Title: Zombies Don’t Cry
Series: Living Dead Love Story #1
Published: 1 October 2012 by Electric Monkey
Source: won from US publisher
Review: Maddy Swift is Normal. Trying to pass food class, sneaking in and out, and going out to dances. This stops when she is struck by lightning. Which makes her a zombie. Under the wing of some fellow zombies, Chloe and Dane, Maddy starts to adjust to life as a one of the undead. Even when you take into the fact that Zerkers, crazy ones past civilised zombie-ism, are running round her high school.
I’d heard of Rusty and his books ages ago and so was happy to see he got a deal in the UK.
These zombies are very original. I like the fact that there’s more to them than eating brains, but that is a big part of them. I also like the use of the lightning-not the bolt on the creators table, more a bolt while out doing normal things, and the subversion of the trope is good.
The main characters, Maddy, Chloe and Dane, are all very likable and make a great friendship group. Love interest Stamp is cute, but he doesn’t really do much. I like the fact that Maddie was quite active and did lots of things despite just being throne into this new world with its bureaucracy and rules. Chloe is my favourite character because she just wins in terms of coolness.
The writing is chatty, open and fun. I love the chapter titles. All the things that happen to Maddy after she becomes undead are unpredictable and crazy. The climax at the school was well done. I liked the circular structure-the way it comes back to the guy in the blue suit…
Overall: Strength 3 tea to a fun zombie romance.
Author: Anthony McGowan
Review: Conor ONeil dies and goes to hell. There he finds that hell is a mix of hells for different people. His hell, with him being a teenage boy into all the stereotypical teenage boy things, is to be surrounded in a room with classical music and heavy books. Hacking into a computer then leads Conor to find there’s someone whose hell is his heaven. with his pet dog who comes along as part of a new initiative, and Clarence, the demon who was assigned to oversee his eternal punishment, he sets out to find that someone.
I picked this up in a shop and started reading it. It wasn’t a great start, but the concept was very interesting.
It’s definitely for people who find humour in stereotypical teenage boys’ views of sex, excrement and such. A lot of Conor’s narration revolves around it, which is fair enough, considering where they are, but sometimes it gets in the way a bit.
It’s a very chatty book. Conor is talking directly to you, telling you all about his life, and his death.
The characters were all exaggerated for comic effect. I particularly liked the Café Valhalla, where Vikings are put in as waiters and forced to form a string quartet. Conor isn’t the most engaging character for me, but some may like him more than me.
Overall: Strength 3 to a very different interpretation of Hell that may be enjoyed more by people with different senses of humour.