…Or Not? (Mandabach, 2007) is a collection of the thoughts and writings of Cassie Sullivan, a young girl on a search for her identity. The novel is written through a series of journal entries and stories written by Cassie, an 8th grader, who does not quite fit in at her school. The journal chronicles her experiences with her parents as they try to be the best parents they can, often over stepping their boundaries in Cassie’s opinion. During the novel Cassie grows into a young woman who, for the first time, develops good friends and a boy friend. She struggles with many of the ideas that young people today deal with; such as sex, love, drug and alcohol use, and even suicide. She is a smart girl and she knows it, but her main struggle is at school; trying to balance her abilities to succeed academically and the limitations that are placed upon her due to her social status at school.
By: Brian Mandabach