I started listening to this a few weeks back and it got me through my first cold of the academic year, a mountain of unfolded laundry and yucky housework, and some very early morning dog walks, all with a smile on my face. Gotta love audiobooks for adding a tiny element of self-spoiling to otherwise mundane / unappealing chores. I chose this one because I had a feeling it would blend tongue-in-cheek humour with a fast-paced, don’t-have-to-think-too-much plot. Not having to think too much is essential at the beginning of the school year. Stacy Jay’s You Are So Undead to Me is perfect when you’re after light reading with smart characters, some great humourous scenes, and a whole lot of zombie action. If fun is something that’s required, then look no further.
Megan is a Zombie Settler, descended from a long line of Zombie Settlers, one of the more unusual skills one might inherit. The idea here is that a dead person becomes a zombie when she or he has unresolved issues at the time of death, and in order to rest in peace, the zombie seeks out a settler who listens to the problem, and promises to fix things up. Then the zombie goes away for good. Unlike the zombies in the movies, these zombies are fairly polite and patient and don’t try to eat you. They groan a lot. They stink, but they aren’t in relentless pursuit of human flesh. At 15, Megan’s settling powers are becoming stronger than they ever were before and this means that a whole lot of zombies are seeking her out to solve their problems. This isn’t so great when a girl is trying to maintain a social life, and she must keep her powers secret so that her family won’t be relocated by Settlers’ Affairs. Megan may not like it, but she’s trying to make all of this work, and take her responsibilities as a Settler seriously. Things aren’t so bad until someone at her school starts working some seriously black magic, threatening Megan and all the kids at school with a brutal zombie attack on the night of the homecoming dance. Now it’s Megan’s job to fix everything, to save homecoming and herself before the undead win the day.
Phew! I am kind of a tired Elf tonight, so the rest of my review is presented in point form (as my students say, “Can I just do it in point form?”):
Why I liked it:
- Funny parts (especially when the zombies showed up on Megan’s doorstep and she would greet them, “Hello, welcome to your after death session.”)
- There’s a cute Zombie Settler boy (he comes in handy)
- It reminded me in tone of another favourite funny & adventurous series that doesn’t take itself too seriously: Ally Carter’s I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You (this is a major compliment because I am such a fan of Ally’s books)
- Awesome zombie attack sequences
What I wish was different:
- I was having trouble guessing the identity of the villain all the way to the end, but then it was hinted at way too loud and clear for my liking. It killed the suspense that had been so well-sustained for the whole narrative. I think the revelation should have been done all-of-a-sudden, with zero warning, for more impact.
- Nothing else. It’s just right. It’s fully entertaining as is.
- That I had an ARC of Jay’s next book, the follow up title, Undead Much?
You have a shot at winning your own ARC of Undead Much? Just take a look at the fan art at Stacy’s blog and then create your own masterpiece to send to Stacy for a chance at one of her ARCs. (I can’t draw, but I can write nice reviews…)
You are So Undead to Me is published by Razorbill.