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A Loss for Gloss

The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes: A Novel, Elissa R. Sloan with blue background and bookmark

Over the weekend I picked up a novel by Elissa R. Sloan entitled The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes. The premise follows the rise of Gloss, a girl group of singers in the early aughts, and the demise of Gloss’ Cassidy Holmes in the years following. 

Told from multiple perspectives, the reader learns early on that Cassidy has died by suicide. Yet no one knows what drove her to such an end. Rose, Yumi, and Merry each believe that she knew Cass the best. More than halfway through the book I’m still trying to figure out who of them was truly closest to Cassidy. 

I’m certainly enjoying the story, but I admit the writing lacks punch. I will be curious to see how Sloan refines her craft in future works. But for laying in a hammock on a Saturday afternoon, this is exactly the type of book I want in my hands. 

For Wordy Wednesday I bring you two words from Unraveling. Following each word you’ll find the sentence in which I found it, the Oxford definition, and a sentence of my own with the word in it. 


“Listen, ladies, the money isn’t in the music. I tell all new working chanteuses this because I don’t want them to fail” (117).

Noun: a female singer of popular songs, especially in a nightclub. 

When she imagined her singing career, she envisioned herself on the stage of La Scala, a star soprano of the opera, not a chanteuse singing old hits under the garish lights of a local club. 


“‘This is more invasive than a visit to the gynecologist,’ she groused” (129).

Verb: complain pettily; grumble. 

“I hate mushrooms,” he groused, picking the topping off his slice of pizza. 

What do you recommend for a light weekend read? Share in the comments! 



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