Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


2.97 of 5 stars 2.97  ·  rating details  ·  322 ratings  ·  111 reviews
A zombie movie-obsessed teen is forced to face a dark family secret in this shocking debut literary novel from a talented new author.

"Wow! A crazy, wicked knock-out of a book!" -Garth Stein

Fourteen-year-old Jeremy Barker attends an all-boys Catholic high school where roving gangs of bullies make his days a living hell. His mother is an absentee pillhead, his older brother...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Soho Press (first published January 1st 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Zombie, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Zombie

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,144)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Disappointment thy name is Zombie, what happened you sounded so interesting.

I really don't know what to say in this review, the book made me so livid. I was expecting sharp, witty, and entertaining, but what I got was so clearly not. I was embarrassed by this books lame attempts to be funny, and angry at it's base tries to be sharp.

The main character was just so cookie cutter, a perverted, outcast freshman in high school obsessed with zombie movies. His inner dialog just made me angry, I do not...more
Robin Cicchetti
Jeremy Barker lives by a personal zombie survival code.

The survival code:
#1 Avoid eye contact
#2 Keep quiet
#3 Forget the past
#4 Lock-and-load
#5 Fight to survive

An aficionado of zombie films, Jeremy understands the nuances of survival. The code guides him through the halls of his all boy private, Catholic high school. He relies on it to help him navigate life with his angry father, his absent mother, and his long-gone brother. It helps Jeremy with love, and in a shocking turn of events, it will he...more
Michelle E. Kobus
Aug 23, 2012 Michelle E. Kobus rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one, ever.
Received for free through Goodreads First Reads program.

This book is not actually about zombies; it's about a teenage boy who is obsessed with zombie movies and develops a sort of "zombie code" to live by in real life. The boy eventually encounters a hairy situation where his otherwise silly code actually helps him out, or something like that...I don't know, this book was so boring I found myself just reading and rereading passages without anything sinking in.

I disliked this book not only becaus...more
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway.

The teaser for this book in the giveaway said that it would be something a fan of Jonathan Foer's would enjoy. I can definitely see where this comparison came from.

This book isn't a "zombie" book in the traditional sense despite it's title. It focuses on a boy named Jeremy starting at a new school and all the difficulties he faces there (bullies, a possible sociopathic 8 fingered teacher, hot girls...you know, the usual...). I actually enjoyed this.

I not...more
I got this book through Goodreads First Reads.

I am not quite sure how I feel about this book. It starts out like your typical "coming of age" book about a 15/16 year old boy who attends Catholic school and is an outsider. He is obsessed with zombie films and applies zombie film rules to his everyday life. He comes from a very dysfunctional family and something weird is going on with his Vietnam Vet dad. Something VERY weird. There are moments when the book is very well written and engaging but t...more
Dana Wright
I really wanted to like this book. The premise is amazing. Kid fixated on zombie movies with a set of rules based on them. Possible serial killer dad. Interesting combo and I was excited to get the arc. However, the voice does not lend itself to a female audience. The consistent referral to male appendages was offensive and really not needed. Once is fine, but twenty times later and I just put this book down never to try again. While I do realize this is from the point of view of a teenage boy,...more
Ryan Daley
A dark, witty coming-of-age story with a few morbid twists. Similar in tone to stuff like The Basic Eight and Rotters. A few prudes have commented on the "foul language", but I thought the ribald verbal exchanges were a highlight. I loved this book.
Time Taken To Read - 6 *long* hours

Blurb From Goodreads

Fourteen-year-old Jeremy Barker is obsessed with zombie movies. He attends an all-boys Catholic High School where roving gangs in plaid make his days a living hell. His mother is an absentee pillhead, his older brother a self-diagnosed sex-addict, and his father an ex-Marine realtor who disappears night after night without explanation. Jeremy navigates it all with a code cobbled together from Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, Planet T...more
Zombie was pitched to me as a coming-of-age story about a boy who is unable to relate to his father except through their mutual love of zombie movies. While that much is true, it does not even come close to really capturing this book. Believe me when I say that this is one seriously messed up novel. Parts of it reminded me of one of the Dexter books, although I won't say which one due to the risk of spoilers.

Zombie is told through the first-person perspective of Jeremy, a boy who is beginning pr...more
Horrible. The writing is terrible. Some parts are disturbing.
This is a quote I don't get: "She smells like a unicorn". Who can relate to that?
I understand that I am a female reader and this is from the perspective of a male, but the language is too over the top. There are definitely too many sexist comments. The random side thoughts that had nothing to do with the story were annoying. For example, on page 1 there is a random paragraph about Jonah and the Whale. I was expecting the author to so...more
This is was just weird. I wasn't even sure what the hell i was reading half the time.
Kirsten Renas
I really enjoyed this, I'm just having trouble coming to grips with the ending.
Jim Flanagan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I haven't received my copy yet, just received notice I had won. 01/17/12
Received my copy and hope to get to it soon. I have 6 plus my current reads in front. 01/26/12
Started today 2/13/12
Finished 2/17/12

Jeremy is all about the zombies. He loves zombie movies, he has zombie survival codes and the ceiling in his room is covered by zombie movie posters. He is just starting school at a boys only Catholic school, and life sucks. His mom is a morphine addict, his brother is a sex addict and his father...more
Sara M.
I got my copy at Zombie because of Book Expo. It was mailed to me after Book Expo because they ran out on the day. That was how popular it was. I think it is pretty clear that a Zombie book is right up my alley. This book is not about Zombies though. It is a coming-of-age for boys novel. How do Zombies fit into this? Our hero, Jeremy, has a code for life and his code comes from the Zombie movies he loves. He deals with his fellow teenagers as he would with zombies. He uses zombie movies as his f...more
This was won as part of a GoodReads Firstreads giveaway.

I really really wanted to like this book but I just didn't get it.
For a book written about a teenage boy, the language was over the top bad. Lots of cussing, sexual references, derogatory terms, etc. I can't see a school library putting this on their shelves or a parent willing purchasing this for their child (I wouldn't).
I understood the basic premise of a boy who is struggling with fitting in, his beyond dysfunctional family, and his obse...more
I would like to thank SoHo Press for letting me read and review this book.

Jeremy Barker is a somewhat typical high school freshman. He loves zombie movies, girls make his nose bleed, and he’s not a big fan of authority. His parents are separated and he lives with his dad and Dog. Most of this book follows Jeremy and what goes on inside his head as he starts high school, has troubles with his family, and meets his first girlfriend.

One day, Jeremy sees his pinky-less English teacher slip his fathe...more
Yeah, I hung in there, but I'm pissed. This is one of the WORST books I've ever read. First and foremost, it's rife with grammatical and spelling errors, which is unforgivable, especially in a YA novel. For example: She saw me, peaking through the blades of my blinds, two white eyes watching her. and His neck turns, pulling away, gagging, chocking. These are not the only occurrences, nor are they the only errors.

Secondly, the characters are so offensively, stereotypically one note. An Asian char...more
Life for 14-year-old Jeremy Barker has been something of a suckfest lately. His parents are divorced and his pill-popping mother has moved in with her new boyfriend, his older brother is, according to himself, a sex-addict and, according to Jeremy, a major douche, and his ex-marine father disappears every night without explanation. As well, Jeremy has secretly stopped taking his medication. We are never told what the medication is for and so it is hard not to wonder how much of what happens is r...more
Roger Royer
Apr 20, 2012 Roger Royer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Roger by: Goodreads Giveaway
Shelves: read-horror
This is an amazingly easy read. I did not think I would enjoy it much but found it very enjoyable especially because of the code. Being a fan of the movies in the book I will say that I see how they match each "chapter" almost perfectly.

As to content, I started the book disliking Jeremy very much. I considered him to be a smug and superficial high school-er more than those he was hiding from. He grew on me as I learned more of his family situation and of his life. I questioned his sexuality, his...more
Mar 28, 2012 Mariposa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults
Recommended to Mariposa by: won ARC
I won this ARC.

I am still uncertain on how i feel about this book. the first 50 pages were great. i laughed out loud on a handful of occasions. The whole story is about a coming of age character named Jeremy who goes to an all boy catholic school where he is picked on daily. He is a fanatic about everything zombie. He has a very dysfunctional family. Mom is a pillhead, older brother is a sex addict and doesnt care about anything other than that, and his dad is a war vet who disappears at night....more
Aaron (Typographical Era)
Jeremy Barker is anything but your average everyday fourteen year old. He’s a zombie obsessed, medicated freshman at an all-boys Catholic school who lives in a constant state of oscillation between moments of near invisibility and outbursts of dramatic, dangerous, attention seeking behavior. Bullied by “the plaids” at his school, and unable to form anything greater than a passing bond or friendship with any of his classmates, Jeremy decides that the best course of action is to retreat into his o...more
Jonathan Vilorio
J.R. Angelella’s purpose in writing the book, Zombie a Novel, is to show the reader that even though you get scared of something don’t let, the reader should not let that overcome them. The reader should stand with his head high and face the problem no matter what the cost.The book shows how scary things can get in a person’s way, but we have to fight it. The zombies in the story can represent the reader’s problems. When the main character, Jeremy, defeats the zombie, this can represent the rea...more
I enjoyed this teenage crisis novel for its believable, snappy voice and well drawn characters. The central mystery - where does Jeremy's father go at night, and is he involved in something sinister - is engrossing as the details play out slowly, alongside the narrator's more typical troubles with bullies and girls. The zombie movie code of conduct sounds like something your friends would come up with over late night coffee and so seems authentic, if a bit obvious and overdone from films like Zo...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Do you like Chuck Palahniuk? If so, then this book might be right up your alley. (Disclaimer: the short story "Guts" is the only Palahniuk work I've ever read.) I grabbed it because I enjoy a thoughtful zombie story now and then, and this sounded like it might be one. However, it's not a zombie story — it's more a testosterone-hazed coming of age novel. The adults in Jeremy's life are mostly useless, and he has turned instead to zombie movies as the foundation of his personal code.

* Avoid Contac...more
What in the world? I don't even know how to describe this book. At first it's like some kind of bet on how many f bombs and penis referencest the author can get in one book. Then there's just a taste of the horror that awaits and then more general teenage angst until the very end where we finally witness the truth we were waiting for the entire book. I mean I wouldn't say it's anticlimactic or that the main character in general wasn't interesting. It just didn't tie together very well for me. I...more
Amy (Demonkittie)
If you know me, and you know how I am, then you know why I liked this book so much. The main character Jeremy was relatable to me in some very interesting ways. My family is not as bad as his, but his room would in some ways be very similar to mine, and his love of zombie movies is a love we both share.

I wasn't really sure about the whole father and Jeremy's dad storyline, but at least it resolved itself. That being said the ending was a bit abrupt in my eyes. I think in time I may feel better w...more
This book was a compelling read, although it may not appear to be so during the first sections. The narrative is told by zombie-obsessed teenager Jeremy Barker, who lives his life according to the Zombie Survival Code while his dysfunctional family deteriorates around him. The narrative is initially slow, but it picks up during the second half and culminates in a sequence of events which is tense and genuinely shocking.

Get through the slow first half, stick with it, because the end of this book...more
Wynell Worth
First of all, if you are looking for a zombie book, do not be conned by the extremely cute cover and title.

Zombie by J.R. Angelella is really about a brutal coming of age story with a bit of thriller mixed into it. Barely a quarter of the novel is dedicated to what I thought would make the novel a more interesting read. I could not identify with the boy protagonist and his issues though his crudeness was somewhat amusing at the start, it gets a bit tiresome halfway through.

The whole zombie codes...more
Grace Jensen
Feb 24, 2012 Grace Jensen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Palanniuk fans, pop culture and subversive fiction followers.
Recommended to Grace by: A lucky multi first reads winner. :P
Shelves: first-reads
This book was lucky to hit he at this time. I just figured out that literary wasn't boring when done well, and it was at the hands of Palahniuk.
Also, I didn't know why I liked this book so much, but I did. I think that is also due to the fact that I'm just now on the Literary Train.
I loved the main character. The book structure supported him so well. It was easy to invest in his transformation, his sublimation. And seeing his scattered world and self through his structural discipline of zombie...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 38 39 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
WTH IS WITH THE ENDING?!(SPOILERS) 4 18 Feb 25, 2014 11:54PM  
  • Zombie, Illinois
  • Wanted
  • Yoke (Bound, #1)
  • Anne of Hollywood
  • A Clockwork Christmas
  • Kill Switch
  • Losers in Space
  • Lucretia and the Kroons
  • One on One: Behind the Scenes with the Greats in the Game
  • Nine Months
  • Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance
  • 21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology
  • In the Land of the Living
  • I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus: A Breathers Christmas Carol
  • Six Weeks to Yehidah
  • The Coincidence Engine
  • 1.4 (Point 4, #2)
  • Dying to Know You
J. R. Angelella (Joseph Ross Angelella) is the author of the novel Zombie (Soho Press) as well as a forthcoming Southern Gothic supernatural YA series (Sourcebooks/Teen Fire) co-written with his wife, Kate Angelella. Their first book, Cursed, is set to publish in 2012. He is also a contributing author to the murder-mystery anthology Who Done It? (Soho Teen), benefiting the nonprofit organization 8...more
More about J.R. Angelella...
Who Done It?

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »