Friday 22 September 2017


If there's one CC book which has struck a chord with many readers and helped them to see there is light at the end of the tunnel, it's SUMMER'S DREAM. We talk to readers who have been through what Summer did...

Sophie says:
I am fourteen and I live in France, so sorry for my bad English... but I need to thank you for the book COEUR MANDARINE (SUMMER'S DREAM). I am probably not the first girl to say this, but I lost one year of my life because of anorexia. I find it hard to explain my illness, or to talk about it because it is not something people usually talk about. When I read Summer's story I was sad but also happy because finally there was a book about this horrible illness. The book is a very good way to warn young girls about the danger of anorexia. I hope that Cathy will go on writing about this kind of subject because we need books that are brave and real.

Matt says:
I am so grateful for the book SUMMER'S DREAM. I read it because my sister had it (I am a fifteen year old boy and it's hard for boys to pick up books that look like this!). Anyway, I realised after reading this book that I had big issues with food and that I needed to get a grip. I had been bingeing and then purging and it had become a sort of addiction, and I thought it was under control but the book made me see that I was just kidding myself. I talked to my school counsellor and I am getting help now, and the binge/ purge thing is under control. I feel very strongly that boys need books that deal with real life issues too, not just girls - we are all under the same kinds of pressure. SUMMER'S DREAM was a bit of a lifesaver for me.

Jessie says:
SUMMER'S DREAM was the book that made me see that I was in trouble with the way I was with food. Like Summer, I was limiting food and eating only things I thought were low calorie and fat-free, and I thought that was OK. The book showed me that it actually isn't OK at all but very dangerous, but it did this in a very natural and realistic and un-preachy way. I suppose I saw what happened to Summer and how she lost everything because of her eating disorder, and I didn't want that to be me. I was able to pull back before it got too much, and although I still try to eat healthily I am very careful now to make sure I eat enough. I'm not scared of certain foods any more. I saw that Summer used food as a way to try to handle her stress and that was what I had been doing too, and it clearly wasn't a good way of coping. SUMMER'S DREAM taught me a lot and made me think a lot, and I am thankful for that.

Vee says:
I was in hospital being treated for anorexia when my mum gave me SUMMER'S DREAM. She later told me she was nervous about giving the book to me in case it triggered bad thoughts but it had the opposite effect. It made me feel like someone out there understood and that there was hope, because if Summer could put up with the treatment then so could I. I have read some other books about eating disorders but some make it seem like everything can be fixed quite quickly, and that's not true - sometimes they can't be fixed. I have lost friends to this illness. It's not something to mess about with. It's not a joke. SUMMER'S DREAM was one book that seemed to get this, and managed still to be hopeful. I have now read the other books in the series and followed Summer's progress to getting better, and I am making progress too. She is one fictional character I will always be hugely grateful to, because it feels like we have gone through this nightmare together.

Cathy says:
These posts are so moving. SUMMER'S DREAM was a tough book to write because I wanted it to be realistic and yet hopeful too, while dealing with a very difficult subject. Has a book ever helped YOU to cope with something in your life? COMMENT BELOW to tell us more...


  1. I haven't been through an eating disorder but I relate to summer in the sense that she is very ambitious and that her parents have split up just like mine
    She is my fave character
    I agree with Matt there should be more books for boys about problems like these
    I guess most people just presume all boys want to read books about fighting and stuff
    I hope you guys are all getting better
    Love from Aaliyah xxx

  2. Dear Summer,

    I just wanted to tell you about my ex; he behaved with me like Aaron Jones did with you. Whenever I think about it, I always remember your story and how you ended things with Aaron. This always makes me feel better, not because I would wish that on anyone but it makes me feel a little less alone. In the end I said no and although I don't remember saying the words "it's over" or "don't touch me" - I just kept on saying no - my ex no longer made any moves on me. He left me alone in that sense. So I like to think I did something right!

    I haven't found my Alfie yet but I'm not worried about that; I just thought I'd share my experience with you in solidarity and unity. Not only am I seeking reassurance for myself but I also hope that other girls (and boys!) know that if they have a similar story, they're not alone - far from it! I love all the sisters' stories but this book is particularly identifiable.

    Thank you Cathy and Summer!

    Lots of love,

    Summer's sister in solidarity xx



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...