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Zombies Vs. Unicorns (The Forest of Hands and Teeth 0.4)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  11,316 Ratings  ·  1,774 Reviews
It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really ba ...more
Kindle Edition, 434 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published September 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Dec 05, 2011 Catie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catie by: Tatiana
Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. Cats vs. Dogs. Coke vs. Pepsi.

Zombies vs….Unicorns? Who knew? Apparently this is the divisive question of our time. And now, thanks to this anthology of stories, there’s a handy rubric for determining just how you should answer.

I listened to the audiobook, which was excellent. Phil Gigante, who some of you may be more familiar with as the voice of Jericho Z. Barrons, delivers many an eargasm as master of ceremonies. Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier provide their o
Zombies Vs. Unicorns and who is the winner?

Zombies! Thanks to Carrie Ryan's Bougainvillea. Undoubtedly the creepiest, most spine-tingly zombie story I have read since... well, since Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Haters of that book shouldn't be dissuaded though. This story is lacking the angst and lurve triangles found in Forrest. Instead, we get complex, unique, sympathetic and believable characters in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. And of course a healthy dose of the zombie horror t
Kat Kennedy
Aug 21, 2010 Kat Kennedy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


How could this possibly go wrong?

I mean, they're just so awesome!

I'll review what I've read so far and update as I go.

The Highest Justice by Garth Nix.

Nix! You're one of my favourite authors! This story was kind of awesome in that I felt like this should have been the beginning to one of your amazing big adventure series. Instead, just as it got started and became exciting, it ended! It was too big an idea squeezed into too small a story that you just couldn't do it the jus
Jul 30, 2011 Meggy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the worst anthology I've ever read. The stories themselves weren't that bad, although some of them were pretty... out there. Not many of them made sense or kept to the overall theme of the actual collection. And I don't mean that I expected the stories to be about zombies and unicorns having it out, but I expected the stories to at least center around zombies and/or unicorns. But the majority of the stories only mentioned unicorns or zombies briefly. The zombie stories were the worst of ...more
Dec 13, 2010 Annalisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Annalisa by: YA book club
I'm a sucker for amusing zombie stories. No really, I am. And I grew up on The Last Unicorn, bad singing and all. So when I heard of the concept of this book, what makes better fiction, zombies or unicorns? I had to smile. What a fun idea for a short story anthology.

I cracked the cover thinking "zombies for the win, all the way." I never laugh when I read, crack a smile at most, but not laugh. The introduction alone, a debate between editors Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier about the benefit
I'm not a big anthology reader, because there are usually as many stories I don't like as ones I do, and it's easy to put them down between stories. As far as I can recall, I liked every single story in Zombies vs. Unicorns, and I couldn't put it down even between stories. Chances are, if you're a YA SFF reader, there are at least a few authors in here you love; there was only one name I didn't recognize.

Special mentions to Naomi Novik's awesome New York-set unicorn story; Diana Peterfreund's co
Apr 26, 2011 Priscilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful anthology of unicorns and zombies!

1. Loved Holly and Justine's intro to each story. Justine is hilarious.
2. Surprisingly, a lot of mature content. FYI.
3. Loved how most of the stories were really dark.
4. I really like unicorns now :D
5. Fav. stories: Carrie Ryan, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot. And awesomesauce goes to Diana Peterfreund, and Libba Bray of course.

I DON'T KNOW WHO TO CHOOSE >__< Video review soon!
There are so many great rivalries in history. Ahab vs. the Whale, Edison vs. Tesla, Hamilton vs. Burr, Coke vs. Pepsi, boxers vs. briefs... Wolfe vs. Mailer... Goodreads vs. Everyone (view spoiler).

Of course, there would be Zombies vs. Unicorns.

Rightfully so. Back in my pre pubescent(and I will say it, 'chaste') days, unicorn
so, i'm not really a huge fan of short story collections, as i'm not really a fan of short stories. however, a lot of my favorite YA authors have chosen this year to be part of anthologies (Diana Peterfreund, Claudia Gray, i'm looking at you!), i have found myself reading more of them.

which makes them a little hard to review - having so many different stories and authors.

however, i think this is the best collection i've read in a long time. first of all, you have zombies, which usually means t
Apr 05, 2014 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a short story battle. Like a dance battle but with WORDS. So basically AWESOME. On one side, led by Holly Black, is Team Unicorn, featuring the skills of Meg Cabot, Margo Lanagan and Garth Nix to name a few.

On the other side, led by Justine Larbalestier, is Team Zombie, with the talents of Libba Bray, Carrie Ryan and Maureen Johnson, amongst others.

The book alternates between zombie stories and unicorn stories, each trying to answer the question: which creature makes for a bett
Anthologies are so difficult to review because they're a mixed bag, ya know? So even though this anthology had a handful of brilliant stories I'd have to say it was all sullied by a short story that contained bestiality. Oh, yeah, and all the zombie romances--between zombies and humans (What the what?!). Ew. And so, so wrong. So wrong.

If I have time I'll review each short story separately.
Why it has taken this long for such a book to be conceived and written is beyond me. I know I've spent
Sep 25, 2010 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I resisted reading this one for awhile, because 1) I'm not a big fan of short story collections in general and 2) while I love zombies, I couldn't understand the appeal of dedicating half the collection to unicorns.

Seeing the epic debate over the merits of zombies vs. unicorns in NYC, however, changed my mind, and I am SO GLAD I picked up this collection. Most of the unicorn stories are somewhat tongue in cheek, and with a collection of authors like these, I really never should have doubted the
Mar 09, 2015 Hope rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Okay so when I stared this book I was automatically thinking "this is definitely going to be a terrible book" I mean seriously? Zombies and unicorns. I have to say I kinda hate both. But on about the 60th page this book finally picked up, then on the 80th all that hope i had for this book was crushed to smithereens. This book was terrible. The writing was decent but the plot and characters were dull and dissatisfying.
Fiction State Of Mind
It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (...more It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half sho ...more
So I'll do that thing I do when I review anthologies: review them by short stories. I mean, what other way is there? You may have absolutely hated one (NEGATIVE ONE STAR!) But loved another (1000 STARS!!:D) So I give each story the right to be represented. YEAH! So let's get on with it!!

The Introduction: Yeah, I know it wasn't a short story, but I really enjoyed it anyway. I like those authors. So it was fun to read! Read funny introduction! Yes! I don't know why I'm talking like that...

The High
I guess Black and Larbalestier have been debating the merits of zombies vs. unicorns on the Internet for a while now, but I missed the hoopla until it finally spilled over into this anthology of twelve stories. At first, I thought that each story would be a death match between a zombie and a unicorn, but that would have gotten old fast, so I’m glad instead that each author represents a side: on Team Zombie, it’s Alaya Dawn Johnson, Carrie Ryan, Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld, Cassandra Clare, ...more
Jun 03, 2011 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yafantasy
This was a book with a very important premise: Which is cooler, zombies or unicorns? The whole debate, and the deeply entrenched opinions on each side, are wonderfully reminiscent of the great astronauts vs. cavemen debate (on this, as in almost everything else, I'm Team Angel. Er, I mean Team Astronaut). Two authors, Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier lead two teams of authors, Team Unicorn and Team Zombie respectively, in writing stories. The stated purpose was to determine which were cooler ...more
Feb 16, 2012 Giselle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Note: As part of Zombies vs Unicorns month, I will be updating this with the new stories that I review. They will be reviewed in "bunches" (2+ reviewed together). The rating will be from what I have read so far (so it may change)

Review of Inoculata by Scott Westerfeld & Cold Hands by Cassandra Clare
From Uglies and Mortal Instruments... to zombies! Seems like everyone is converting to zombies! I don't blame them, team zombie really is where it's at!

Scott Westerfeld and Cassandra Clare's stor
Jan 01, 2011 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I began, I thought for sure that I would be Team Zombie! Well, I think that I am still Team Zombie, but I must admit that I have more respect for unicorns now. As shown in some of the stories, they would be useful pets.

My favorite story was "Children of the Revolution", a zombie story. The best unicorn stories were "Princess Prettypants" and "The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn".

The worst stories were "Thousand Flowers" and "Highest Justice". They were 1. really stupid, and 2
Oct 17, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was one of the best fantasy books I've ever read. It has all the perfect stories compiled all in one book. The things I like best about reading books with lots of short stories is that if you don't like one or is getting tired of it, its over withen the chapter. Also it has just great sarcastic/humerous writing throughout it and I feel that keeps it fresh. This book goes through all the stereotypical thoughts about Unicorns and Zombies. Then it steps out into a complete different zone, ...more
Oct 02, 2011 Ricki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for far too long, and I am glad I picked it up. This anthology focuses on the issue of which is better: zombies or unicorns? Before I began, I thought I was more of a unicorn fan, but the zombie stories were certainly more interesting to read. There were a few great stories about unicorns, but I loved every zombie story. My favorite would have to be the one by Carrie Ryan, who is a pro at writing about zombies, in my opinion. The best part about are the ...more
Betsy Cornwell
Feb 10, 2011 Betsy Cornwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: covers-i-love
You guys. You guys. From the moment I first heard about this book—on Twitter, many moons ago—I thought it sounded ridiculous. Stupid. Trendy and pandering to all the worst things about young adult literature.

And, eh, okay, maybe it is trendy. And maybe—well, definitely—it’s ridiculous. But I haven’t even finished it yet, and I’m already going to heartily recommend it to you based only on the two stories I quoted above. Not every selection in this anthology is so great (some are pretty lame, if y
Jun 07, 2010 nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
my #1 must read from BEA didn't disappoint. a really quick, super fun read. went in as team unicorn, but the writing my team zombie made minced rainbows of the other team. favorites were ones by carrie ryan and maureen johnson (obviously).
Initial reaction: This was a fun anthology, and I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, overall. I listened to the audiobook version which had Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black trading witty banter about which was better: zombies or unicorns. Judging from the assortment of stories here, it's safe to say I'm firmly Team Zombie (though I'll admit the end tally was rather close). Most of the stories here were rather engaging and entertaining on the whole, though there were a few that eithe ...more
Reading Teen
Feb 06, 2012 Reading Teen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I started to write my review for this (amazingly fantastic) book, I realized that writing it all together would be completely impossible. It would be like trying to review twelve different books at the same time. Therefore, allow me to present My Reviews in a Sentence:

The Highest Justice by Garth Nix (Unicorn):

I loved it and wished I could have had more of the story, but it was my first short story so I soon became acquainted with the fact that they often just end.

Love will Tear us Apart b
This is a collection of alternating short stories - every other one is representative of Team Zombie or Team Unicorn. This was kind of a ridiculous book in several ways.

1. It appears to have been born out of a discussion on a blog.
2. Meg Cabot wrote one of these stories. Really? (team unicorn, of course)
3. Unicorns and zombies are not mutually exclusive in my opinion. The stories are about human relationships with either zombies or unicorns, not about zombies AND unicorns together.
4. zombies
Jun 25, 2016 Octavia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star
This is the weirdest anthology I've ever read. I wasn't aware that Zombies Vs. Unicorns was a thing (still not entirely sure it is), but this collection of short stories had some of my favorite authors included so I knew I had to pick it up! This is not one of the better anthologies I have read, though I still enjoyed a few stories.

The Highest Justice by Garth Nix—4 stars: A solid high fantasy story. I haven't read anything by Garth Nix but I can tell he is a seasoned writer, which makes me want
Michael Justine
actual rating: 2.5 stars

I think this was an "It's me not you" case. I don't know why anthologies fail to grab my interest. Even My True Love Gave To Me, only had like 3 stories that I really liked. But at least in that anthology, I found three stories worth 5 stars. But in this one, I found none. Here are some of the stories I've read below. I might try some more but I'm just bored after trying out maureen johnson's story.

Bougainvillea by Carrie Ryan - 3 stars

I didn't like this story much. I fel
Lori at Pure Imagination
I have never reviewed an anthology, so I really don't know where to begin. I guess I will start off by saying that I usually do not like short stories, or reading a book of short stories all at one time. I usually grow bored with them. I like to have lots of character development and plot building and you just can't do that in short stories, but I am happy to say that I did not grown bored with this book.

Every single author in the book is fantastic and their stories were fantastic as well. I was
Katieb (MundieMoms)
Let the debate begin! With a collection of 12 short stories, from 12 different authors, I'm sure this is one debate that will continue on for some time. Zombies vs Unicorns gives fans 12 stories, with every other story alternating from the Zombie Team and the Unicorn Team. Readers will enjoy short stories from Cassandra Clare, Carrie Ryan, Diana Peterfreund, Meg Cabot, Libby Bray, Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld and more. The debate gets even wittier as Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier's d ...more
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Young Adult Book ...: "A Thousand Flowers" by Margo Lanagan 23 247 Oct 17, 2016 01:01PM  
Wild Things: YA G...: January 2011- Zombies Vs. Unicorns by Holly Black 17 89 Aug 24, 2014 05:00PM  
ZOMBIES OR UNICORNS 19 63 Aug 07, 2014 08:41AM  
The Challenge Fac...: Lauren & Sunshine - Zombies Vs. Unicorns 10 13 May 26, 2014 03:42PM  
Young Adult Book ...: * "Prom Night" by Libba Bray 9 162 Oct 23, 2013 03:32PM  
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Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones,The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in J ...more
More about Holly Black...

Other Books in the Series

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (3 books)
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)
  • The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2)
  • The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3)

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“The job of every generation is to discover the flaws of the one that came before it. That's part of growing up, figuring out all the ways your parents and their friends are broken.” 111 likes
“Holly: Seriously, you don't like unicorns? What kind person doesn't like unicorns?

Justine: What kind of a person doesn't like zombies? What have zombies ever done to you?

Holly: Zombies shamble. I disapprove of shambling. And they have bits that fall off. You never see a unicorn behaving that way.

Justine: I shamble. Bits fall off me all the time: hair, skin cells. Are you saying you disapprove of me?”
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