Cassandra Dankworth is a big fan of order and routine. She doesn’t like surprises or trying to decipher people’s emotions. So, when she’s fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend, she has to face two of her least favorite things in the world on the same day. Then Cassandra learns that she can go back in time and change her past. Can she fix the mistakes she’s made and lead a more fulfilling life, or is she doomed to repeat her mistakes over and over again à la Groundhog Day?
I love that this book was written by a neuro-spicy author and features a neuro-spicy protagonist. A lot of the wit and humor in this book will resonate with folks who find it difficult to maneuver through a world that wasn’t designed for them. Being able to show the lightness and humor of having a neurodivergent brain is no easy task, but Smale does this with the grace and presence of mind it deserves. The deep character work and interesting plot devices make this a deeply enriching and engrossing novel to dive into.
I like that we see Cassandra navigate the neurotypical world while experimenting with things outside her comfort zone. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about her trying to get her ex-boyfriend back (move on, girl!), but as the story continues, you learn that there’s a much bigger and more important relationship she needs to salvage first. This leads to an unexpected climax with a very satisfying ending.
All in all, I loved Cassandra in Reverse. I thought the characters were well-rounded and interesting, the writing style was fun and conversational, and the narrative offered a fresh take on a tried-and-true idea. This book is for all us neurodivergent folks. You know who you are.
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GBC Reader Reviews