Wednesday, April 11, 2012
J for Julia and journeys - A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend, by Emily Horner (fiction)
Funny, smart, drama chick Julia,
Best friend ever.
Dead in a car crash - bam. Just like that.
Now Cass won't see how Julia would have finished her amazing play and will never know if there could be more than just friendship between them. But she and Julia had long planned that they would bike all the way to the Pacific Ocean after graduation - no reason to wait a whole year, so Cass preps for a solo bike trek in the summer before her senior year, taking along Julia's ashes from Chicago to the sea.
Let the drama kids take Julia's work-in-progress and turn it into a play over the summer - Cass is taking action. She doesn't sit around moping and mourning - she pedals and aches and discovers things about herself and about friendship that she never imagined. That's probably the most 'ninja' way to live of all - Julia would have cheered for that.
Look for this debut novel at your local library or independent bookstore and journey along with Cass and Julia, maybe finding a little more love along the way.
Book info: A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend / Emily Horner. Dial Books, 2010. [author's website] [publisher site] [book trailer]
My Recommendation: After Julia’s death in a car crash, Cass can’t stay in town as the Drama Kids get ready to perform Julia’s “top secret” play as a tribute to begin their senior year of high school. Cass decides to bicycle from Ohio to California, just as she and Julia had planned. But instead of Julia as her traveling buddy, she’ll have her best friend’s ashes along for the ride to the Pacific Ocean, Julia’s dream destination.
Why would she want to spend all summer painting sets for Julia’s incredible “Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad” musical, especially when Heather (who loudly questioned Cass’s sexual orientation throughout junior high) gets the lead and Julia’s boyfriend keeps changing the staging? Why?
So, armed with cellphone, maps, spare bike parts, her parents’ blessings, and Julia’s ashes, Cass heads off across the country. She meets good people, not-so-good people, her first love, and herself along the way.
Can Cass make it all the way to California on her bike? Will the Drama Kids be able to put on Julia’s musical with no adult interference? Did Cass love Julia or was she in love with Julia or does it even matter since Julia is dead?
Alternating chapters of Then (the summer trip) and Now (last-minute preparations for the musical) reveal Cass’s worries and wonderment about life, love, and dividing by zero (“so ninja!” according to Julia). (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.