Just Sayin’ by Dandi Daley MacKall: A Book Review

I’ve read two books by Dandi Daley MacKall this year, and I have to say, she is quickly becoming one of my favorite young adult authors.

In Just Sayin’, the main character is Cassie, a tween who is living in Missouri with her grandmother while her mother “finds herself” in California.  Almost the entire book is written in the form of letters, mostly that Cassie writes and receives.

Just a few months before, Cassie had been happy because her mom was about to marry Trevor, a single father with two kids, Nick and Julie.  Nick is Cassie’s age, and even though they insult each other, they do love each other and are excited about becoming a family.  But when Cassie’s mom gets cold feet, the wedding is abruptly called off and Trevor and his family move to Chicago.

Throughout most of the summer, Cassie and Nick write letters to one another, sharing insults, trying to figure out what caused their parents’ break up, and trying to scheme how to get their parents back together.

Meanwhile, Cassie decides to also write to Jonathon Kirby, the star of The Hour of Insult television show.  When The Hour of Insult hosts a contest for the season finale, calling it The Last Insult Standing, Cassie and Nick both apply to be contestants.  They’re not motivated by fame, but rather by the prize–an all expense paid cruise.  If they can win, they hope that they can get their parents back together because they’d have to talk if they were trapped on a boat for five days.

This is a fun book, especially for young adults.  Cassie, through her letter writing, learns a lot about herself, her mom, and her faith.  Readers can sympathize with Cassie’s predicament and see the frustration of two adults who just cannot communicate clearly because they are so afraid of being hurt again.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

I received this book for free from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.


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