controversial practice of using beagles (in particular) for medical research, but rather presents the facts in an even-handed, honest manner and lets the reader decide where they stand on the issue.

As for Cassie, her condition isn’t handled in a saccharine or overly sentimental way, focusing instead on her courage and determination. With a spunky BFF and Cassie’s loving family in the mix, the book left me with the feeling that I knew these people and that they’d let me spy on them during one of the biggest struggles anyone can face: caring for a seriously ill child. It’s a unique story of courage, love - and Hope. Kudos to Lloyd for taking on issues that aren’t often covered in popular fiction!