Jordan Castillo Price's Reviews > I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It

I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It by Adam Selzer
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Sep 19, 10

Read in September, 2010

The funny parts of this book were a smokescreen for some interesting commentary on society, young girls and self-esteem. Post-humans (vampires, werewolves and zombies) came to light three years prior, when the narrator Ally was a high school freshman. Now she's a senior itching to leave Des Moines for college in Seattle. She's not only too cool to be flattered by boys, she's too cool to get caught up in the vapid vampire-love hysteria that's flooded every other teenaged girl on the planet.

But then she falls fast and hard for the mysterious and sickly Doug, who she assumes is just a goth, like every other boy on the planet who's trying to mop up the vampires' sloppy seconds. With the title of the book being what it is, we can all guess Doug's affliction.

A few of the quibbles I had: some of the worldbuilding was great, and some was vague or maybe a bit silly. The zombies need to drink embalming fluid every four hours or else they crumble? And the method of making them is blown off. Contrast this with the worldbuilding of the social ramifications of post-humans coming to light, which is filled with message boards full of pathetic teenaged girls who don't know the difference between there/they're, and weird, upbeat pamphlets about "converting" to posthumanism in the school nurse's office.

The main character was too self-aware of her ice-queen reputation and her effect on boys, and this aspect was expressed in both exposition and action. I thought taking out the exposition and leaving the action would have been better. Then, in the end, when she finally matures and mellows, it would feel like a more natural character arc.

Sexuality was handled in vague terms. I suppose it was done that way on purpose so the characters would seem streetwise to any reader regardless of the reader's perception of what's daring or risky sexual behavior for her own social group. Lots of talk was made of "hooking up" but it seemed like that just meant makeout sessions, where of course in real life nowadays kids take it a lot farther than that.

The ending felt tacked-on and the character voice was "off." Her feelings were explained, maybe over-explained, and yet they rang false for me. I won't be more specific here because it would be too much of a plot spoiler.

Criticisms aside, overall I really enjoyed the book.

Aside from the worldbuilding, what I loved about the story was its humor. When Ally and her friends are trying to figure out what disease Doug has...chronic, non-contagious and embarrassing being the parameters...they decide he must have explosive diarrhea. Ha ha, I still laugh at that one. The scenes with Ally getting angry at the message boards where none of the girls can spell were also highlights of the book.
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