Author: Darren Shan
Summary: It begins in a remote village in Ireland. Footage of vicious zombie attacks and brutal military responses goes viral. B’s London-based gang of friends and family see the clips, but everyone seems to think it is some kind of hoax. Some think it is a promo for an upcoming film, others theorize that it is a terrorist plot, or even the ultimate practical joke. Life goes on for everyone in the rest of the world.
And, life for B means dealing with an abusive and racist father, protecting a battered mother, hanging tough in front of friends, and going to school. Potential zombies aside, the biggest issue in B’s life is dealing with the urge to go against Dad’s bigotry. Sometimes it is just easier to agree with him because an unhappy Dad is a violent one. Unfortunately, it’s becoming evident that B’s decision to just pretend to go along with Dad’s views is beginning to influence how B behaves towards kids from other racial backgrounds. Even at school, B is receiving mixed messages about tolerance and B’s finding it hard to separate right from wrong.
However, that internal struggle is momentarily sidelined the day B’s school is attacked by zombies. The attack is sudden, and B and a group of diverse students must get over their shock and disbelief immediately if they are to escape the carnage.
Who will like this book?: This incredibly fast-paced book is great for fans of action and, of course, zombies. There are some graphic novel-type illustrations that further enhance Darren Shan’s creepy vision of the zombie apocalypse. This addictive first of a proposed 12 book series already has the next three books in print and subsequent ones are scheduled to be released approximately three months apart.
If you like this, try this: Of course continue on with the series! But while you wait, get hooked on Jonathan Maberry’s Rot and Ruin series, Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel series The Walking Dead, and Charlie Higson’s The Dead.
Recommended by: Jen, Fairfield Woods Branch Teen Librarian
Title: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
Author: Lish McBride
Summary: Sam is just your ordinary college drop-out passing the time working in a fast-food restaurant and hanging out with friends. It’s a rather unremarkable, bland life until a disturbing encounter with Douglas, a powerful necromancer, changes everything. Douglas senses Sam’s previously undetected and undeveloped powers as a necromancer and believes him to be a threat with which to be swiftly dealt. Now Sam has a sinister new archenemy bent on converting him to an evil apprentice or getting rid of him altogether, the undeveloped talent for raising the dead and controlling them, a re-animated friend who is missing her body from the neck down, and a hot werewolf girl for company.
Who will like this book?: This fast-paced buddy action book combines humor, horror, supernatural fantasy, and a bit of romance to create a highly entertaining and addicting read for mature teens.
If you like this, try this: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series by Heather Brewer, Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins, Thirsty by M.T. Anderson, Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan
Recommended by: Jen, Fairfield Woods Branch Teen Librarian
Title: Zombies vs Unicorns
Editors: Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
Summary: It’s a debate as old as time (or, an Internet meme started in February 2007): Flesh eating symbols of the inevitable decay of modern civilization, or rainbow-farting, frolicking horned creatures. (Okay, you can obviously see my preference.) This collection of 12 short stories by some of today’s best YA writers takes up the debate, alternating zombie and unicorn stories, with editors Black and Larbalestier providing a highly entertaining commentary before each tale begins.
Stories by Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) and Diana Peterfreund (Rampant) explore characters and situations familiar to readers of their books, while Scott Westerfeld, Meg Cabot, Maureen Johnson and Libba Bray provide new tales that will leave you wishing the pages would turn forever. Like a zombie shambling ever onward. Or a unicorn prancing, I guess. Even if you aren’t a zombie person (which makes you a unicorn person, which is…let’s face it, strange) this collection is a terrific introduction to the many facets of contemporary fantasy, and a definite must-read.
Who will like this book?: Mature readers who are fans (or haters) of zombies. Fans (or haters) of unicorns. Anyone who likes fun, fast-paced fantasy stories.
If you like this, try this: The Living Dead, edited by John Joseph Adams. A good collection of unicorn short stories – if such a thing existed.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian
Title: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Author: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Summary: It’s Pride and Prejudice…with zombies! Fighting off zombie attacks are a daily chore for the Bennet sisters. During their years of training in China, they have honed their mastery with the sword, becoming famous in their small town for their abilities. Our hero Mr. Darcy happens to also be a famous zombie slayer. It would be a match made in heaven if not for Darcy’s superior status and the disapproving glare of his aunt, the renowned Lady Catherine de Bourgh. With the classic cast of passionate, sharp-mouthed, lovesick characters, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies brings this original tale back to life – literally.
Who will like this book?: If you’re a fan of Gregory Maguire, I’d say this book is for you. If you enjoyed the original Pride and Prejudice, you might enjoy this as well, as it contains many direct passages (and essentially the same plot) from the original. Even if you don’t like reading the classics, you’ll find this one hard to put down.
If you like this, you should try: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Wicked and Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire. Fool by Christopher Moore. Goose Girl by Shannon Hale.
Recommended by: ZZ, Fairfield resident and avid reader