Jennifer's Reviews > Generation Dead

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
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's review
Dec 13, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, fantasy, horror, queer, young-adult
Recommended for: anyone who likes books about guys what sparkle
Read in December, 2008 , read count: 1

An open note to all writers attempting to portray characters as being Intense, Edgy Outsiders: please remember, Angela Chase did it first, and she did it better. I see what Waters is trying to do, but his characters aren't richly drawn enough for him to get away with it; and the "Omg! I'm Goth! Omg! I listen to Death!Rock!" shortcut is just so damn boring.

All bitterness at so-called iconoclasm aside, I found this a nicely allegorical and fairly thoughtful story; a wholly different take on both the high school romance and the zombie tale, with a lot to say (if ham-handedly) about intolerance. In this instance, the persecuted group happens to be certain American teenagers who just won't stay dead; otherwise known as the "living impaired". I'm not sure if Waters intended to have his lead female character have a lot of weird, sexy sparks with Karen, one of the dead girls (for whom I had more feeling than any other character); but damn, it was there, and their brief interactions are probably the parts I enjoyed most. Aside from the ending, which I found left an awful taste in my mouth, I think perhaps Waters would have benefited from a stronger dose of irony, as he seems to take his subject matter entirely too seriously. They're American teenagers! Getting up off their morgue slabs! But they don't want brains! They just want to dance at prom! It's hilarious. But, um, I nearly gave myself an asthma attack cackling my way through the Twilol movie, so perhaps I'm just cold-hearted.

There's also a goldmine available for Waters to take this in a World War Z direction; a couple references to anti-zombie legislation which are then immediately dropped. Perhaps that will pan out in the sequel, which I suppose I'll read, though I won't hold my breath for it to be awesome.
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