Thursday, February 28, 2013

Something there is...that loves a good zombie book.

Not because zombies are pretty and smell great. Not because they flip their hair or smolder (although Warm Bodies may have changed our minds on the romantic potential). But because zombies are a hive of human fear. A collective of horrors that you simply can't outrun. They are compelling, their danger only made worse by underestimating them.  Make no mistake, they're going to consume your brain.

A few of our YA favorites:

THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan. This book started it all for us. Even started off an incredible series of fauxtographs. This book is not just about zombies, but about the forces that keep you isolated, that make you aware of your vulnerability. And how inconvenient zombies can be when you're in the middle of a good love story.

THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers. A lot of people like to say this book isn't about zombies, but instead about a group of teens trapped inside a high school. And we must admit there's very much a "Breakfast Club" feel to it in the best of ways. But the zombies in this book serve as a force that each of the characters must reckon with. It's not easy living in the aftermath of carnage, and being confronted with the consequences of your true self. Sometimes that's where the horror lies.

THE END GAMES by T. Michael Martin. SO GLAD we snagged an ARC of this book. In this world, two brothers must immediately figure out a way to adapt to the changing world around them. There is no going back to before. We can't say too much so we don't spoil the story for you, but the characters each go through their own journey, and there are so many twists and moments where you have no clue how things will turn out. But the whole time you're rooting for these very human characters and daring to hope there's a way to survive a creature that adapts more quickly than you.

In a good zombie book, there's a guaranteed fight. A survival story--often the least likely human you'd think would ever make it or deserve it. There's guts, and the skin of your teeth, and anger at how some creature so stupid and shuffling could outsmart you. Because the thing survival, not often the strongest or the smartest survive. But the most adaptable.

Sooooo...If you were in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, would you rather be alone in your quest for survival or would you want someone with you? Who might that be (fictional or real)?  Comment on this post to be entered to win our well-loved ARC of THE END GAMES. (US/Canada only; winner posted next week).


Kristan said...

Since I'm part of the group, I obvs don't need to enter the giveaway, but I love this post and the question!

First: "This book is not just about zombies, but about the forces that keep you isolated, that make you aware of your vulnerability." - OMG YES. You captured that so perfectly.

Second: Hmm... I wouldn't want to be alone in a zombie apocalypse. Too sad/scary. (Even though it would give me less to worry about...) I think I'd want my boyfriend with me, not only bc I love him and don't really want to imagine a world without him (sorry, cheesy I know!) but also bc he's an Eagle Scout who watches a lot of Survivorman, so I think he'd be useful in keeping us alive, hahaha.

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I don't really like zombie books but I have read the first two you listed here and I adored This Is Not a Test!\

I would want someone to kill me in the event of a zombie apocalypse-I don't want to turn in to one and am not sure I'd succeed in escaping them otherwise.

Tomara Armstrong said...

I loved Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth AND The Dead Tossed Waves (I haven't had a chance to read Dark and Hollow Places yet). I can't wait to read the others listed here.

Your question is a tough one that would probably require many lists and lots of thought(and paper)... my brain already hurts. I'm not sure I'd want the responsibility of protecting someone other than myself, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want the added guilt if something happened to them (AND the continuous sadness of loss).

It's not even 10am and I'm already stressed out ;)

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Ugh. FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH was so sad! The only reason I picked it up a couple years ago was because so many people were talking about it on the blogosphere... had I known it was about zombies I wouldn't have read it! (But I'm so glad I didn't know because I really enjoyed the trilogy!) Still trying to get up the nerve to read the other ones you mentioned!

As for a zombie apocalypse... I have no idea what to even think about that... my brain won't even let me go there. ;)


kaye (paper reader) said...

I have FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH but haven't read it yet. Why aren't there more hours in the day? Same thing with Mira Grant's FEED.

Two zombie-esque series I do recommend, though, are Ilsa J. Bick's ASHES and Ann Aguirre's ENCLAVE. Both of them have a bit of a twist on what you might think of as the stereotypical "zombies eat brains!" tale. Though there ARE brains. And zombies (though not always by that name).

And THE END GAMES sounds like it has all of the right elements that I love in a book. And that cover - love!

My first instinct was to say that I'd love a dog with keen senses with me so they can sniff out who's near, but then I think I'd go crazy of lack of human interaction. I could take Sam from SHIVER, as long as the weather didn't stay toooo cold. :D

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

Okay I really need to read 'This Is Not A Test' after hearing SO MANY good things about it. I can't say I'm a huge zombie fan, but I have read a few titles I've enjoyed (such as Carrie Ryan's).

Re: your question... hmmm I don't think I would want to be alone. I'd want to be with someone who has survival skills, unlike me. ;)

Lauren said...

I love Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth series and the Newsflesh series by Mira Grant. I have an ARC already of the End Games, so don't enter me in the giveaway, but I'm very excited to hear this one is on your list of zombie greats. Fabulous roundup!

April said...

I loved the forest of hands and teeth. I really need to get This is not a test too, because I have seen nothing but amazing things about that one. :)

Anna said...

Mmmm brains is right. I loved Carrie Ryan's series -- definitely beautifully done. Really enjoy Ilsa J. Bick's series too...though it's so gory it's not for the faint of heart. Oh, and easy answer to your question: People! The more people around me who are not zombies, the better! Because I am not cut out for living on the run.

Erica said...

I LOVE The Forest of Hands and Teeth - that trilogy was brilliant. I haven't read the other two on your guys's list though, so I definitely need to do so soon :)

Unknown said...

Just popping in to say thanks for all the interesting comments--so much goodness! Two more days and I'll announce the winner (random draw).

Personally, I'd either want to go it alone or hang on the coat-tails of survival experts. Not with anyone I knew, because I couldn't handle losing someone I loved.

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



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The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
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Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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