Overall: 88/100 or B
For months, Cass Meyer has heard her best friend Julia, a wannabe Broadway composer, whispering about a top-secret project. Then Julia is killed in a sudden car accident, and while Cass is still reeling from her death, Julia’s boyfriend and her other drama friends make it their mission to bring to fruition the nearly-completed secret project: a musical about an orphaned ninja princess entitled Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad.
Cass isn’t one of the drama people. She doesn’t feel at home with Julia’s drama friends, and she doesn’t see a place for her in the play. Things only get worse when she finds out that Heather Galloway, the girl who made her miserable all through middle school, has been cast as the ninja princess.
Cass can’t take a summer of swallowing her pride and painting sets, so she decides to follow her original plan for a cross-country road trip with Julia. Even if she has a touring bicycle instead of a driver’s license, and even if Julia’s ashes are coming along in Tupperware.
Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad is a story about friendship. About love. About traveling a thousand miles just to find yourself. About making peace with the past, and making sense of it. And it’s a story about the bloodiest high school musical one quiet suburb has ever seen.
I actually put off reading this book, because I have heard a lot of mixed reviews on it. I actually enjoyed A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend a lot. Parts of Cass reminded me of myself. In high school, I was always on the fringe of several cliques in high school and never felt that I truly belonged in any of them. I understand how vicious middle schoolers can be and that helped me understand the tough shell that Cass had. The emotions that Cass had were so intense and realistic, I felt all of them. Heather seemed like a bitch at the beginning of this book, but she turned out to be likable and sweet at times. The other characters added humor to the story and kept me laughing. The plot was slow at the beginning, but it quickly became engaging. I liked that the story alternated back in forth and it showed the extreme growth that happened to Cass in such a short time. I found the theater aspect to be entertaining, but I love musicals and it could be boring to anyone that doesn't like it. There was also a lot of originality that was with in the book. I liked the one last legacy part that came from them preforming Totally Sweet Ninja Death. Horner made a fantastic debut. I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary young adult fiction.