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The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  10,249 ratings  ·  1,335 reviews
In vein of Daisy Jones & The Six and Everything I Never Told You, this debut novel probes the dark side of fame after a former pop star ends her own life.

Cassidy Holmes isn't just a celebrity.

She is “Sassy Gloss,” the fourth member of the hottest pop group America has ever seen. Hotter than Britney dancing with a snake, hotter than Christina getting dirrty, Gloss was the
ebook, 448 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Michelle Pinsky
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 ·  10,249 ratings  ·  1,335 reviews

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Taylor Reid
Aug 03, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2020
The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes is a page-turning peek inside the glamour and brutality of life as a pop star. Sloan takes us on a wild ride through the world of music video shoots, expensive hotels, and arena tours — showing us the darkness that threatens just below the surface.
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
I went into this one expecting a Daisy Jones or The Comeback kind of vibe. Young girl, achieves fame, bad stuff happens. Perhaps I just had too high of an expectation for this one. Although I did enjoy this book, it was way too slow of a burn for me. I never felt that it fully took off. I kept waiting for more, but it kept plugging along at the same pace. It took me forever to read this........just saying.

I enjoyed the whole girl pop group but it never dug deep enough to tap into my emotions. I
Michael David
Aug 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Cassidy Holmes was at the pinnacle of her career...a 20-year old in a successful girl group in the early 2000’s when the pop music craze blew up again. So what made her abruptly leave the group while touring for their 2nd album? And what made her allegedly commit suicide after almost 20 years outside of the limelight?

This was my August BOTM, and I was so excited to dig in. I kept hearing that this was “in the vein of ‘Daisy Jones’”, but besides the obvious (rise and fall of group/band, struggles
Elissa Sloan
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I mean, I think it's pretty great. ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
It seems I enjoyed this more than many of my fellow reviewers, but I can definitely understand their critiques.

Told from four narratives, those of Cassidy, Merry, Yumi, and Rose, The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes reminded me a bit of Daisy Jones & The Six...but honestly reminded me more of the life stories of pop groups like the Spice Girls and TLC.

It kept me entertained throughout, but everything felt superficial. The characters weren't completely developed and most of the story lines were
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Amanda Eyre Ward

As always, but especially now, I love my evening escape: me, cozy in a nest of bedding with a bowl of ice cream, opening a great novel. From page one, I knew I was in for a treat with The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes, a fun story which reminded me of another favorite, Daisy Jones & The Six, and also brought to mind the tragic, relentless gossip-mag coverage of Britney Spears's meltdown.

The price of fame and fortune, especially for young women, is the theme at the
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This was my August BOTM, and even though I wasn't a lover of Daisy Jones & The Six (mainly due to the script-like format), I'm a sucker for books involving band drama, so The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes was a must-read for me. If anything, this book made me appreciate Daisy Jones even more, as DJ had a super authentic, sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll feel, whereas Cassidy Holmes fell flat in that department.

The premise is an interesting one - American Idol meets Spice Girls meets Brittney Spears -
Katie B
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars

I had a good feeling going in I would like this book. I'm a big pop culture junkie and I was a young adult in the early 2000s. I remember this time period vividly and so this fictional story about the rise and fall of an all female music group was right up my alley. The author did a nice job capturing the nostalgia of that era's music scene while also highlighting how the industry is not particularly kind to young women.

The story kicks off with letting you know the ending right from th
Samantha Kelley
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was GOOD.

When I heard about The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes on Book of the Month (BOTM), it was advertised towards fans of Daisy Jones and the Six and targeted around the early 2000's. The first line on the back of the book description was:

"She is "Sassy Gloss", the fourth member of the hottest pop group America has ever seen. Hotter than Britney dancing with a snake, hotter than Christina getting dirrty"

and that got me hooked.

The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes follows the
Erika Lynn (shelf.inspiration)
4 Stars

"How do you live knowing the real version of yourself, while every other person in the world thinks they know a different version of you? Can the fake persona eat your real self, mimic so many of your truths that her falsehoods become your reality?"- The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes.

REVIEW: This was my August 2020 Book of the Month pick. This book follows Cassidy Holmes who is one of the four members of the girl group Gloss. After years of music, drama, and success, the group fell apart
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great book that kept me entertained for hours! This book felt so realistic that I had to keep reminding myself that it's a fictional book about a fictional band and that googling some Gloss songs were not going to return any results 😬.

Very well written and perfect for a weekend read.
Aug 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: botm
I...think I hated this one? Would have been an easy DNF but I felt obligated to read all the way through since I purchased through BOTM. I agree with some other reviews that the writing was definitely more on a YA level and had I known that, I probably would not have picked it up. This book is ridiculously long and yet it feels like not much the same time, there were parts where I thought more needed to be said because I was struggling to read between the lines. The characters and ...more
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes follows the rise and fall of the teen girl group Gloss, especially Sassy Cassy who is added to the quartet when one of the original members isn't able to remain with the group. Cassidy has made a name for herself on the singing competition show Sing It where she was the runner up. However, her life really starts to unspool from the moment she doesn't win the competition to Gloss and beyond.
While her parents try to be supportive, there are four other children in
Larry H
Aug 17, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes , Elissa R. Sloan's debut novel, chronicles the highs and lows of an early-aughts pop group.

In the early 2000s, Gloss was the most popular music group around. The four female members—known as Sassy, Rosy, Tasty, and Cherry (or Cassy, Rose, Yumi, and Merry)—were always in the public eye.

But by 2002 it was all over. The group went their own ways, and despite how close they all were, Cassidy in particular lost touch with all of them. Years later, as Ro
Lucas Garner
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Given my score, it’s apparent I wasn’t a fan, but I’ll start with some positives before I get into why I didn’t like the novel.

Sloan’s debut novel is about an aspiring pop star, Cassidy Holmes, being burst into fame after being on a American Idol-esque reality show, and then subsequently joining a group of girls to become known as Gloss. It flips back and forth between the rise and fall of her career, and the present, after Cassidy has committed suicide for unknown reasons. Being Sloan’s first n
Dill Werner
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm proud to have been a sensitivity reader for this book. It was joyous to read, a book that took me back to my 90s youth, when TRL was big and pop stars set the trends. UNRAVELING really shows you what happens behind the curtains, who's pulling the strings, and all the secrets no one wants to admit. ...more
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Won via goodreads giveaways, all my opinions are my own:).

This one was fun:).

It showed the dark side of fame and how everything isn't always and rosy and golden behind the scenes, professionally and personally.

The fake celebrities in this felt so real, it was easy to forget they only existed on the pages. There were times where I wanted to smack/drop kick/shake someone in here.

I do wish (view spoiler)
Elyse  Walters
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cassidy Holmes is ‘Sassy Gloss’....
...the fourth member of the hottest pop group in America.
After a falling out with the group in which Cassidy was the main focus...
she has committed suicide.

Fifteen years ago, the three members of the group -
Rose, Merry, and Yumi - were considered Cassidy’s closest friends.
Each of the girls are shocked to learn about Cassidy’s death. They each wonder what they might have done differently- so Cassidy might not have taken her own life.

The story is told in mul
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Sometimes easy reads break your heart.

TLDR Tropes

- "idol" deconstruction
- Characters dealing with trauma
- Sapphic
- Character study
- Multi POV/Multi timeline

Cassidy Holmes was one of four in a pop idol group akin to an alternative universe US Spice Girls, Gloss. She was Sassy Gloss, the darling, and she had it all until she unexpectedly quit her music career and retreated into obscurity.

She is found dead by suicide years later, leaving her former bandmates only to speculate on her passing. did
Christina Cook
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my favorite books I have read this year. I was totally engrossed from the first chapter. I actually tried to slow down reading this because I was not ready for this story to end. I am 32 years old and grew up obsessed with the Spice Girls (they were my first concert). It reminded me a lot of that era. The only negative thing I have to say about this book is that I wish it were longer (and it was 400 pages). I just wanted this story to go on and on. I LOVED this.
Hillary Dunn
Aug 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book, but when a book starts out with a trigger warning you think it is going to be super gritty and it just never got there for me. All of the darkness I expected just seemed a little watered down.

Also, I thought Jerry was going to be more integral to the story and then nothing ever happened with him!
Joshie Nicole readwithjoshie
Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Famous girl group “Gloss” consisting of Yumi (Yummy), Merry (Cherry), Rose (Rosy) and Cassidy (Sassy) is rocketed to stardom in the height of baby boom pop at the tail end of the 90s. As the famous saying goes, the higher you climb the harder you fall, and it’s no different for the Glossies. Cassidy decides to leave the group on the eve of a massive international tour. Fifteen years later, Ca
This book didn't do it for me. I thought it would be a lot more interesting and the description promised a lot, but I felt let down. It also reads like a young adult novel which I wasn't aware of going in. I thought the plot would be interesting but felt that the timeline and the style of writing didn't do it justice. The book is also long which is weird because it feels like it doesn't cover a lot so I think a lot could have been cut away. Themes and plot lines never really felt flushed out and ...more
Beca ☾
This was a BOTM pick that I'm just now getting to, and I really enjoyed this one! I'm a sucker for books involving band drama, so of course this was a must-read for me! And it didn’t disappoint - I was totally engrossed from the first chapter. It felt realistic and had a Spice Girls era vibe! The ending was not what I was expecting, but I had to remind myself this was Cassidy’s story not all the Gloss Girls.

Very well written, and a quick weekend read!
Nov 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, lgbtqiap
This was an entertaining read about the rise and fall of a pop girl group in the early 2000s. In the sections of the book in the past we follow Cassidy in her overwhelming time as a member of Gloss. Then in 2017 the book follows the other members of the group as they are learning about Cassidy’s unexpected suicide.

I think that the book touched on a lot of important topics, such as mental health, eating disorders, abusive relationships, sexual assault, racism, and stalking. However, the actual w
Katie Long
DNF 25% I thought this would be a fun distraction, but I’m not having fun. Moving on...
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
I loved Cassidy Holmes!

The story of a young girl whose dreams of stardom come true, only it is not all it is cracked up to be. Cassidy joins Gloss and a Spice Girls like group is formed. The ups and downs of fame and fortune, their lives are turned upside down. It changes them forever.

We learn about Cassidy's life before and during the group, right up to her death. What shaped this woman's life - the money, the drugs, the men.

I couldn't get enough of this inside story into the pop machine. I
“Everything about Gloss had made my dreams come true—and ruined my life all in the same fell swoop.”

Do you love music themed fiction? Are you 30ish and grew up with late 90s/ early 2000s pop music and pop culture? Do you like complex stories about strong, complicated women? Then I have a book for you!

Debut author Elissa Sloan’s The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes is the perfect mix of fun, cultural nostalgia, a touch of wish fulfillment, and a mystery that gradually unfolds and keeps your mind wor
Jenna Bookish
Oct 31, 2020 rated it liked it
I loved a lot of things about this book, but the ending just felt really unsatisfying.
Cassidy Newman
Jul 29, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: maybe
a book similar to daisy jones & the six about a girl with my name and my exact nickname (sassy cassy) uhm so anyways 😳
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Book of The Month: *Spoiler Discussion* The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes 1 38 Aug 08, 2020 07:28AM  

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Elissa R. Sloan is a Texas-native Japanese-American, whose closest brush with fame was a Twitter exchange with Neko Case about Nutella. She lives in Austin with her husband and two cats, in a house with a rolling library ladder. Follow her on instagram @elissareads.

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