Title: The First Time She Drowned
Author: Kerry Kletter
Blurb: Cassie O’Malley has been trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically—since birth. It’s been two and a half years since Cassie’s mother dumped her in a mental institution against her will, and now, at eighteen, Cassie is finally able to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.
But freedom is a poor match against a lifetime of psychological damage. As Cassie plumbs the depths of her new surroundings, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is real? And more important, whose life must she save?
A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself, The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.
Cassie’s mom dropped Cassie into a mental hospital when she was fifteen for no reason at all. 3 years later, Cassie is able to sign herself out, and now is going to college (which her mom pulled some strings to get in), But with freedom comes her haunting memories of the past. Will she be able to survive?
Pros of the Plot
- It was interesting – For one thing, I liked how it was so interesting. Going through Cassie’s old memories, and seeing what she’s been was fun. I liked how the author goes from Cassie being 9 years old, all the way to when she was 15 because it made much more sense.
- The book was deep – Sometimes I find to deep books very complicated, and trying to hard to be meaningful (cough cough The Way I Used To Be cough cough). But with this book I found that there was a lot of depth and meaning to it.
Problems of The Plot
- Surprise, Surprise – Some things came out of now where, and didn’t directly fit in with the plot of the story. I also felt like the Aunt Dora thing was unrealistic. That plot twists was surprising, but not in a good way.
Cassie – If I were to rate her, I would give her 2.5, rounded up too 3 stars because most of the time she acted so aggravating, and stupid. Her best friend, and her gut feelings say not to trust her mom, not to fall for her tricks, yet she goes ahead and acts like a perfect daughter. Even after all this time, even after her mom put her in a mental hospital, Cassie trusts her mom, which amazes me. How can someone be that stupid. If I were her I would be like “Nope, just no”. I also hated how she acted like a very big b***h to Chris, and her only friend. I wish I could shake her and say “That’s your only friend”. And I’m surprised why Zoey (Cassie’s best friend) had the patience to actually stay and help Cassie out.
Zoey – 4.5 stars. Is it weird that I liked the supporting character more than the main character? Zoey is the ultimate best friend goals. She had the fun quirky personality, and was the first friend for Cassie. She supported Cassie, and understood (somehow) Cassie’s problems with her mother.
Chris – 3 stars. Didn’t really like him, but amazed at his resistance. He was mainly a background character.
10/10. This had a great writing style, and story structure.