“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.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones and The Six
“I didn't know I was waiting for a smart, literary writer to craft a novel about the rise and fall of a teen star akin to Britney Spears until I discovered The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes. A witty, bright, hilarious—and at times devastating—read. I loved it." —Amanda Eyre Ward, New York Times bestselling author of The Jetsetters
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 pop act that everyone idolized. Fans couldn't get enough of them, their music, and the drama that followed them like moths to a flame—until the group’s sudden implosion in 2002. And at the center of it all was Sassy Cassy, the Texan with a signature smirk that had everyone falling for her.
But now she's dead. Suicide.
The world is reeling from this unexpected news, but no one is more shocked than the three remaining Glossies. Fifteen years ago, Rose, Merry, and Yumi had been the closest to Cassidy, and this loss is hitting them hard. Before the group split, they each had a special bond with Cassidy—truths they told, secrets they shared. But after years apart, each of them is wondering: what could they have done?
Told in multiple perspectives—including Cassidy herself—and different timelines, this is a behind-the-scenes look into the rise and fall of a pop icon, and a penetrating examination of the dark side of celebrity and the industry that profits from it.
Sloan takes on the fraught topic of mental illness coupled with the pressure of fame in her sensational debut. As three members of a fading pop group are doing a London radio interview, they learn that their fourth member, Cassidy Holmes, who left the group in 2002 after they rose to international stardom, has committed suicide in Los Angeles. Sloan then flashes back to 1999, with Cassidy coming in second on a singing competition show. Cassidy is then tapped to audition for a Spice Girls-esque group called Gloss. She gets the gig and is christened "Sassy" Gloss, and she and her bandmates Yumi (aka Tasty), Rose (aka Rosy) and Merry (aka Cherry) sell out concert venues across the planet, getting press for their alleged infighting and party mishaps as much as for their #1 hits. But in 2002, after one of Cassidy's friends suffers life-threatening injuries in a car accident that Cassidy blames herself for, Cassidy walks away from the group in despair. The dark side of fame is evident throughout this spirited and expertly plotted story, especially in characterizations of abusive musician Stephen St. James and Gloss's ruthless manager, Peter. The author creates an unforgettable heroine in Cassidy and convincingly explores the depth of her depression. Sloan's debut will leave readers eagerly awaiting her next outing. Correction: The author's last name was incorrect in a previous version of this review.