Abby's Reviews > Generation Dead

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
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's review
Aug 24, 2009

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bookshelves: teen
Recommended to Abby by: the New York Times Book Review
Read in August, 2008

More like 2.5 stars, I think. I expected a bit more from this zombie teen novel -- like, for instance, brain-eating. Moaning. Slowly losing limbs. Things that zombies normally do. The teen zombies in this book aren't like that -- in fact, if you don't want to risk offense, you probably shouldn't call them zombies. The politically correct term is "living impaired." Or "differently biotic."

All over the United States, dead teens are coming back from the grave, returning to the homes & schools they occupied when alive. No one knows what's making them come back, or why only American teens seem to be affected by the phenomenon -- but life as an American teenager will never be the same. Phoebe, the heroine, is a goth teen whose high school is noted for its services to the living impaired. When she sets eyes on Tommy, a newly arrived teen zombie, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him, but her best friend Adam, star quarterback on the high school football team, has mixed feelings about their budding relationship. Before they know it, Phoebe, Adam, and Tommy find themselves at the center of growing controversy around the social status and rights of the living dead that threatens to tear apart their high school, and their entire community.

With sly, dark humor, Waters uses the teen zombie scenario to comment wryly (and sometimes astutely) on topics of diversity, segregation, consumerism, and civil rights in America -- however sometimes he tries a little too hard and it falls flat. The writing was a little too workman-like at times, and certain unresolved plot lines made me feel that I was being set-up for a sequel. Still, this book is full of intriguing ideas, and genuinely funny, if dark, moments that make it a worthwhile read. But if you want a real, live freshly-risen-from-the-grave, brain-eating zombie novel, this is not the book for you. Try "World War Z" or "Monster Island" instead.
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Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-3 of 3) </span> <span class="smallText">(3 new)</span>

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message 1: by Hayden (new)

Hayden What is it with zombie cheerleaders? My book was all about zombie cheerleaders too. Has America been desperately waiting for undead teenaged girls in skimpy outfits? Because, ew.

message 2: by Jen (new)

Jen I just started this and I do like the setup -- reminds me of Thirsty... will update when I'm further in.

Abby The funny thing is, there weren't even any zombie cheerleaders in the book! I guess the publishers decided the image of a zombie cheerleader is somehow sexy/will sell more books?! As JB pointed out, the zombie on this cover doesn't even look like a real zombie -- just heroin chic.

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