Aug 20, 2016

Cassie’s Hope – Sue Lloyd

Published in 2016. Cassie is a fourteen-year-old girl who is undergoing a medical treatment in order to fight leukemia. While still in hospital she falls in love with an adorable beagle when watching a TV report on biomedical research at an animal lab called MARK. The dog had been on a trial to test the side effects of a second version of Diosyl; a new medication that is attempted to be used on patients just like Cassie.

Even through the screen Cassie could not resist the hypnotic influence those big hazel eyes put onto her, and decided right there and then that she would become Hope’s savior. Hope was her name and she was about to turn everybody’s world around. From now on a strong bond arises between the two of them.

This young adult story will surely move your heart, as Cassie bravely focuses on her own healing as much as on rescuing her little buddy who is inexorably scheduled to be put to sleep after the trial is over. Cassie then wants to offer her a forever home and a happy life.

My score:

A touching story that engages the reader right from the beginning, since the very moment Cassie is introduced as a leukemia patient that’s been fighting the disease for a year, and now comes across with the uplifting incentive she needed to cheer up her days and go on with her life. Little Hope senses the same emotion when Cassie and her family come to meet her. Now the concern brings out a huge challenge, will Hope be allowed to leave the lab and become the new member of Larimer family? Well..., that’s the issue to be addressed next.

Parallel to this, a love story unfolds as the plot develops, and two more people are touched by Hope’s spell, who seems to manage to orchestrate those around her. Herb Morton is about to find his world upside down, not only professionally but he also might be getting the so-long awaited chance with love.

Although everything appears to be coming to a happy end for everybody involved, for most of the book, tragedy finally strikes hard. The unforeseen mishap makes events happen sooner than expected, and quick decisions needed to be taken as consequences would cause big changes. From my point of view this is by far the best part of the story, since the narrative is generally free of ups and downs till this point. It cleverly contributes with a degree of action granting the story a magnificent end.

The book brings up two interesting subjects: the always-controversial topic of Animal Rights; though the author does not go deep in this field, it certainly makes you reflect upon it. And the prospect of rehoming animals lab after research and testings are done. Why not give these animals the opportunity of a welcoming home? Is it really necessary to euthanize all of them after trial? We might as well consider adopting one of these wonderful creatures.

On the other side there’s a couple of things that I would have liked to see described in more detail in this narrative, such as the impact caused by having a close relative battling leukemia. In the book is not quite clear how parents and siblings reacted or felt towards their daughter's condition. However, considering that being a book aimed at a young audience it would have brought too much sadness to the story I suppose. Still, I think that a little bit of more crisis wouldn’t have hurt much. Likewise it caught my attention how the characters seemed to be prone to prefer Hope over the other creatures at the lab. At times Hope was way more favored and cared about than the rest of the dogs in terms of love and appreciation. Aren't they all deserving of the same affection?

In conclusion this work is beautifully written and easy to follow; I would as well recommend this book to teenagers, children and even foreign readers as myself. I surely enjoyed the reading and it would definitely be a great choice for parents and school teachers.


  1. As the author of this book, I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to read my book.

    As a reader, you picked up the theme so astutely then eloquently reflected that in your review. You also provided some healthy critique, which is vital for writers.

    Cassie's Hope took me to some challenging places as I progressed with the storyline.

    I'm a mother and an animal lover. It proved difficult to not be affected.

    Authors need reviews that are honest. Readers need reviews to point them in the direction of a good book.

    I would highly recommend submitting your novel to Edna for some feedback if you are an author.

    1. Thank you Sue, it was a real pleasure to read your book. I'll surely be looking forward to your next work ;)