This week on Novel Ideas, we are discussing a listener suggested book, A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner. In this episode, we have a bit of a role reversal at the top of the episode due to an attempted technical workaround that didn’t end up working. Or perhaps it’s better if we don’t explain these things and you just chalk up it up to Ben’s idiocy. In fact, from now on assume that all issues you have with the show are related to Ben’s idiocy. Issues like repeatedly referencing The Hunger Games even though it has nothing to do with this book, or not knowing the proper terminology for
bike riders cyclists. In this episode we will also delve into the YA teen death genre, shy survivor types, unusual treatments of sexuality, and shallow characterization. We also discuss why teen writing sucks, the dead girl is annoyingly perfect, the badassery of Quakers, and causes of YA death. We’ll also cover, though not specifically (nor in detail) what the acronym in the episode title stands for (it’s also in the tags.)
Administrative note: We said a bunch of stuff about the next episode that is not correct. For example, Cursed Child has already been posted. Next episode will be Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
The music bump is “Ninjas of the Night” from an Youtube video of ancient vintage, but is nonetheless perfectly in line with the depiction of ninjas in this book.
Our Recommendation: Meh. It’s kind of two books trying to be one book.
Ben: 5/10. At various points I was pretty sure I disliked this book. And then when it was over, I still didn’t like it. But I didn’t dislike it enough to argue for or against. So it has that going for it.
Gabs: 8/10 for could have been with the bike trip story. 5/10 for what actually happened with mediocre ninjas.
This entry was posted in Episodes and tagged A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend, age gaps, all white cast?, ambiguous character descriptions, Another Fucking Book About A Dead Teenager, BICYCLE ENTHUSIASTS ALL RIGHT, bike riders, cause of YA death, chronology issues, compressed storylines, cyclists, disregard technical difficulties, elaborate play sets, Emily Horner, friendship, grief, hike/ride PSA, informed ability, lesbian stereotypes, listener suggestion, not shipping, Quakers, references, role reversal, self-discovery, shallow characterization, shy survivor, split story, teen writing sucks, teen-adult flip, too perfect caricatures, undefined sexuality, unrelated to The Hunger Games, unusual coming out, YA teen death, YA themes.
We apologize for the lengthy interregnum, it was so long that we had to look up a new word just to describe it. Or possibly we just have trouble getting our act together sometimes. At any rate, Novel Ideas is back with Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, a story of a woman’s personal journey to self-realization. Listen to the episode to hear our conversation about dialect, ambition, feminism, and race. We also talk about white history professors, bees, how rabies works, and kickass deathbed scenes.
Quick scheduling note: We’re trying to post an episode for John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War next week, followed by our year in review episode for “Season 2” of Novel Ideas. There is likely to be a couple more missed weeks after that as Gabs gets married and goes on her honeymoon. Or maybe Ben will post something highly self-indulgent while we’re waiting. We’ll have to see.
If you have any comments or questions about anything we’ve talked about in the past year, please let us know! Also, if there’s anything you were hoping we might talk about outside those books, also let us know. We’d like to find some interesting and slightly different content for the end of the year episode if we can.
The music bump this week is “Janie Runaway” by Steely Dan, after our plucky protagonist.
A 20th century classic that is commonly assigned in school with a lot of conversation worthy content. A little tough to read due mainly to the use of dialect, but also rather short.
Gabs: 7/10 for literary value, 5/10 for ease of reading.
Ben: 5.5/10 because I liked it more than I didn’t, but just barely. This one felt kind of like assigned reading.
This entry was posted in Admin, Episodes and tagged 30 acres and a mule, ambition, assigned reading, childless female protagonist, coming of age, death by rabies, deathbed confrontation, dialect, domestic violence, feminism, go to the doctor, life, listener suggestion, love, marriage, mixed race, mule funeral, nicknames, personal story, punctuality, puppy story, racism, research standards, science standards, self-actualization, self-importance, social lenses, the bees, Their Eyes Were Watching God, white history professor, Zora Neale Hurston.