A few months ago at the Arkansas Literary Fest, I met the gorgeous Stacey Jay. She lives up the highway a piece, in the county that we have to drive to in order to buy booze. She's lucky that way.
Stacey reminded me a lot of one of my longtime friends and bandmates, Baby Lovecat. Long red hair, pale skin, and a figure to die for!
Even better, Stacey writes YA zombie novels. I bought one at the lit fest, You Are So Undead To Me.
What I liked about Jay's book is how she captures what it's like to be a teen--or what I think it was like. When we talked at the fest, Jay said that she tried to remember what she worried about in high school--mainly boys, looking hot, and being cool. And that's what I worried about too! World hunger? Bah! Local politics? Who cares!? Isn't this dress cute?
Of course Megan, the hero of the novel, has another thing to worry about: zombies. And here's where Jay's book breaks away from the zombie tradition. The undead seek out "zombie settlers"--people born with the supernatural power to help them resolve their "life" issues so they can RIP. One zombie who seeks Megan out can't rest because he's never seen a girl naked! Teen worries indeed.
In addition to these relatively harmless zombies, there are black-magic witches who raise Reanimated Corpses. These RCs act a lot more like Romero zombies, hungry for flesh. That's where Megan's trouble begins. Someone is out to get her by reanimating corpses! They want to kill her--as well as prevent her from going to the prom.
The book is a combo of Buffy and Twilight--something most reviewers have already mentioned and Jay herself acknowledges by having Megan call her own moves "Buffyesque." The writing is a lot better than Twilight, though, a book I found hard to get through because of its awkward syntax. Who edited that thing?
You Are So Undead also reminded me of Harry Potter; the Settlers use spells to control the zombies--spells that are uttered in Latin, real Latin, thank the Goddess.
The only problem I had was that I guessed very early on who the villain was. Of course, I'm way past being a teenager so perhaps the book's core audience would be, like, a little more clueless, you know?