Author: Daniel Waters
Source: Local Library
Excerpt from Goodreads:
Phoebe Kendall is just your typical Goth girl with a crush. He’s strong and silent…and dead.
All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren’t staying dead. But when they come back to life, they are no longer the same. Feared and misunderstood, they are doing their best to blend into a society that doesn’t want them.
The administration at Oakvale High attempts to be more welcoming of the “differently biotic.” But the students don’t want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn’t breathing. And there are no laws that exist to protect the “living impaired” from the people who want them to disappear—for good.
When Phoebe falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids, no one can believe it; not her best friend, Margi, and especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has feelings for Phoebe that run much deeper than just friendship; he would do anything for her. But what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?
I originally heard about this book in 2008. Back then the idea of zombies wasn’t even on my radar. These days, however, I’m spoiled and obsessed with shows like The Walking Dead and movies like Zombieland. I went into this book with a pretty solid idea and understanding of zombies but Daniel Waters totally reinvented the ‘species’ and I thought it worked…for the most part.
Daniel Waters’ zombies are teenagers who have died and come back to life, or dead life. They don’t eat humans or function the way humans do. They are alot slower in their movements and have a hard time communicating, but some are able to function at higher levels than others (the reasoning behind this is revealed towards the end). Depending on how the teenager died, most of the zombies look normal, if you can think of palish green skin as normal.
Initially the story is written as a zombie love story between a zombie, Tommy, and a human, Phoebe. At first this was a hard concept to grasp, since my imagination of zombies goes right to The Walking Dead and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near one of those zombies let alone going to the mall with him and holding hands. Once I got over the shock factor I found the relationship intriguing.
I personally never felt a connection between Phoebe and Tommy and couldn’t understand Phoebe’s connection or attraction to him. The whole time I was reading the story I was rooting for Phoebe’s long time friend Adam, who has been in love with her for years. The real conflict begins when Adam’s ex-best friend Pete begins killing the zombies and bullying Phoebe.
The story ends with Adam suffering some really harsh consequences from saving Phoebe’s life, which was sad but ultimately just pissed me off. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, because getting pissed off is a testament to my connection with Adam, which means the author did his job and was able to evoke emotion from his readers.
I think this book struggled to find a balance between a love story and the science of the zombies. I didn’t feel like either facet was strong enough to propel the story and I wish that the author had focused more on one of the other. They just didn’t feel complete to me. I didn’t grasp the love story and there were too many questions and missing pieces in the science department of it all.
There is another Zombie book out there, which has just been turned into a major motion picture, called Warm Bodies that embodies some of the same zombie elements Generation Dead had. Warm Bodies has been on my to-read list for a long time now so I can’t personally recommend it…yet.
I would recommend Generation Dead for those of you who want a new perspective on Zombies and to get you in the mood or mindset to read Warm Bodies before it comes out in theaters.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars