Review: Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
Favorite Line: “She stepped into the room, and as she did, she was almost certain that Tommy was trying to smile back at her.” (p. 5)
Phoebe Kendall and Adam Layman are experiencing some new things this year at Oakvale High. They have a bunch of “differently biotic”, a.k.a zombie, students having lunch in the cafeteria, trying out for football, and going to the homecoming dance. Most of the students do not know what to make of them. A majority of them do not like them and just call them derogatory names such as “wormfood”, “corpsicles”, and “dead heads”, just to name a few. No one can explain why only teenagers and not adults are coming back to life. They have theories such as too much fast food, playing too many video games, a sign of the Apocalypse, or just plain magic.
Adam has a crush on Phoebe. He has come to realize recently that they have been friends forever. He enjoys her company and loves everything about her, including her gothic personality. Unfortunately, Phoebe has her sights on Tommy Williams, the new football player who just so happens to also be “differently biotic”. She gives Tommy a poem she wrote for him, which he hangs in his locker. This causes a huge string of events that will change Phoebe and Adam’s life forever.
The cover of this book does not do it justices. It looks like Gossip Girl meets narcotics. Curiosity did get the best of me and I picked it up. I read a chapter and it did that magical thing that books do. It drew me right in. Do not expect flesh eating zombies in this story. As someone who enjoys reading and watching zombie stuff I do recommend reading it just for the fact that Waters does a good job spinning a tale of how it could be if zombies were, in fact, part of our world.
Phoebe was someone I could relate to. She is comfortable in her own skin and is nice to everybody, even if she hangs out with an unusual crowd. She does have a small case of too stupid to live. But Waters does such a wonderful job of telling this story that her flaws fall by the wayside.
I wasn’t very fond of Adam due to the fact that it seemed he was in his own world the whole time. He’s a nice fellow, but he has no personality. For a good while all he talks about is karate and all the things his Master taught him. I felt he could have done it once in one good paragraph, instead of several places throughout the book. It would seem he had more of a crush on his Master than on Phoebe.
I enjoyed the romance and it almost rivals Twilight. My only problem with the romance was that Phoebe seemed really into the guys, but I didn’t feel that the guys were all that into Phoebe. It would have been a beautiful tale had I felt the mojo flowing from the guys. Adam always seemed so indifferent about Phoebe, and Tommy seemed more determined about making a statement than actually being in the moment with her.
Besides the romance, the major part of this work was the prejudice and tolerance that is written all over it, and I think Waters did a great job telling it this way. He painted a pretty accurate picture of high school life and how people would react to the unknown. And, yes readers, there are teenagers who are just that cruel.
I hope there is a sequel, since it left us with the dreaded cliffhanger that I dislike so much. It left off with a lot of questions unanswered and things unresolved. I also hope to see this book go on school lists all over the country, so that it can help teenagers have a better understanding of acceptance of different views and different people.
For: The goth kid in all of us and readers who want to give zombies a chance.