When You Leave by Monica Ropal
Published: April 7th 2015
Cass is positive that the people she cares about most will eventually leave her. Her father is gone, her mother doesn’t notice Cass exists, and her best friend’s battle with cancer was too close of a call. So when she begins her year at a wealthy new private school, Cass’s plan is to suffer through it in anonymity.
However, when her cute locker neighbor, Cooper, shows an undeniable attraction toward Cass, keeping him at a safe distance isn’t easy. Even though her Frogtown skater world and his do-gooder preppy one are so different, Cass and Cooper somehow mesh. But once Cass lets her guard down, the unthinkable happens: Cooper is mysteriously murderedthus proving her original theory.
When Cass’s close friend is suspected as the killer, she isn’t sure who she can trust anymore. Between investigating Cooper’s murder and trying to understand what they really meant to each other, will Cass even find what she is looking for?
I really wasn’t a fan of how this story unfolded. Mostly because Cass is such an unlikeable protagonist. At times you wish you could make an appearance in the story and just slap her!
Normally I wouldn’t review a book if I have negative thoughts towards it, but I think my reasoning for disliking Cass proves that Ropal is a great writer. Stirring emotions with your readers, that’s what most writers aim for, right? She certainly delivered.
The synopsis gives away the major twists and turns of the book, so I won’t be dishing up any ‘spoilers’ with my thoughts.
Ropal has a very lovely style of prose and that is why I stuck through the entirety of the book. Cass is such a flawed and selfish protagonist. She has had her fair share of hard times in life, which is generally universal for all teenagers. When tragedy strikes and her ‘boyfriend’ is murdered, her grief is for the loss of their relationship, not for the loss of his life and for the pain his family will have to endure moving forward in life without him.
Her main focus is, it wasn’t fair they couldn’t give their relationship a shot, it wasn’t fair that people left her, it wasn’t fair that people kept secrets. She was just a big whiner…This doesn’t really change as the story progresses. All of the traits Cass possesses makes her the kind of person we strive to be the complete opposite of.
My dislike for Cass ruined the story for me. But, it did keep me reading, so that emotion I felt was good for something!
Thanks, NetGalley for the review copy.