Publisher: Wednesday Books
Published: July 28th, 2020 (I think it’s been pushed back again, but I’m not 100% sure)
Genres: YA, slice of life fiction, historical fiction
My Rating: 5 Stars
New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.
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.
I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
When I was in college, I got a hold of the Jessica Darling series and promptly devoured it in two days. There was a trip to Bangor main to get the last two books in the middle of a blizzard and an all-nighter involved. Since then there have only been a couple books I’ve read like that, Aristotle and Dante and The Mall.
There isn’t anything urgent about this book, it’s not like Harry Potter where as you read you need to know what happens, but the style and voice of this book made me want to know how Cassie’s story played out.
This book takes place in 1991 but has the same feel as the third season of Stranger Things where Steven works in the mall– nothing about these two stories are similar, but I think that’s the only piece of current pop culture that takes place at the mall that gives off that same kind of energy. I was very small in 1991, so I don’t remember it, but there is a real energy about this book that has the late-eighties big hair vibe while also having a Pearl Jam/Nirvana vibe. It’s really cool. There’s an air of nostalgia for the mid-nineties/the early 2000s when I hung out at the mall with my friend. I think if you’re old enough to remember how big of a deal going to the mall was, you’ll find enjoy this book.
This is a story about figuring yourself out. About what it’s like when “the plan” doesn’t go as planned, and learning to grow into yourself, especially after high school. I feel like we as a collective group have read a million books with these themes but what makes this unique is not only the mall aspect but how we watch Cassie grow within the pages.
The 1990s were a strange time, so much in American politics was changing and it’s shown in this book in minute ways I found really interesting. We kind of see Cassie change in the same ways.
I love Megan McCafferty, I’m so glad she decided to write something more like the Jessica Darling series. This book was incredibly fun and a quick slightly quirky read I highly recommend. I know the release date has been pushed because of the pandemic, but when it does hit shelves, pick it up. It’ll be a fun escape.
Until next time Internet,