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A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by…

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend (edition 2010)

by Emily Horner

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1991059,063 (3.8)10
Title:A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend
Authors:Emily Horner
Info:Dial (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:GLBTRT, Rainbow Book List, 2011

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A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner


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I can't say that I know what I was expecting when it came to this novel, but I know it's not what it ended up being about. What's better though, is that I mean that in a good way.

The novel is told completely from Cass's point of view, but at different times in her life. It flits between the summer where she comes to grips with losing Julia and "the present" school year where she once again comes face-to-face with an old nemesis from middle school. The switch was jarring a few times, primarily because I wanted to know more about what was happening and not take a trip down memory lane. Though the flashback chapters are important to understanding the relationship between Cass and Julia, I found them less interesting than the present events.

As the description mentions, Julia wrote a play called Totally Sweet Ninja Deathsquad. Whenever a phrase such as this pops in a book, I get a little worried. How hard is this trying? Well this one doesn't feel that way at all. The language is appropriate and natural. I can absolutely see Julia as the author of the play, and her friends as the ones who get it on stage.

This novel is an example of how things come about in unexpected ways. Friends prove themselves, opportunities present themselves, and love finds a way. ( )
  jennk | Mar 11, 2016 |
The story of how a well-loved member of a crowd's death affects the crowd is not new, and I picked this up with a bit of trepidation. It was unwarranted. Horner's first novel is ably plotted and well-done. There were more than a few laugh-out-loud moments, and I liked the narrator very well. She was achingly believable and so adolescently stupid she could have stepped right off the page.

I loved the long-distance bicycle trip. I loved the growth in the characters throughout the story. I loved the way the friends close ranks when it becomes important. There's a lot here to love.

For all that I loved it, I recognize that it's a first novel. The dialogue was more than a little wooden in spots. There were some minor bobbles in believability and consistency, and the flashback flash forward format is difficult to follow at first, but overall I think it a very worthwhile and solid story. ( )
1 vote satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
I can't review this rationally or give it a rating. It hit me in some vulnerable places at a vulnerable time, but not in a bad way. I'm glad I read it.
  GinnyTea | Mar 31, 2013 |
This was such a “right book at the right time” for me. The idea of chucking it all for a solitary cross-country journey of self-discovery sounds so awesome right now I can’t even tell you. This is the sort of book that inspires a soundtrack — she’s biking, not sitting on a train or bus, but you can picture the “staring out a window listening to folk rock as the corn fields fly by” montage anyway. (Full review at http://www.parenthetical.net/2011/05/16/review-a-love-story-starring-my-dead-bes...) ( )
  SamMusher | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This funny, touching, and sweet coming-of-age story explores serious themes in a fresh way. Cass's tentative questioning of her own sexuality and her hesitant approach toward her first serious romantic relationship will delight readers who struggle with similar issues, as well as those who simply enjoy a well-crafted story. (Starred review.)
added by foggidawn | editSchool Library Journal, Misti Tidman
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First words
Dear Julia,

I'm writing this because I still turn around whenever I hear your name, and I just turned around.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
For months, Cass has heard her best friend, Julia, whisper about a secret project. When Julia dies in a car accident, her drama friends decide to bring the project - a musical called Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad - to fruition. But Cass isn't a drama person. She can’t take a summer of painting sets, and she won’t spend long hours with Heather, the girl who made her miserable all through middle school and has somehow landed the leading role. So Cass takes off. In alternating chapters, she spends the first part of summer on a cross-country bike trip and the rest swallowing her pride, making props, and - of all things - falling for Heather.
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As she tries to sort out her feelings of love, seventeen-year-old Cass, a spunky math genius with an introverted streak, finds a way to memorialize her dead best friend.

(summary from another edition)

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