Literature: The Cornersville Trace Mythos
The Cornerville Trace Mythos
The real world isn't like how Eileen Codlin wrote it. It's stranger, sadder, scarier, and smellier. But it's also the type of world where you can feel beautiful while flinging around unicorn poop.
Jennifer Van Der Berg, Extraordinary*
are a series of young adult books by Adam Selzer that take place in the fictional town of Cornersville Trace, Iowa. They started off as a realistic fiction humor series, but have recently started entering the Urban Fantasy
genre. They are, in order:
- How to Get Suspended and Influence People: 14-year-old Leon Noside Harris is a gifted (not to mention endlessly sarcastic) 8th grader who is tasked with creating a sex-ed video (long story). He decides to craft it as an avante-garde film, and also decides to be frank about masturbation, which angers Mrs. Smollett.
- Pirates of the Retail Wasteland: Leon and his friends from the gifted pool are back, making another film, but this one is a documentary about their favorite coffee shop and the local Starbucks knockoff, Whackfords. Their plan to save the coffee shop involves, sarcasm (as usual), pirates, and accountants.
- I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It: This is where the Urban Fantasy aspect sets in (just look at the title). Alley is a high school student living in the post-human era. Some time before, vampires, zombies, and other post-humans came out of the coffin, and now they're a normal part of life. Alley falls for Doug, a zombie, and her life takes an extremely dangerous turn.
- Extraordinary* *the True Story of my Fairy Godparent, Who Almost Killed Me, and Certainly Never Made Me a Princess: Jennifer Van Der Berg is famous, thanks to a book that was (supposedly) written about her and her fairy "godmother" called Born to be Extraordinary. The problem is that the author got everything totally wrong. The godmother was a creepy, nasty, greasy man named Gregory Grue, who, by the way, threatened to kill Jen if she didn't go along with his plan. This is Jen setting the record straight.
Tropes used in How to Get Suspended and Influence People and Pirates of the Retail Wasteland
- All Men Are Perverts: Dustin. Leon, to a much lesser extent.
Now, I don't wish to imply that I don't care about sex or think about it. Hell, if I dedicated all the time I spend thinking about sex to, say, learning Italian, I would've been fluent by the end of the seventh grade. Dustin Eddlebeck, on the other hand, is just plain sick.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Leon's parents are food disaster hobbyists and gave him the middle name Noside to insult the late Thomas Edison. Need we say more?
- Asian and Nerdy: Jenny
- Beta Couple: Brian/Edie to Anna/Leon.
- Brainy Brunette: Leon is shown with brown hair on the covers of the books.
- Bungling Inventor: "It's a good thing my dad is an accountant, because he really sucks at being an inventor."
- Deadpan Snarker: Everyone in the gifted pool, especially Leon and Anna.
- Demoted to Extra: Mrs. Smollett in Pirates of the Retail Wasteland.
- Dirty Communist: Averted with Edie who, while preachy at times, is a good person.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Noside for Leon. Even more embarrassing is it's origin.
- First-Person Smartass
- Five-Man Band:
- Good Parents: Anna's parents, or her dad at least (we never see her mom). Leon's, too, but good luck with getting him to admit that.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Anna, while extremely snarky, is a good friend and generally nice girl.
- Hate Sink: Mrs. Smollett and Joe Griffin, both of whom are more minor annoyances than anything.
- Love Triangle: In Pirates of the Retail Wasteland.
- Make-Out Kids: Brian and Edie apparently have no problems with PDA.
- Meddling Parents: Jenny's, who are way overprotective of her. To Jenny, ordering espresso is like ordering speed.
- Moral Guardians: Mrs. Smollett, much to Leon's chagrin.
- Put on a Bus: Mrs. Smollett at the end of How to Get Suspended. She makes a brief reappearance in the next book.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The gifted pool, which includes Leon, Anna, Brian, Dustin, Jenny, and Edie.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Brian and Edie.
- Teen Genius
Tropes used in I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It
Tropes used in Extraordinary*