Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend-- Emily Horner

Things that are happening during the summer before Cass's senior year in high school:

Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad.
A badass solo bike ride from Illinois to California (kinda).
A musical which should have stared Julia, but instead stars Heather, the girl who mercilessly called Cass a dyke in front of the whole school.
Self discovery.
Two first kisses.

Something that happened in the spring:

Julia, Cass's best friend and secret (even to herself) girlcrush is killed in a car accident... and Cass's world implodes. Her hippy-liberal-Quaker parents encourage Cass to find her way out of the blackness, and Cass decides to do so by making a cross country bike trip, alone, to scatter Julia's ashes in the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, Cass and Julia's friends decide to produce Julia's legacy, the musical she'd been slaving over "Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad."

This book is told in Then and Now passages, isn't linear, and is totally compelling. I literally couldn't put it down. Sometimes YA coming of age stories are unrealistically good (ahem, John Green), but this one really communicates how boundaries in the mind can be blurry, and how easy it can be to trick yourself into believing a lie... basically just like real life. I also found this book to be quite well written and will be keeping it in mind when it's time to select titles for Mock Printz!

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