Synopsis: It's the end of the world as we know it. Trixie Collins is a normal teen making her way through high school. One night at a party, a boy comes on to her and won't take no for an answer. As she jerks her arm away, his fingernails cut into her skin. When she finds her dog's mutilated body and realizes she's to blame, she starts to think maybe the zombie apocalypse they've been screaming about on the news isn't a hoax after all. Worse, she begins to think maybe she's one of the infected. Now it's a fight for life as she joins together with her brethren to stop the humans intent on destroying them. Are zombies all bad, or is it just a huge misunderstanding?
My Take: This was a fun and creative twist on the Zombie stories of late, coming at it from the perspective of people infected with a weird virus that mimics zombie behavior. I appreciated that the author obviously did some research to come up with a plausible explanation for Zombieism beyond "random unexplained viral outbreak/ voodoo/ witchcraft". That was pretty cool, and the fact that she based it on a mutation of an actual real virus, the Kuru virus, that comes from cannibalism was even cooler! But don't research the disease until after you finish the book. It will take you down a rabbit hole!
I enjoyed this more than Warm Bodies, despite the eww factor of zombie romance, but there was this niggling in my brain that it felt a bit familiar. I consume way too much Zombie entertainment, so it took me a minute to figure it out...
Yeah, it was very strange. Not sure if it is a zeitgeist thing (the first season of iZombie came out in 2014, and this book was released in 2014. Before the TV series, I had not heard of the comics, and I am not sure most people had either.) But creepy, the similarities. Both girls are infected at a party that they should probably not have been at. One is on a house boat on a lake, the other is a hurricane party. Both are infected by a scratch from a guy who is putting on the moves and they are not interested! Both don't realize that they are turning into Zombies...
Fortunately, that is the end of the similarities (unless you count the delightful spunk the writers imbue upon the main characters, but each has her own unique flavor, so I won't count it!)
In a lot of ways, I enjoyed Ms. Michaels' I, Zombie more than iZombie. There was a lot of thought put into not only how one would contract such a virus, but also how that virus would affect humanity.
Was it perfect? Naw, there is no such thing. There were a few Deus Ex Machina moments, and a couple of points where I felt the story could have gone a less cliche route and been so much better, but on the whole it was a pretty good read that is quite thought-provoking for YA readers.
Totally passing this off to my teen boys, as I think it will curb their zombie-fervor end of the world hopes and dreams. Really makes one think if "Smash 'em til their all dead" is the best approach in the Zombie Apocalypse.
Wanna give I, Zombie a try? You can grab it for only $3.99 from Amazon. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.