For this week’s topic, I decided to pick the amazing but unfortunately deceased TV show, Pushing Daisies, which was whimsical and bright and witty and about a man who baked pies and could bring people back to life for a minute and brought back his childhood sweetheart for longer than that and can’t touch her without killing her. A very entertaining show that unfortunately only had two short seasons, but maybe you can recapture the wonderfulness of the show by reading some of these books, most of which seem quite random, but thus is the show as well! And I was having trouble coming up with books that are exactly like the show, but that’s unimportant.
This was the book that came to my mind the quickest and easiest – and it was probably one of the reasons I picked Pushing Daisies in the first place. Just as the show combines magic and realism perfectly, this book did an equally compelling job. There’s certainly magic in the world of Ava Lavender, but there’s just as much focus on relationships, family and romantic, as well. There’s a large cast of interesting characters, and the city that the Lavenders live in sounds as rich and adorable (when it’s not being scary and depressing) as the world of Pushing Daisies.
This book also has magical realism, so that’s a big reason that I chose it. Once again, there are fascinating and interesting characters, as well as a rich background that sets up an intriguing story and problem. Zach and Lucy are adorable together, but they’re just as interesting on their own, which is the same for Ned and Chuck of Pushing Daisies.
And by the third book/series, I was already starting to run out of ideas. Some might choose a different TV show/movie/whatever at this point, but why would I make things easier when I can just choose a bunch of books that only have a little in common with the original show? But I think this series could really work – there’s the paranormal element, the humor (although this isn’t as wry as Pushing Daisies can be), the romance, the small group of people who know the secret of mediation – there are really quite a few similarities. And, hey, the covers are bright and colorful (at least the ones I have) and the world in Pushing Daisies is quite colorful and vibrant as well! They’re practically carbon copies!
I chose this book mainly because it has a huge cast of quirky and interesting characters, and since that’s such a big part of Pushing Daisies, I think fans of that will appreciate the interesting characters in this book as well. There’s also some wry and subtle humor as well, which is a similar trait they share.
At this point, my main criteria for finding books were ones that had an interesting cast of characters – if they also had an element of magical realism, then that was simply an added bonus. This is about a quirky family that would have delighted Chuck and overwhelmed poor Ned, so why not include it? The children are also all named after colors (Saffy is Saffron, for example), so there’s that element of colorfulness and such in here!
This isn’t just magical realism, it’s just plain old magic and such, but it has the magical element and tons of humor with a hilarious and interesting cast, so there’s your similarity! Of course, this is a much darker story – no bright and colorful and happy colors (yes, I did say colorful colors) to be found here…
I think the relationship in this story is quite reminiscent of Chuck and Ned. One is a ghost, one is a living boy who sees ghost – definitely not a simple relationship. And, much like Chuck and Ned, the two are pretty similar – the ghost is a former popular mean girl, the boy is, well, goth, if the title hasn’t tipped you off. They’re different, both in terms of personality and physicality, but they still try to make things work – although these two don’t want to at the beginning, unlike Chuck and Ned.
I was really starting to grasp at straws – I chose this book because there’s a big focus on baking and such (cupcake descriptions at the beginning of every chapter, if that’s your thing), and Ned’s biggest hobby – and sense of livelihood – is to make pies, so it
kind of not really totally fits!
This also has an element of a personally-run business, although in this case, it’s a doll store rather than a pie shop. Oh well, it’s just as quirky, and the main character has such a dry humor that I think fans of Pushing Daisies would find at least something to laugh at every once in a while in this delightful and adorable book!
For the final book, I decided to choose something that also has a mostly realistic premise – and then has a ton of highly-unlikely and highly-entertaining elements thrown into the story (I’m trying my best to stop using so much ablest language, like the word “crazy,” which is what I kept using in my review of it). It’s all over the place, with less of the cuteness of Pushing Daisies, but pretty much all the fun.