Sarah Maddaford's Reviews > Rot & Ruin

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
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Some of this book is truly targeted directly at teens, while some of it is clearly better appreciated by some one slightly older.

As a teen, the whole first part with Benny looking for some kind of job to do in order to maintain his ration levels, just isn't as poignant or funny for someone who has had to do that (especially for the same reason). Unless their family is in need, most teens get jobs so they can pay for movies, cool clothes or video games. They don't really understand having to balance needing a job (no matter how much you may hate working at Taco Bell and smelling like re-fried beans...) and needing money to buy food. You have to really grapple with yourself to discover just how much hard work and/or humiliation you are willing to suffer in order to be able to eat. Bennie does this quite comically and very realistically.

The stuff about his feelings for Nix being a bad thing because of his promise to Chong, that is pure teenage stuff. As long as your friend hasn't already dated the person (and doesn't currently have feelings for them), just about anyone your age is fair game. Also, the fact is that Tom is infinitely cooler than Benny could ever be, but he is also an adult who has had time to grow into himself. Benny may grow up to be an excellent man, but for now he is a teenager (whiny, self-centered, naive, but also bold/rash and loyal (much like all of us were at some point)). His attitude is probably less off-putting for a teen because once I allowed myself to think of him as someone I knew in high school, he became a much better character.

Fortunately, the author didn't kill anyone that I was too terribly attached to, although a couple of the deaths were pretty sad. I do wonder what happened to the other horse (not really important for the plot...). There's some zombie violence, including fairly detailed descriptions of how best to take down a zombie. There's some cursing and rude language, though the f-bomb wasn't used. There's some kissing and romantic feelings, but nothing further than that. I had nightmares, but most (if not all) zombie books give me nightmares (even though I am still fascinated enough to give them a shot...).

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