Friday, March 11, 2011

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters: Review
Posted by Michaela at 4:31 PM

Title: Generation Dead
Author: Daniel Waters
Published: May 6th 2008 by Hyperion
Pages: 392
Price: Amazon $6.80, Book Depository $8.98
Series: Generation Dead: Kiss of LifeGeneration Dead: Passing Strange
Source: Bought
Rating: 2/5
Synopsis: Phoebe Kendall is just your typical Goth girl with a crush. He’s strong and silent…and dead.
All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. But when they come back to life, they are no longer the same. Feared and misunderstood, they are doing their best to blend into a society that doesn’t want them.
The administration at Oakvale High attempts to be more welcoming of the “differently biotic." But the students don’t want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn’t breathing. And there are no laws that exist to protect the “living impaired” from the people who want them to disappear—for good.
When Phoebe falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids, no one can believe it; not her best friend, Margi, and especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has feelings for Phoebe that run much deeper than just friendship; he would do anything for her. But what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy? (Goodreads)

Initial Thoughts: I was pretty psyched about this book. I had heard great things about the short story set in this world, and I figured that the book would match up to my expectations.

Review: It did not.

I was not impressed with the characters. They lacked depth, and the speech sounded a little too forced for teenagers in everyday life. I doubt that many of them would be so calm about zombies going to school with them. Even though they seemed very polite, I would be carrying a machete with me at all times in case a sudden appetite for human flesh overcame them. In the book, there were very few people who were actually like, "Guys, seriously, they're dead. What are they doing in a high school?" Sure, there were tons of kids who ignored them, and some that didn't like them, but most of them were not alarmed at all. A shockingly large number were zombie activists.

The main character was not very likable, either, in my opinion. I thought she was kind of dull, and I had no clue why she would fall in love with a dead kid when she had an awesome neighbor who was obsessed with her (Don't worry, this isn't giving anything away. This is said in one of the first chapters). The plot was a little slow moving for about half the book, but the last half was pretty engaging.

None of these things really bothered me as much as the hidden lectures did. At least eighty percent of the book was spent trying to say that zombies deserve the same rights as humans do, and I really don't believe this. Call me evil if you want, but I think zombies are made for chopping, not for loving. I wouldn't mind so much if it was only a little bit of  "differently biotic" rights discussions, but the amount of this content in the book was distracting, and it made it hard for me to get into. Also, I was a little surprised that a zombie could be killed just by being shot. I would think that they would have to be chopped into a zillion little pieces.

I don't think that everyone would feel this way about the book - I'm sure lots of you wouldn't mind these hidden lessons - but I really prefer to keep my politics out of my reading unless I'm reading for that reason. I know that I would probably love this book if I didn't hate being lectured to so much. If you don't mind equal rights rants, than you should really give this book a try. In addition, I don't mean to trash the book - it was certainly not the worst I've ever read, and without the lecturing, I would have really liked it. It was just not my cup of tea. If you'd rather keep your nose in a book with traditionally terrifying zombies, I recommend sticking to Carrie Ryan's books.

Quick Review: There was a lot of talk about equal zombie rights, which was pretty distracting. The characters were a little dull, but if you look past that, this could be a really great book. I recommend it to
people who like current issues in their reading. It wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but if it sounds like yours, be sure to give it a try.