A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend

Reader: GuananĂ­
Age: 15
Title: A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend
Author: Emily Horner
Publisher: Penguin
Pub Date: June 2010
Galley: No
Nominate for Teen's Top10: No
Recommend: No
Convince us to read the book: I would not recommend this book because even though it tried to tackle several big themes like dealing with grief, forgiveness, figuring out your sexual identity and slapstick ninja musicals, the story and main character just weren't convincing. Most of the prose was the main character complaining, explaining and griping about her romantic and grief confusion, which was fine at first but became exhausting after sixty pages. The style of switching back and forth every chapter between the epic bike ride in June and tedious theater work and relationship slogging in August was confusing and made me frustrated because I kept wanting things in order. Then again, without the switching the book would have lost the little suspense it had. I ended up skimming and skipping many chapters, and by the end only a couple predictable things had changed.
Compelling aspects of the book: The one thing I liked about this book was when Cassandra kisses the random bass player in the motel hallway. It was the most descriptive scene and was funny and interesting at the same time. I think I would have rather read a short story adaptation of that scene than the rest of the book.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons why you were disappointed with the book: I think I covered my disappointment. Since I skipped or skimmed about half the book, I think it doesn't count as actually finishing it.
Cover: I picked up this book because the style of the cover made me think it would be a silly, slightly dumb but fun summer kind of book. It also had "dead" in the title, which always gets my attention. The image of the motel and the bike fit the content physically, but was too cheerful for the book's mood. The pictured girl looks very happy, fashionable and giddy, almost the complete opposite of the grief-stricken,conflicted main character trying to pedal away from her thoughts and obsessing about not being cool and pretty.
Age Range: 12-15
Quality: 2Q Needs more work

No comments: