Kat's Reviews > A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner
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Sep 22, 2010

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bookshelves: death, glbtq, ya-fiction
Read in September, 2010

Cross-country biking, drama nerds, sexuality in question...All things that make for potentially good YA lit but didn't completely hit the mark for me. To summarize, Cass is deeply mourning the unexpected death of her best friend Julia, and she decides to hit the road on her bike in Julia's honor to fulfill their dream of traveling cross-country to CA together. Meanwhile, Julia's friends have decided to make one of her other dreams come true postmortem by bringing Julia's work-in-progress musical, "Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad", to the stage. The story is told in alternating "Then" & "Now" chapters, with the "Then" chapters telling the story of Cass's initial grief-laden decision to make the trip and the adventures on the road that follow, with the "Now" chapters focusing on the pre-production and rehearsal of Ninja Death Squad. Much to Cass's dismay, a former bully that once called her out publicly on her sexuality has been cast as the lead, and now Cass must come to terms with it while she and the rest of the cast work through their grief.

Overall I thought some parts were lacking, but I enjoyed the story. I think it's excellent that the market for YA GLBTQ novels is booming and becoming increasingly diverse, and I appreciate that this one has been added to the mix because it features a more subtle self-questioning of sexuality that many teens can likely relate to. In the beginning of the novel, Cass really isn't sure what she is since she doesn't feel strongly either way. She worries that something might be "wrong" with her for not having any sexual preference, but she eventually begins to understand and accept her feelings as someone who is attracted to girls.
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