Elissa R. Sloan’s debut novel is a definite page-turner that I enjoyed right through to the end. With crisp writing and unflinching honesty, Sloan tells the story of the four young women of pop group Gloss using dual timelines of their initial rise to fame and years later when one of the band members—who the others haven’t spoken to in years—commits suicide.
THE UNRAVELING OF CASSIDY HOLMES immerses the reader deep into the glitz and glam of the music industry so completely there were a few times where I had to remind myself that Gloss was a fictional band and Cassidy Holmes never really existed. Told through multiple perspectives, each of the band members tells their own version of history. By the end, I had really gotten to know all of the members of Gloss and equally loved and hated parts of all of them.
Anyone that grew up with the pop bands of the late 90s/early 2000s will appreciate the nostalgia that is layered throughout this book (remember Sidekicks?) and the parallels drawn between the real bands and headlines at the time.
THE UNRAVELING OF CASSIDY HOLMES explores the dark side of celebrity and the long-lasting implications fame has. There are many distressing themes addressed in the book but each of them served a purpose and I felt nothing was included gratuitously. I loved it and can’t wait to see what Sloan will write next.
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