Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review: A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner

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.


Zibilee said...

"Put through the paces of the plot" is the perfect way to describe what I feel sometimes reading books that fail to inspire me, and I am thankful that I finally have a name for it! I am not sure that I would like this one, but that musical does sound rather intriguing.

bermudaonion said...

It sounds like the book had unfulfilled potential.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of this one. I'm not sure it's for me.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Ah, this looks like a GREAT book...or at least a great IDEA of a book. I hate it when things seem like they have such potential but never really fire up and get to work, emotionally.