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She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 479 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the aftermath of the Columbine High School tragedy, a story came out about Cassie Bernall, a young woman who allegedly professed her belief in God in the moments before she was shot dead. Hailed a modern-day martyr by Christian groups and the media, detectives revealed months later that she may never have had such an exchange with her killer. Bernall's parents responded to the news with a statement:

"Our intent was to share Cassie's story in an effort to encourage parents and teenagers. If any of our actions have hurt or offended anyone, we sincerely apologize."

In She Said Yes, a moving memoir written by Cassie's mother, Misty Bernall, we meet the real Cassie, a typical adolescent who struggles with peer pressure and her relationship with her parents. Once headed down the common teenage path of self-loathing and depression, Cassie turned her life around through her faith and the support of a group of people who helped her find peace and purpose--her youth group at church. Though Cassie was far from the perfect child, She Said Yes tells the story of how Cassie's faith gave her the strength to overcome the obstacles she faced in her young life. Regardless of what happened at Columbine, She Said Yes is a moving tribute to an extraordinary young woman and a lesson for both parents and teenagers alike. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

It's bleak and wrenching to hear the family of a slain teenager try to make sense of what happened. Bernall's daughter, Cassie, a 17-year-old junior, was a victim in the student-led massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Mother, father and brother trade off narration, starting with a description of Cassie's last morning, eerie in its normalcy, as she prepared for school. Then the terrible event of her death is reconstructed, with the help of eyewitness reports from fellow students. It is from these that the Bernall family first heard of Cassie's "martyrdom," how she was asked aboutAand affirmedAher belief in God before she was shot. The tape would be a morbid tearjerker if it stopped there, but thankfully the author goes further, describing the day-to-day reality of Cassie's own troubled adolescence (she had been attracted to Satanism and with a friend had fantasized about killing her parents). This allows for an intimate discussion of parenting, faith and understanding that plays especially convincingly on audio. Simultaneous release with the Plough hardcover. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Illustrated. edition (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743400526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743400527
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (479 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roy J. Laird on December 29, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A good read but unfortunately it is well documented that none of it is true. Even worse, there WAS a girl who professed her faith -- AFTER being shot -- but she has been ridiculed and humiliated by people who need to believe in this book. Cf. Columbine by Dave Cullen.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a devout Christian with a particular hatred for dishonesty, both from myself & others. If a gun was shoved in my face & I was asked whether I believed in God, I would be bound both to my creator & to my own sense of honor to answer "yes." That said, I am not here to repeat what has already been discovered regarding the actual events at Columbine High School. I am not here to review the news coverage of the tragedy. I am not here to review the motives of two psychopaths. I am not here to review the life of Cassie Bernall. I am here to review the BOOK "She Said Yes," & I am here to review it HONESTLY.

This is not a good book. The narrative is disjointed & awkward, often taking long tangents that have little to do with the subject. The point-of-view changes between Misty Bernall & the other people who contributed to the book are often unclear. The timeline is hard to follow. Many descriptions are overly-detailed for their minor relevance to the story, while other descriptions are far too vague for their major relevance. Misty egrigiously abuses hindsight & foreshadowing in her account of her daughter's life, treating Cassie's every action for 17 years as a significant contribution to her last moments. Several ridiculously fallacious assumptions are made, most importantly the idea that the shooters would not have killed somebody who answered "No", when ALL accounts of the massacre (from the day it happened onward) indicate that they were slaughtering indiscriminately. The prose is mechanically & grammatically poor as well. To put it plainly; the book is a painful chore to read.

Now, I understand that the author was under incomprehensible emotional distress at the time; I cannot & do not pretend to be able to know what the loss of one's child is like.
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3 Comments 77 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Other than containing Christian Evangelical propaganda, there isn't much of value in this book. The book is highly historically inaccurate to the point that even the cover is inaccurate. Poor Cassie has been used as a propaganda icon all these years and anyone who tries to tell the truth of what actually happened in the library that day gets shouted down. Witnesses in the library with Cassie that day said that she never had a chance to say anything, she was just blown away. What makes her death even more sad is that her memory is being abused with shameless lies promoting her as something commercial.
This book is a propaganda fest, nothing more. It cannot be trusted as an accurate recall of the Columbine tragedy. (This is in what little of the book IS devoted to the tragedy).
For those looking for religious inspiration, this is a great book...
but it is NOT an accurate history and documentation of Columbine.
If you want an accurate and thorough account of the events leading up to Columbine, the various documents and interviews, the media reactions, the central characters, and an in-depth look into the twisted minds of Mr. Harris and Mr. Klebold, then I would highly recommend this instead:
"Columbine" by Dave Kullen
Columbine

PS... this is my personal opinion. I mean no offense to the victims of this terrible tragedy, Cassie included. My heart goes out to the families of those who were lost.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I remember getting this book as birthday gift when I was 12 or 13, as the shootings occurred near my birthday (April 17) and initially I was moved by the book; little did I know it was a fabrication. But honestly, when I was that young, everything I knew about the Columbine tragedy was misconstrued by the media's false doings; I didn't know what REALLY happened. But now, I'm nearly 21, I'm doing a research paper on Columbine and I'm discovering what really happened. Yes, it's a tragedy that she died but why base a book on a complete fabricated LIE. She never said yes and she wasn't sitting in the library, but hiding underneath the tables. Also, as another reviewer mentioned, another girl (Valeen) said yes and wasn't killed. Harris and Klebold didn't kill her because she was christian, they simply killed her b/c she they felt like killing anybody that day; she was just one of their innocent victims. I find it utterly disgusting that her parents capitalized on her death based on a lie. Cassie was an innocent victim, NOT a martyr. I recommend reading any work by Dave Cullen, who was a reporter the day the incident occurred. He also has a new book coming out called 'Columbine.' I can't wait to read it to finally discover the REAL truth.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this novel years ago. It was only recently that I realized the main premise of the story is false.

There are two people where it was reported they were asked if they believed in God. Supposedly, both answered yes and died a martyr's death. Both stories have been proven to be false.

The first is Rachel Scott. There was another victim shot next to her that survived. His name was Richard. For many years it was stated that Rachel had gotten shot twice. The first time she fell to the ground, along with Richard. One of the shooters (I will not use their names) came up to her and asked her if she believed in God. She said yes and she was shot again and her life was lost.

Richard stated many years later that she was never asked that question. He also stated the story was not created by him. So, in essence, the Rachel Scott death was over dramatized.

The second martyrdom story is about Cassie Bernall. Supposedly, she was asked if she believed in God. She then said yes and, subsequently was shot and killed.

Unfortunately, it never happened. There was a teacher on the phone while the shootings were going on in the library. The shooter can be clearly heard saying, "Peekaboo," before shooting Cassie. There was no God talk with her.

That question was asked, though. It was not to Cassie. It was to a girl named Valeen Schnurr. She was shot first and then the shooter walked up to her and asked if she believed in God. Valeen said yes. Then the shooter asked why and she responded that her parents had brought her up that way.

So, who is responsible for both these wrong facts being propagated? It is only one person. His name is Craig Scott and he is the brother of Rachel Scott.
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