And as I lie there, touching nothing and nobody – a jigsaw piece the edges sanded down – I suddenly realise: I’m not travelling through time to undo the things I’ve done wrong, or the decisions I’ve made. I’m trying to undo myself.Page 229
In a nutshell
Cassandra Penelope Dankworth is a creature of habit and hates when things upset her routine. Her likes include jumpsuits (one for each day of the week), banana muffins, her boyfriend Will and museums). Her dislikes include people touching her things, noise, people and change. Her life is predictable until the day her boyfriend breaks up with her and she gets fired. Mid breakdown she realizes she can suddenly go back in time and change the past, trying desperately to fix the life she obliterated.
Book Club Notes
The Cassandra complex, a term that originates in Greek Mythology, is a psychological phenomenon in which an individual’s accurate prediction of a crisis is ignored or dismissed. It is the perfect name for a book about a neurodivergent woman who is obsessed with Greek Mythology and whose newfound ability to time travel gives her fortune teller abilities.
It is a book that I didn’t immediately love. I liked it but felt like something was missing. Like something needed to happen to turn this book from ok to good. Something that would take us out of the endless loop of repeating the same day and the same mistakes for over 200 pages. About halfway through, things shifted turning this book into a book I’d recommend. It got deeper, gaining more substance, revealing new parts to Cassie’s story and it finally stopped looping.
It also started making me think about if you would really want to go back in time to undo mistakes or relive good times. My answer is no. Mistakes are what make us who we are, you only learn from mistakes if you have to live through them, not simply erase them. And good times are precious and memorable precisely because they cannot last forever. Not only that but why repeat the same good moment when there are a million more you can experience on top of it.
Aside from being an enjoyable read and giving me some food for thought, The Cassandra Complex gave me the ability to step into the shoes of a neurodivergent person and experience the world through their senses. Holy Smale is on the autistic spectrum and has synthesia which makes her see emotions as colours. These are two characteristics she brings into her main protagonist – Cassie. In reading The Cassandra Complex you get to see the world through her eyes and feel what it might feel like to live in a world that judges people based on whether they fit into what society deems as normal.
You like fantasy, quirky characters and have ever wondered what would happen if you could go back in time and change the past.
Writing – 7/10
Character Development – 8/10
Plot Twist – 4/10
Shareability – 7/10
The Nitty Gritty
A note on our book ratings
Storyline: How good is the storyline? Is it believable and complex or does it make you shake your head in its ridiculousness?
Writing: How well written is the book? Do you find yourself wowed by the writing or unimpressed?
Character Development: Do the characters evolve and grow through the book and are they multi-dimensional?
Plot Twist: Where you able to predict the end, or did the author give you some surprises along the way to keep you on your toes?
Shareability: How likely are you to share the book?