Monday, February 08, 2010

Letters to Cathy by Cathy Cassidy


Have you ever had a crush?
Fallen out with your best friend?

Cathy Cassidy is here for you.

There are no questions Cathy hasn't been asked and isn't afraid to answer, from growing-up to dating, making friends, following your dreams and much more. Through the happy times, the mad and crazy times and the days when you simply find yourself asking "Why?" - whatever's bugging you, Cathy can help.

I'm a newcomer to Cathy Cassidy and I've got to admit, I'm glad I've discovered her. I recently read Ginger Snaps and loved it - I was surprised by how much this tiny book tackled and the positive message it conveyed.

Then I met Cathy in person at the Puffin media event and I was blown away by her presence. Here is someone who deeply cares about her audience. It wasn't just a gimmick. This is exactly who she is, there is no pretend. You know how you can sense a person's "real-ness"? Listening to Cathy chat about how she came to writing, her writing career and what lead her to become such a success, I felt inspired and wanted to jump up and clap like a lunatic. Fortunately I refrained. Did I mention I got her autograph???

I subsequently came home and devoured Letters to Cathy written by Cathy as an overall book of advice to her readers about subjects as far ranging as bullying, confidence dilemmas, boys, growing up, friendship, family matters and it also deals with sad things like bereavement etc.

I was initially a bit hesitant thinking it was going to be a bit preachy and dull but I found that this book was written for me, afterall. I'm 36 (going on 37) and so much of Cathy's advice to her readers can be applied to me...even at 36.

Advice on how to pretend confidence, how to keep your friends, how to stop being down on yourself, to keep on dreaming, all these things are aimed right at me. My heartfelt opinion is that every girl from the age of 6 should be given a copy of this to read and to keep it on her bedside table. To be honest, there is some ready advice here for boys too but I fear that the very pink cover will detract our macho brethren from picking it up but maybe, just maybe, a book like this (if it doesn't already exist) can be done for the lads?

Written in an easy conversational style, Letters to Cathy is a treasure trove. I forget utterly how painful it is growing up, how scared and emotional I was at certain times in my young life and reliving that with her readers and fans was really poignant. But as I said above, some of the advice still works for me. A book like this is invaluable and I would recommend it to be bought now, immediately, by everyone who reads this blog post. Maybe not everything in here will reflect what you're going through but there are life lessons in here which are given with deep sincerity and love. I admire Cathy for tackling such a variety of subjects and for being so gutsty in answering these letters from her fans, but most importantly I am incredibly proud to see such a large variety of young people write in with their problems - the mere fact that they feel they can do that just goes to show their respect for an author whom they admire. These letters are dealt with sensitively and each letter is given it's due attention. After each section Cathy gives websites and other books by a variety of authors and publishers to read for further information or inspiration.

Cathy is my heroine for 2010 and I'm hoping to do an Author of the Month event with her later this year, depending on her schedule of course. Find Cathy's very cool website here. Letters to Cathy is out now from Puffin UK.


Luisa at Chicklish said...

It sounds great and I think I'd love it! Thanks for the review. I remember reading a similar book of letters to Judy Blume and it was fascinating.

By the way, I once reviewed a book called Unzipped by Matt Whyman which addresses teen boy issues - I thought you might be interested in that?

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Thanks for the review! I haven't read any books by CC, but I'm tempted to after reading so many good things about them!