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Literature / The Cornersville Trace Mythos

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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*

The Cornerville Trace Mythos 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.
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  • 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?
  • Bungling Inventor: "It's a good thing my dad is an accountant, because he really sucks at being an inventor."
  • 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.
  • Meddling Parents: Jenny's, who are way overprotective of her. To Jenny, ordering espresso is like ordering speed.

Tropes used in I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It

  • Bittersweet Ending: Doug dies, but Will is defeated and Alley has changed for the better.

Tropes used in Extraordinary*

  • The Alleged Car: The Jenmobile.
    I got it for two hundred and fifty at an auction, and I probably overpaid.
  • All for Nothing: Turns out Gregory Grue is a vampire, not a fairy, ergo, Jen was never in danger. They all still think it was Worth It.
  • Ascended Extra: Fred and Cathy, both of whom made their first appearances in I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It.
  • Big Bad: Gregory Grue, with Mutual's parents as his Co-Dragons. But, due to the fact that Gregory was hired by Mutual's parents, one could argue that they're the true villains of the story, and Gregory is merely The Dragon, albeit an important one.
  • Catching Up on History: In the Distant Finale, Mutual is mentioned to have spent a lot of time catching up on what he missed, since he spent seven years on his parents' farm in Alaska with no contact with the outside world. At one point he managed to get his hands on a couple music and celebrity gossip magazines, which helped a little, but after he escapes he has to spend a lot of time using the internet and TV to catch up on the pop culture and history he missed. As his girlfriend Jen puts it, "The week he discovered Maxim magazine was not my favorite week."
  • Childhood Friend Romance: It, along with the fact that Mutual's parents want him to become a vampire, gets the plot going.
  • Mind Rape: A diciotto essentially does this to a human who vampires are trying to convert. You have to get permission from the vampire council to use one, but one gets the sense permission isn't too hard to obtain.
  • No Body Left Behind: Once the council is done with him, all that remains of Gregory Grue is his hat.
  • Screw Destiny: Jen doesn't give a damn what Gregory says, she's not becoming a vampire OR dying OR leaving Mutual for Fred.
  • You Are Not Alone: Amber, Jason, and Mutual help Jen through everything, no matter how much danger it puts them in.