“…I follow the Code – Zombie Survival Code (ZSC). The ZSC is a list on how to survive a necroinfectious pandemic, otherwise known as a zombie apocalypse.”
– Zombie by J.R. Angelella
But what helps him to (literally) stay alive in school and at home is his Code – the Zombie Survival Code:
Zombie Survival Code #1: Avoid Eye Contact (ZSC#1)
Zombie Survival Code #2: Keep Quiet (ZSC #2)
Zombie Survival Code #3: Forget the Past (ZSC #3)
Zombie Survival Code #4: Lock-and-Load (ZSC #4)
Zombie Survival Code #5: Fight to Survive (ZSC #5)
But as his life appears to be crumbling – the bullying and tormenting at school is relentless from both students and teachers – Jeremy manages to rise above his feelings of angst and alienation and starts making friends. He even asks out a girl, Aimee White, and begins connecting with her on a deep level.
The bottom line is this: Zombie was one of those rare novels that was so satisfying, I actually hugged the book when I finished.
“The only aspect of my room that is inherently my own is my zombie ceiling – every classic zombie poster imaginable stuck to the ceiling, covering every inch of the ceiling. Overlapping, crisscrossing, coming down on the room. Every George A. Romero Living Dead poster, Planet Terror, Dawn of the Dead the original, Dawn of the Dead the remake, I Walked with a Zombie, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland …”
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Fans of Zombie fiction and zombie movies will love the dozens of (sometimes obscure) references throughout.
The Catholic school backdrop (which was an amusing blend of religiosity and unadulterated vulgarity) added some fantastic scenes and even more provocative one-liners!
• “Zombies have more in common with Catholics than people care to admit.”
• “Jesus, though – he’s like, the ultimate unbeatable, holy zombie…”
But the reason I loved this novel so fiercely is Angelella’s poignant portrayal of Jeremy. Anyone who has ever felt alone or helpless during their adolescent years will identify with this kid and his struggle to survive in the “real world.”
Zombie truly was a brilliant novel that was original, irreverent, and deeply touching. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, especially for those readers who enjoy zombie flicks. The Catcher in the Rye meets Dawn of the Dead.
Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for the last two decades and has written thousands of reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and BarnesandNoble.com. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.
Keep up with all of my blogs – as well as all of Barnes & Noble’s exclusive reviews, authors interviews, videos, promotions, and more – by following @BNBuzz on Twitter!
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