All across America, teenagers are coming back from the dead.
Nicknamed “zombies” by their very understanding peers, they face daily prejudice and threats. In this high school, goth girl, Phoebe, finds herself interested in one of them, Tommy Williams, who joins the all live football team. Phoebe’s friend, Adam, attempts to understand his new teammate, but others in the school are out for blood. Pete is disgusted by these dead things and intends to take full advantage of the lack of legislation for protecting the “differently biotic”. Pete has a list, a mixture of zombies and live people who tolerate and befriend them. He’s not going to stop until every one of them is dead, for good this time.
The blurb on the back cover caught my attention. I liked the idea of reading a story told from the zombies’ side where these “monsters” had feelings, thoughts, hopes and ideas like everyone else. But I should be clear straight away. This is not a book about zombies or the supernatural. Generation Dead is a story about racism, and the hatred and prejudice prevalent in society. Some of the zombies are more functioning than the rest and are said to even be able to “pass” for human. The zombies have no rights as they are legally dead, yet they attend school (I didn’t understand this). On the buses they sit alone, in the cafeteria no one goes near them, and when they are killed in cold blood, their second and final death barely makes the news.
When Tommy and Phoebe show an interest in one another, we just know all hell is about to break loose. Phoebe’s best friend, Margi, can’t even speak to their formerly live friend, Colette, and she can’t understand why Phoebe develops feelings for a zombie. Even Phoebe’s parents are taken aback when she tells them she’s going to Homecoming dance with Tommy.
I enjoyed this book and read it quickly, but felt I didn’t get enough answers. How did the zombies die? We find out about a few deaths, but not enough. Many of the zombies have no visible marks. Apart from their halting movements and pale skin, they don’t look dead. How so? Why were many of these children turned away by families and friends when they returned? Personally, I couldn’t understand this. If a beloved teenager dies and comes back to life pretty much straight away, wouldn’t the parents, brothers and sisters be delighted to have more time with this family member? One of the most chilling parts of this novel, for me anyway, took place in the group class where the zombies and their “normal” friends share stories. Colette, the former best friend of Phoebe and Margi, tells the group that when she came back from the dead and appeared at her parent’s house, her father came out with a shovel!
I wasn’t blown away by this novel, but it hooked me enough that I ordered the next book in the series. Also, here in Ireland, the book has a red cover with a black rose, which I think is more appropriate than the cover I see online with the cheerleader with the black eye-makeup. There isn’t any zombie cheerleader in this book and I think that cover belittles the tone and message of this novel. This is a book about discrimination, not a light and fluffy story about undead cheerleaders in cute outfits (see that cover below). ****
Check it out on Amazon HERE
Note: I have since read the second book and I didn’t enjoy it.
So, floor’s open. Anybody read this or any good zombie books lately?