Book review: What Happened to Cass McBride by Gayle Giles

I finished reading this outstanding young adult novel in a couple days.

High school junior Cass wakes up in a box underground with her hand taped to a walkie talkie. Her captor is Kyle, the brother of David a kid who goes to her school. He buried her alive to teach her a lesson. David killed himself on the family’s front lawn the beginning of that week. He kidnapped Cass that Friday night. For forty eight hours Cas is buried alive with a crude air filter forced to attempt to negotiate with this by she doesn’t even know but who clearly doesn’t want to kill her he wants to torture her.

The story alternates between Cass’s time in the box, Kyle telling his story in a police interview, and an officer Ben telling about the search.

It is a very triggering story obviously due to the violence and suicide. The core of the story is about power, emotional abuse, [ bullying, , and just plain how you treat people around you and how that impacts them. We learn that though Cass didn’t exactly cause David suicide one automatic (for her) action pushed him over the edge.

Kyle and Cass learn much about themselves in this story, and they find the darkest parts of themselves.They are both pushed to their breaking point emotionally and come out forever changed, and deeply scarred.

Life doesn’t have happy endings. I’m glad this story is raw and true to life on such an important subject as bullying and emotional abuse.

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