Sesana'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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's review
Mar 25, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, geek, grief, lgbt, romance, unconventional-format, young-adult

When Cass's best friend, Julia, dies, Cass decides to take her ashes across the country on bicycle, so they can be scattered at the ocean. She's gone off like this, by herself, because Julia's boyfriend has cast her middle school nemesis, Heather, as the star in the musical Julia wrote before her death. When she gets back from her trip, Cass starts helping produce the musical, and gets to know Heather much better.

I just loved this book. Cass and her friends are all engaging characters to me, especially Julia. How can you not love a girl who writes a musical called Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad? How can you not love a group of friends who put their summer on hold to put that play on for her? The romance between Cass and Heather was built very subtly and naturally, and I enjoyed seeing things develop between them.

The one major word of complaint that I have is that the book alternates between chapters set during Cass's bike trip (Then) and chapters set during the production of the musical (Now). It can be a little jarring, and I don't think it was necessary. I think we would have seen a much more satisfactory character arc, for Cass, that way. I suspect that it's because an awful lot of Then is spent with a solitary Cass thinking to herself, and that might have weighed down the first half of the book.

But I really loved this book anyways. I also liked that Cass and her family are practicing Quakers, a religion I haven't seen much at all in YA. I didn't think it was particularly preachy, either, which is also nice.
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