Sunday, October 9, 2011
Review of Never Slow Dance with a Zombie by E. Van Lowe
Published: November 2009
Publisher: Tor Teen
Principal Taft's 3 Simple Rules for Surviving a Zombie Uprising:
Rule #1: While in the halls, walk slowly and wear a vacant expression on your face. Zombies won't attack other zombies.
Rule #2: Never travel alone. Move in packs. Follow the crowd. Zombies detest blatant displays of individuality.
Rule #3: If a zombie should attack, do not run. Instead, throw raw steak at to him. Zombies love raw meat. This display of kindness will go a long way.
On the night of her middle school graduation, Margot Jean Johnson wrote a high school manifesto detailing her goals for what she was sure would be a most excellent high school career. She and her best friend, Sybil, would be popular and, most important, have boyfriends. Three years later, they haven't accomplished a thing!
Then Margot and Sybil arrive at school one day to find that most of the student body has been turned into flesh-eating zombies. When kooky Principal Taft asks the girls to coexist with the zombies until the end of the semester, they realize that this is the perfect opportunity to live out their high school dreams. All they have to do is stay alive....
I was so excited when I found this Zombie book! There were so many things I loved when I first saw it. The cover had the perfectly creepy, yet still appealing zombie boy on the cover wearing vintage prom clothes. The title spoke very clearly to the humorous tone of the book. And the blurb itself was very appealing. Normally I'm a guts and gore type of Zombie girl, but this just seemed like the kind of Shaun of the Dead style story that I couldn't resist.
The opening was good, and it was easy to see why an agent or editor would keep reading. The main character, Margot and her best friend, Sybil, are quickly established and fleshed out ;-) The girls have an honestly refreshing friendship that feels real, well, for a while at least.
The action starts fairly quickly, although some of it was pretty predictable. The predictability continued as the story progressed and for me the character of Margot just seemed to flop after a bit. I couldn't wrap my head around her reasoning behind some of her actions. This is what truly kept me from being absorbed into the story. I could take some of the unexplained acceptance the girls have of the zombies, and even the obvious plot turning points, but Margot becomes completely obsessed with the idea of popularity to the point of nearly getting herself and her best friend killed. And even then she doesn't learn her lesson. It's only when she learns that the popular bitch is as one dimensional as herself that she realizes what she's doing is crazy. That's when the pace of the book really picks up and Lowe wraps up the story in a few more pages.
Overall, it was a fun read, but not enough blood and gore for me (NONE!), and even the knowledge that it's a humorous approach to zombies, it was just too unbelievable light.