I recently had the great pleasure of reading my way through three books in the middle grade series, Completely Cassidy, by British author Tamsyn Murray! I happened upon the first novel, Accidental Genius, when it showed up as a recommended read on my e-reader. And my goodness, am I ever so happy that I followed through with that recommendation! The Completely Cassidy series is an absolute delight: with bonkers family descriptions and dynamics a la Georgia Nicholson, and the terrific combination of genuine warmth and hysterical writing, I found myself laughing out loud constantly.
Through the series of the three books in the series (so far!), we follow eleven year old Cassidy Bond as she treks her way through a new year at school- all the while dealing with the non-stop frenzy that is her home and personal life. With her mom pregnant with twins, her dad a popular Elvis impersonator, and her older brother an often insufferable wannabe rockstar, and a dog that likes to eat underwear…Cassidy has a crazy (but loving) home life. What is more, with two best friends who each excel (and are known for) excelling at their sport and activities, Cassidy hopes to find her one special talent. Something that might just set her apart from everyone else around her. And if said talent is cool and awesome and happens to attract the attention of one specific very handsome, very intelligent, all around nice classmate, all the better.
Readers looking for an engaging, winsome and strong young protagonist to follow will likely find much to love about Cassidy’s relatable and funny first-person narrative (and the illustrations by Antonia Miller are lovely!).
With a strong cast of characters, including a great group of friends, well-defined family members, and terrific (and terrifically fun) storylines, I cannot recommend this series enough! Those who are avid readers of the diary and/or mixed media format books- think of titles by Meg Cabot, Emma Shevah, Jaclyn Moriarty, Annie Kelsey, Louise Rennison, Grace Dent, Jeff Kinney, or Tom Easton- will likely adore this series. More generally, I think a reader of any age who enjoys British writers and wonderfully comedic stories with a British-slant will have a great time reading these books! I hope that we get to see more novels about Cassidy in the future!