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Highway Bodies

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  166 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Who will you rely on in the zombie apocalypse?


Bodies on the TV, explosions, barriers, and people fleeing. No access to social media. And a dad who’ll suddenly bite your head off – literally. These teens have to learn a new resilience…

Members of a band wield weapons instead of instruments.

A pair of siblings find there’s only so much you can joke about, when the menace is t
Paperback, 376 pages
Published February 1st 2019 by Echo Publishing (first published 2019)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  166 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loveozya, echo, bookgasm
Highway Bodies centres on three groups of adolescents throughout Melbourne during an apocalyptic outbreak, our humanity and resistance. Fraternal siblings Rhea and Jojo are awaiting information from their mother, a first responder and emergency nurse during the initial epidemic onslaught. Social media websites are being censored by government officials and journalists are reporting of a factory explosion in a neighbouring suburb.

Imagine rendered defenceless as your father decimates his family. Y
Review to come.

In the meantime...

This was one of the more engaging books I've read in a long time, and I absolutely adored the characters (and also think I totally know the person one of them was based on...).

Some scenes towards the end could have been a little clearer, but overall this was a great Aussie LGBTQI zombie book.
Lauren Mitchell
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the most delightfully Australian zombie apocalypse story I've ever read. I love all the queer representation (big surprise, right), and the fact that for once in a while this is happening somewhere that I know. Maybe less so considering I'm pretty sure one of the outbreak points was at the damn psych ward I've been to three times now, but I'll cope or bite people.
Trigger warnings: death of a parent, seriously y'all there is so much death in this book, zombies, stabbing, graphic violence, blood, animal death, death of a friend, death of a sibling, homophobia, transphobia.

2.5 stars.

So here's the thing: I love how much diversity is in this story. All the protagonists are queer and/or gender non-conforming, and it's great. I also loved that it didn't shy away from the violence of a zombie apocalypse and the inevitable loss of friends and family members. So
A copy of this novel was provided by BFredericksPR for review.

Highway Bodies is the highly anticipated sophomore novel from Australian author Alison Evans. Their first book, Ida , was a major hit on our Aussie shores and there’s been quite some hype for Highway Bodies since its announcement. I read Highway Bodies in one day, and I’m here to share some things I think will entice you to read it:

1) Everyone is queer

And the people who aren’t are evil. All three POV characters are queer: D
Zombies. Queer found family? #LoveOzYA?

*slams fist on table*

Sign me the eff up!

'Highway Bodies' is perfect for anyone who loves a good zombie apocalypse story, because let's be honest, don’t we all know at least one dystopia enthusiast who has their zombie survival squad prepped and ready to go? What could be more topical right now?

Set against a backdrop of urban Australia and told from the perspective of three groups of teenagers whose narratives gradually intertwine, the story spans the confus
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Argh, this was an awkward one for me. While I adored the characters, the idea, and the Australian vibe of this book, I absolutely hated the writing for one character, who remains unnamed for most of the book. Letters are just lopped off and the sentence structure is too strange for me to understand. Words like don't become don' and words like just are jus. Not just when they're speaking, but their internal monologue. It made it so hard to read, and I just never liked those chapters no matter how ...more
Avery (Book Deviant)
Unlike a lot of people, I haven’t seen or read much zombie media. For some reason, I was just never interested in the living dead, so I just never bothered to pick up books with zombies or watch movies with zombies. But when I learned that one of my favorite authors was writing a YA novel with an all queer cast during a zombie apocalypse? I just couldn’t say no. Highway Bodies is a unique zombie story centering queer teens and found family during times of need. An intense story, a lot of warning ...more
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
I love a good zombie survival story, and this one has a fantastic cast of queer characters as well. I liked how it relied heavily on the concept of found families, and how it fostered acceptance between the characters and what they identified as. The main P.O.V. characters are non-binary, bisexual and transgender.

It definitely had a really strong Aussie vibe about it, but otherwise is your standard zombie apocalypse fare - running from zombies, learning how to survive, being afraid of groups of
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, young-adult, horror
This was like reading a television series, where the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse only serves to provide contrast to the humanity of the very cool cast of diverse characters. Loved it!

Only quibble would be that the ending of the book felt more like the wrap up of a regular episode rather than a season finale - it felt like it just...ended, rather than build up to a big climax. Although I suppose dramatic tension can be hard to build when extreme jeopardy is on par for the course for the ent
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australia, zombies, ya
I really loved all the incredible found-family moments and friendships. But they do NOT pull punches - it's an apocalypse with lots of blood and gore and people dying. Overall I really enjoyed it, and fellow YA + zombie fans will definitely love it.
Kait (Elysian Words)
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Brilliant character and plot, just couldn't get into it.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Adorable cast of baby queers who I would 100% die for in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Action-packed (I was reading this for a readathon where the prompt was to read something with a lot of action and this delivered). Love an Australian setting, love an apocalypse, love a diverse cast of precious and complex characters.

The only things stopping me from giving this a full 5 stars is it is just a fairly standard zombie survival story, while it wowed me in a lot of ways (as well as what I’ve al
Eleanor Thomas
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed that this zombie apocalypse book focuses on queer young people, it’s great to see. Sometimes the characterisation of different first person narrators fell a bit flat and towards the end they all seemed to merge into one voice, sadly. The characters also often seemed to just know instinctually when someone was Bad, which could definitely be because of their previous lives, but sometimes felt a bit too convenient and insightful for gangs of teens. But, given the world they were living in ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
There was so much of this book I was hoping to full in love with, for example it's a zombie apocalypse set in Australia which is pretty rear to find but also it seemed like it would have so many interesting characters. Unfortantly this story jumped around to much to get a good hold on it and the author could have put more thought into the characters having a positive interaction with an open minded heterosexual character instead of just genderqueer characters. Otherwise this was a really good Au ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
• Majority queer characters who are MCs and not evil or killed off tragically to further straight MC’s plot? “Tick”
• A nice variety of LGBTQI+ characters, including Bi & Trans? “Tick”
• Written by an Own Voices author? “Tick”
• Such well written Australian setting, you can smell, hear and taste it? “Tick”

Honestly, I’m loving how, in the midst of this Zombie apocalypse, these kids show us this utopian society, where you can still respect each other’s genders & pronouns.

I do worry about their poops
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
The best thing I can say about this book is that it was east to read. Kinda meh.
Michael Earp
Highway Bodies puts the heart (tasty tasty heart) into a zombie novel. I've decided that the tagline for this could be "Queer teens find and support each other in troubled times" because it's just so good! Just don't get bit, you'll turn! (LOL! *Tears*)
Julie Garner
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I received an advanced reading copy of this book.
Zombie apocalypse + clueless teenagers = chaos.
For a third of this book, half the main characters don’t even know anything is happening. Lots of death and zombie killing as 3 separate teenage groups eventually find each other.
All the main characters in this book are queer so it will appeal to the LGBTIQ community.
Robert Giles
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent zombie thriller with refreshingly gender-diverse cast. Ended up finishing it in one long session, sign of a good book.
May 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book. It had so many aspects that appealed to me such as it's set in Australia, it's a zombie book (I could totally get behind more of these) and it had characters that got to speak out their opinions and share who they were.

But unfortunately it just didn't live up to expectations. Mostly this was based off a lack of end goal. I found myself getting a bit tired of the repetitive movements of the characters, e.g. going into towns to get food, fight a few zombies, and
Casey Carlisle
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopia, glbtqia, horror
Actual rating 4.5 stars.

Once I got into ‘Highway Bodies’ I could not put this book down – I stayed up until 3am to finish it, and every tap, scratch, and spook noise from outside my widow and I’d freeze like I was living in a zombie apocalypse too. Having lived in Melbourne, Australia for over 7 years, it was great to recognise many of the landmarks referenced in this novel. And it was additionally a breath of fresh air to read a story where cis, straight-gendered people were the minority. ‘High
Underground Writers
This review was first published on the Underground Writers website:

Highway Bodies (2019) is a debut novel by Alison Evans that follows the stories of three groups of queer teens as they fight for survival in and around Melbourne as the city becomes overrun by zombies. The actual cause of the zombification is only hinted at – mentions of a food factory out in a remote town – but that mystery really isn’t the focus of the story. Rather, Highway Bodies asks
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"We keep moving, because that's what we're good at."

It has taken two months for the world to fall apart. Where once there was a functioning society, now there is only rot and ruin. Zombies have taken over Melbourne and the only hope is to flee. But all the highways out of the city are blocked with bodies - some dead, some undead, and very few alive. For a group of teenagers, there is nothing to do but find food and water but life needs more than sustenance to survive.

I was so worried when I
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s always fabulous to have new zombie fiction set in Australia, and it’s ten times as grand when the zombie fiction in question has as much personality, drama and heart as Alison Evans’ new YA book, Highway Bodies.

The story is divided into three-chapter sections: the first from the point of view of a teen near the epicentre of the zombie outbreak; the second from a group of young musicians taking a week away in the country to work on songs; the third a pair of non-identical twins whose mother
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is one of the novels where you pick it up going 'Oh, I'll read a chapter or two' and suddenly you're halfway through and wondering what the hells is happening.

I love the imagery and descriptions throughout the book; I love how Evans portrays the fear factor and the overwhelming sense of doom and not being able to do anything. The diversity of the characters are great and how they respond to the turn of events is each unique and relatable. I also haven't read a book until now where all the
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was great! I'm a total sucker for zombie apocalypse shows and books. And the fact that Highway Bodies was set in Australia made this an even more exciting read. I love how the author illustrated perfectly the very primal struggles people in our technologically advanced society would face trying to meet basic human needs for survival without luxuries we take for granted such as supermarkets and the internet. The sense of isolation and helplessness was palpable, for example, when the characte ...more
Bianca Smith
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review was originally published at Mass Consternation.

“Think I might hate him. I guess that’s not so bad, considerin he’s dead an I’m a murderer now. Does it count as murder? I don’ fucken know.”

Highway Bodies by Alison Evans is a zombie book, but it’s also not a zombie book. It is, one of the short-listed novels for the 2019 Readings Young Adult Book Prize, which is how I discovered it.

I should explain why a novel with so many zombies isn’t really a zombie book. The zombies aren’t the main
CC the Great is Not Okay
DNF-ed 3/4's of the way in. I tried to read this as part of my Pride Month TBR, as the author is non-binary and all of the characters in this book were LGBTQ. It was written from three POV's: an unnamed trans girl; Jojo, a non-binary 16-year-old with a bisexual twin sister named Rhea; and Dee, a bisexual girl camping with her bandmates, who were also all LGBTQ if I recall correctly.

I liked most of what I read before I DNF-ed but sadly, I just lost interest in the story. Going in I thought all th
Feb 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book, I really did. An Australian Zombie Apocalypse? What's not to like, right? Sadly, I didn't even make it 1/3 of the way through before throwing it in the bin. Try as I might to ignore the rabid gender politics being rammed down my throat, I couldn't go more than 2 pages without being reminded that *EVERY* POV character is bisexual, non-binary, lesbian, homosexual, or transgender. That's right, not a single heterosexual POV or main character as at page 116. Sure, the blu ...more
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Alison Evans is the author of Ida, which won the People’s Choice Award at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2017.

Their second novel, Highway Bodies, was published earlier this year and they are a contributor to new anthology, Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories.

They are based in Melbourne.

You can find out more at

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