Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend

New York: Dial Books, 2010
272 pages
3.5 out of 5

For months Cass had heard her best friend, Julia, whisper about a secret project.  When Julia dies in a car accident, her drama friends decided 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 her 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.

This is a story of the breadth of love.  Of the depth of friendship. And of the most hilarious musical one quiet suburb has ever seen. (Description from Amazon).

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.

Disclosure: I borrowed this ebook from my local library.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (22)

IMM is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.  The idea is to share books bought, borrowed, scavenged, traded and won.  For more information click here.


Jolted: Newton Starker's Rules for SurvivalHere Comes Julie Jack

Here Comes Julie Jack by Ann Clare LeZotte*


The Book of Lost SoulsSecond Hand Heart

Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto
Second Hand Heart by Catherine Ryan Hyde


Football GeniusThe Magnificent 12: The Call

Football Genius by Tim Green
Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant

*This one is a little younger than MG, but I wanted to mention it because it features a kid with a disability.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Home Again

Yes, I'm back. Thankfully I returned before the riots began in London, but I was certainly distressed to read about such sad things. Even so, I was sad to leave because my trip was absolutely wonderful.

Anyway, there were things to finish up for classes, and the difficult task of getting back into the swing of things to contend with, which is why I've been so quiet.

My London adventures kept me quite busy so I didn't get much reading done. I finished Frankenstein just before leaving and Songs for a Teenage Nomad shortly after returning. That being said my normal blogging schedule will start up again next week starting with IMM on Sunday. Thanks for your patience. 

If you want to find out more about my study abroad trip check out my travel blog: all-nightcafe.blogspot.com