Friday, February 1, 2013

Review for The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life By Jen Naumann

A Fun Zombie Story with a Twist

4 Stars. This book started out interesting and had me completely hooked through the middle. It had well written characters and the storyline about two best friends who realize at the end of the world that they’re in love with one another was what kept me hanging on every page.

I loved Emma; she was just so honest and funny. Her relationship with Finn was sweet and natural and I loved watching the two of them realize their feelings for one another. I also liked watching Emma banter with Cash and all their snarky remarks. All of the characters in this book really played nicely off one another.

There were a few things that bugged me about Emma from time to time. She could be a little redundant with her thoughts, which isn’t helped by her shock induced amnesia half way through the book; although I did find this to be a believable thing to happen to this character. Emma wasn’t the strongest person and she takes everything that happens really hard, but I loved that she dealt with her discomfort with humor and cracking jokes. This is something I tend to do as well so I could completely relate. However, she freaked out a lot, and while she seemed to pull herself together at the very end I wished she had gotten herself together a little sooner.

When it comes to the plot I found that this was not your typical zombie storyline, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes and I was constantly trying to figure things out. The mystery in the middle of this book, wondering who Emma could trust and who she couldn’t was perfect. It had me hanging on edge and second guessing the intentions of every character. I also enjoyed that this was written in the present tense. It really pulled you into the action and made it all that more exciting because it was happening now.

One thing I thought I would be turned off by was the concept of how this virus started. Naumann drops hints throughout the book about aliens and I just wasn’t sure I’d like that, but once it was all explained I felt like the idea made sense, and it was a welcomed twist. I also appreciated that the author gave a reason for where the zombies came from as this is often overlooked in zombie stories. Another thing that I liked and thought was different was that only adults were infected, it was an intriguing idea to think about a world with only teenagers and kids and how they would survive without adults. It also reminded me a little of Lord of the Flies, particularly when our group of misfits came across a group of teen boys doing their best to survive on their own in their destroyed home town.

Now I want to say that part of me liked the ending, but where this book lost a star for me was wishing it had been a few chapters longer. I just wanted a little more, partly because I didn't want it to end. But, I think Naumann was making a point that we should appreciate what we have while we have it, and the ending of this book makes a point that there are things we simply cannot control. Even in the end when everything has been taken away from Emma there is this sense that she, though sad, is grateful for if nothing else the fact that she got to be with Finn and has him there with her. She’s going to die but at least she gets to go out like ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

It’s not a happy ending, but its left open ended and while I think that was the point I can’t help but wish Naumann had told us the happy ending my mind keeps conjuring up. We don’t see Emma die, and while the odds are stacked against her and her friends I keep thinking well… they could go and break Finn’s mom out and then she’ll have a cure and they’ll save Emma and they’ll still have this crazy war with the undead going on but just maybe they could find a way to fix it all. Naumann leaves the possibility open, but not knowing for sure is getting to me a little.

If Nauman were to do a sequel of this book I would definitely pick it up, and I’m going to be keeping an eye out for her work in the future.

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