Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{October 23, 2012}   {Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway} Detention of the Living Dead by Rusty Fischer

From Goodreads: Maxine “Max” Compton is in detention when the outbreak starts; so are several other students when Max’s best friend Brie storms in – chomping on the thigh bone of their favorite Home Ec teacher, Ms. Watkins!

Brie is a zombie and quickly starts biting everyone in the room—even her best friend, Max!  When the class realizes what happens, it’s too late; they are all zombies—and they’re no longer alone. Now a thin gray man in a white lab coat is testing them; making them read, and once they can no longer read, the zombies are led from the room, never to be seen again. One by one the zombies stop reading, all but a few of them, Max included. Oh, and that cute thug she’s been crushing on for years, Zander Cash! That’s when Max learns that there are good zombies, and bad zombies. And if she’s to survive, she has to pick a side.

Who knew Detention could be this hard… or last forever?


Fischer is back with his latest zombie tale, and it’s another winner!  I really enjoyed getting to know Max, especially as she and her “friends” struggled to maintain their humanity in after being unceremoniously turned into zombies.

I think what I like best about Fischer’s writing is that it’s unique.  He doesn’t follow the traditional zombie lore, and he’s fantastically funny in his telling of events.  Though the novel is set in detention, there is so much more to the story than that, and I found the story extremely intriguing as I read.  From the epic zombie apocalypse over the school TV system, to the daring escape from the school and into the unknown, I found myself drawn into the story and rooting for the zombies—for the ones who still had brain function, that is.

Call me morbid, but I really enjoyed the tazing and zombie reactions in the beginning of the novel.  Of course, I felt terrible for the zombies, until they became the true undead versions we’re used to, but then it was like, taze that zombie!  Get ‘em!  And yet, the zombies that still have functions kind of break your heart and you can’t help but root for them.  And, of course, nothing is what it seems, so as I read the novel and thought I knew what was going on, Fischer kept blindsiding me with revelations that I never saw coming.

Now, truth be told, I didn’t connect with all the characters in the novel, and parts of it were a bit more fast paced than I would have like, but overall, this is a true gem and the perfect read for Halloween.  Like I said, Max was really cool, and I think, perhaps, there is room for a sequel, which means more character development, and I would love that!  Four stars.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


The Author of Detention of the Living Dead Interviews Its Heroine, Max Compton

By Rusty Fischer, author of Zombies Don’t Cry

Maxine “Max” Compton is just sitting in Detention one day — so totally not her fault — when her best friend Brie Cunningham walks in and turns everyone in the room into zombies.

Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time! Well, now to share her side of the story for the very first time, and ONLY on the A Book Vacation blog, I interview Max about her experiences in my new YA paranormal, Detention of the Living Dead:

Mr. Fischer: Hi Max, I gotta ask, what’s it like having a boy’s name?

Max: Hi, Mr. Fischer. Well, it didn’t start out as a boy’s name. Maxine is about as girly a name as you could get, but it always sounded a little too “church lady” for me so I shortened it to “Max.” It’s okay, actually; I’m kind of a tomboy anyway.

Mr. Fischer: Do you think that’s what helped you survive what happened to you in that Detention room?

Max: Not really. I think wanting to survive helped me survive. Being a boy or girl didn’t really enter into it. When it comes to living or dying, it’s what you’ve got deep down inside that really counts.

Mr. Fischer: That’s a good point, Max. What did you know about zombies before, sorry, becoming one?

Max: Just what I saw in the movies and on TV. You know, rotting limbs and popping out of graves and “bbbrraaaiiinnnssss!” I never knew there were different types, or that they could talk or think, or that there would be zombie cops.

Mr. Fischer: Do you think things might have gone differently if you’d been, say, in an after school club meeting when the outbreak started, as opposed to Detention?

Max: Ha! What, like Math-a-Lete zombies would be less gross than Detention zombies? I pretty much think that zombies are zombies, regardless of how they start out. Do I wish I’d stayed home from school that day? Yes, but if it was gonna happen, it was gonna happen whether or not I was in Detention or Yearbook club.

Mr. Fischer: Really? You don’t think bad people get worse when they become zombies?

Max: And what, good zombies get better? Just look at what happened to Brie. She was a really good, sweet, kind person before and then… well, not so much. And yet some of those kids in detention, the ones I thought were so tough and hard and even “bad,” turned out to be better than the rest. I think it’s just the luck of the draw.

Mr. Fischer: So, you feel “lucky” to be a good zombie?

Max: Far from it. I’d rather be a bad human than a good zombie any day.

Mr. Fischer: Really? But you’re so strong now, can’t feel pain, don’t need to sleep. There’s not a little part of you that secretly likes being a super zombie?

Max: Not even a tiny little bit. Try it someday and you’ll know what I mean.

Mr. Fischer: NO thanks, I’d rather just write about them. But you bring up a good point: Why do you think people are so fascinated with zombies these days?

Max: I wasn’t. Not really. I mean, I was in a general way, the way kids are into vampires and werewolves but I know what you mean; a lot of my friends were zombie fanatics. Now, a lot of my friends are zombies, period.

Mr. Fischer: So, Max, not to give too much away for folks who haven’t read the book yet, but… what does the future hold for you and the other survivors?

Max: I plan on finding out how the outbreak started. Who started it, when and why, and then tracking them down and doing really bad things to them.

Mr. Fischer: Really? So it’s all about revenge now.

Max: Yeah, it pretty much is.

Mr. Fischer: What’s your biggest regret about your “before life”? By that I mean, the life you led before you became a zombie?

Max: I guess that I just didn’t appreciate what it meant to be alive, to be truly alive, before. Smelling my cup of coffee in the morning, taking a breath of fresh air, sleep! I’ll miss all of those things, but the things I’ll miss the most aren’t things, really; they’re people.

Mr. Fischer: Speaking of people, if you could say anything to your Dad right now, what would it be?

Max: Hold on, Dad; I’m coming back for you!

Thanks, Max, for coming to life just this once to let me ask you all these questions! And thanks, Shana, and all your readers at A Book Vacation, for letting me share Max’s interview with you!

Yours in YA,



About the Author:

Rusty Fischer is the author of Zombies Don’t Cry, as well as several other popular zombie books, including Panty Raid at Zombie High, Detention of the Living Dead and the Reanimated Readz series of 99-cent living dead shorts.

Rusty runs the popular website Zombies Don’t Blog @ At Zombies Don’t Blog you can read more about Rusty’s work, view his upcoming book covers and read – or download – completely FREE books & stories about… zombies!


And now for the GIVEAWAY!!!  Rusty Fischer is giving away ONE eBook copy of Detention of the Living Dead!

This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway from Rusty Fischer, but you need to have eReading capabilities!!

To enter you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the form with your name and email (extra entries optional)

This contest is open internationally and will end at 12:01am EST on November 6th. Please only enter once. The winner will be announced later on November 6th, and will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!


Hollow May says:

Oh WOW! This sounds frackin’ awesome! I wasn’t aware Mr. Fischer had written a book about zombies. I still have his Vamplayers on my tbr list, but I’ll have to get my eyes on this one asap! Thanks for the great review, guest post and giveaway =)

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