A LOVE STORY STARRING MY BEST FRIEND is one of two novels I’m reading and judging (along with Bart’s Bookshelf) as part of Nerds Heart YA.
Cass is mourning the death of her best friend Julia and deals both by taking a road trip to spread Julia’s ashes (the “then” part of the narrative) and by helping Julia’s boyfriend Oliver and theater geek friends put on a production of a musical Julia wrote called Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad (the “now” part). Her road trip is complicated by having to ride a bike from Chicago to California on school break, and the musical is complicated by her former nemesis Heather getting the lead role.
LOVE STORY is as much about coming to terms with grief as it is about discovering who you are. Cass is the kind of unreflective character who seems to never have thought about actively defining herself. She sees herself as “Julia’s best friend” or “girl who people pick on and call a lesbian”. Because she’s such a “black hole”, I had trouble connecting to her and I felt more like I was being put through the paces of the plot rather than really being touched by it.
But it’s all pleasant enough – and I especially liked the plot and the lyrics of the musical as well as the heartwarming climax to the road trip.
A LOVE STORY STARRING MY BEST FRIEND is available now. Find out more about it at the author’s website.