Heather's Reviews > Barely Alive

Barely Alive by Bonnie R. Paulson
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May 18, 14

bookshelves: ya, book-giveaway-winnter, fiction
Recommended for: Teenagers
Read in April, 2012 — I own a copy

“Barely Alive” by Bonnie R. Paulson asks “can a zombie have a good heart?” This novel, unlike many others of the zombie genre, actually takes the reader to the beginning of the zombie virus and how it started. The main character, Paul, is our zombie with a heart. He has been injected with the virus and only has 12 weeks to live (the typical lifespan for a zombie). When he is sent out by the boss to pick up girls for food, he didn’t imagine that they would come back with a feisty one named Heather, and Heather is about to change things for Paul. She reminds him of his goodness, but that is not the main reason Paul wants to save her. Paul ends up with a huge crush on Heather and wants to protect her at any cost, especially when his boss finds out that she has a natural immunity to the virus.

I had a hard time getting into this story, I don’t know why. It is well written and interesting. I think it may be due to the fact that we really don’t know a whole lot about Paul or his past. It is kind of hard to sympathize with him. He is funny, especially when he vacillates between wanting to eat Heather and wanting to date her. Heather does have spunk. The creator of the virus, Dominic, is a creep. Everyone is playing their part.

I think that this book definitely would appeal to the teenage reader. It has an interesting premise. I had read Ms. Paulson’s novel, Into the End, which I thought was very good and perhaps I was hoping that this would move along at the same pace at that novel. This novel takes it time getting warmed up, but don’t let that stop you. Zombie stories are all the rage now, it is nice to get one where you learn the origin of the virus and find a zombie with a sense of humor and chivalry.


**This book was received for free through Goodreads First Reads. That in no way influenced my review.**
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