Saving Casey by Liza O’Connor

Saving Casey by Liza O’Connor
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (197 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Having been diagnosed with cancer, Cass Goldman decides to opt out of any futile medical care and end her life. While she has some thoughts on afterlife, she never expects to reincarnate into the body of a seventeen-year-old girl named Casey Davidson.

When she awakens in a hospital, Cass discovers two disturbing facts: One, she is now inside the body of a troubled teenager, and two, the former owner of this body committed suicide, but only Cass knows that. Everyone else believes Casey has survived, but suffered a complete memory loss. Cass has two choices: to take on Casey’s life and turn it around, or to confess the truth about her reincarnation and end up in a mental asylum. Given this second chance to life, Cass decides to take on the future life of Casey—the frightening ghoul-faced teen with short, black, spiky hair.

Every person around Cass has an ulterior motive and discovering the truth of Old Casey’s life is more complicated than the “new math” she is forced to learn in school. In addition, Cass has to contend with raging teenage hormones and the prior crimes of Old Casey, which she might not remember, but everyone else certainly does. However, her biggest frustration concerns her feelings for her father’s rugged security specialist who sees her only as a teenager and doesn’t want to explore the mutual attraction between them.

Will her second chance at life prove to be worth the struggles she has to overcome?

Not everyone gets a second chance. Eighty year old Cass Goldman got hers.

Cass ended her own long life after a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Instead of the pearly gates, Cass woke in a hospital room in the body of a seventeen year old suicide survivor, surrounded by her parents. She soon learns Casey, the girl who was actually successful in her suicide, although no one but Cass knows, had alienated just about everyone in her life. Further investigation, however, showed Cass that Casey was much more of a victim than a perpetrator.

This was an interesting story. Casey was a very strong person to have endured what she did, and my heart bled for her. Seemed everyone in her life abandoned her when she needed them most, so she needed to turn inward to survive. The journey Cass takes to save Casey from further harm was complex, suspenseful, and full of twists and turns.

I was left with a few questions, or holes I felt the story contained, which kept it from scoring higher. Cass was supposed to be eighty when she passed originally. As Casey, she spoke very young, so other than occasional reminders of her chronological age, it was hard to remember Cass was actually a much older soul. It just seemed at times she was another person in a strange body instead of being so much more experienced. I wondered why Cass didn’t mention, or at least investigate, what happened to her original self after she passed, but once she was Casey, she was Casey. I’m still not sure we ever got reason for the switch, either.

The romance between Cass/Casey and Troy was not believable to me. I can see Cass relying on Troy, since he was her protection, but there was little reason, or opportunity, for Troy to develop feelings for Cass. As far as he was concerned, she was a seventeen year old kid (to his thirty). I knew he admired her tenacity, but as far as anything further – especially something long lasting – I just wasn’t sure what that was based on. The romance seemed a secondary storyline, but it did take much of the second half of the book.

Poor Casey endured much more than any person should ever have to, and reading it was difficult at times. Her mother was far from likable, but her father seemed a good guy. If you’re looking for a story of survival, redemption, strength and ultimate victory, this one has an interesting ride.


  1. I would have been intensely curious about my former life in her shoes.

    It’s too bad that it sounds like we never learn why she was reincarnated or what the rules of starting over in a new body actually are in this universe. That would have been really interesting stuff to learn!

    But I’m still intrigued by this tale. You did a good job snagging my attention. 🙂

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