But you know what they say about the best laid plans...
Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.
What worked: Memory lane visit to 1991, filled with humor, warmth, and friendship. Malls were huge at this time. It was the social place to be. Woven throughout this novel are time piece snapshots of that time-music hits, department stores, and yes, even how popular food courts were. I really enjoyed how the novel reminded me of those times. There are still some popular Malls out there, but the heyday times are now a fond memory. B. Dalton's bookstore, anyone?
What works in this novel has to be the catchy dialogue that is Megan McCafferty's trademark. It moves the story along and reveals characters without telling too much. The banter between Cassie and Drea is punchy, including Drea's infectious laugh!
I like how Cassie evolves from being an overachiever whose future is intertwined with a boyfriend. In that way this is like a coming of age story, where Cassie learns to not only reach out to others outside of her inner circle, but realize that maybe she shouldn't just settle for something that 'feels' comfortable. Cassie arcs at the end by learning she can rely on herself and not a boyfriend to make decisions she wants.
Another plus has to be the interaction with her former BFF Drea. When she asks Cassie to help her on a Mall scavenger hunt to find a rumored treasure, she's hesitant at first. Later, she finds out not only secrets hidden in the Mall, but how not everything, including, people are what they seem at first glance.
Add to all of this a painful breakup of not only Cassie, but her parents, a new romance, and reigniting lost friendships. All of this set behind the Mall, which is a character in itself.
Hilarious romp through 1991 with characters that are endearing and sharp.