Let's be clear: This is not a good book. It isn't even a particularly good bad book. The characters are cliches, the prose is riddled with tense, grammar, and spelling errors (although in fairness, I was reading an advance reading copy), and the Symbolism (ZOMG Zombie Kids Are Being Discriminated Against Just Like Minority/Handicapped/GLBT Kids!) has all the subtlety of a sledge hammer.
But. I sort of liked it anyway.
Maybe it's the clever concept (How will society react to teenagers inexplicably returning from the dead?). Maybe it's the tongue-in-cheek critique of merchandising teen angst (Does trendy zombie apparel advance or work against the movement for equality and understanding?) Maybe it's just the idea that someone has bothered to make a character who's a high school football player but NOT just a dumb jock.
There are huge plot holes (presumably because this is going to be a series), and in particular the relationship between Phoebe and her zombie would-be boyfriend Tommy is strained and unrealistic (What's so great about Tommy, anyway? Just that he's dead?) And I would've liked Phoebe to be less passive (her whole life seems to revolve around her
Very Dramatic Relationship With Tommy, yet again reinforcing the idea that teenage girls only care about the boys in their lives).
However, the fight amongst the kids, both living and "dead," to identify allies and enemies, to determine their own life paths, and their reactions to the adults around them have a bit of truth in them. There's enough here to merit reading the sequel, anyway. If only to find out what happens to Adam....