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{January 24, 2014}   {Review} I, Zombie by Jo Michaels

I ZombieFrom Goodreads: It’s the end of the world as we know it.

Trixie Collins is a normal teen making her way through high school. One night at a party, a boy comes on to her and won’t take no for an answer. As she jerks her arm away, his fingernails cut into her skin.

When she finds her dog’s mutilated body and realizes she’s to blame, she starts to think maybe the zombie apocalypse they’ve been screaming about on the news isn’t a hoax after all. Worse, she begins to think maybe she’s one of the infected.

Now it’s a fight for life as she joins together with her brethren to stop the humans intent on destroying them. Are zombies all bad, or is it just a huge misunderstanding?

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When I think of zombies, I generally think of the deranged creatures that give us nightmares.  In I, Zombie, Michaels combats this mentality by turning the zombies into the good guys, the heroes.  This is one of the reasons I really wanted to read this novel—it’s a different take on zombies, giving readers food for thought as the story progresses.

Fairly soon after the story begins, Trixie finds herself turning into the “walking dead,” having caught a virus from one of her peers at a party.  From here we learn about her ability to read minds—a gift that is glanced over quite quickly and never thoroughly fleshed out, and the novel then begins a fast paced race to the end.  While I found the mainstream reaction to a zombie apocalypse quite realistic, the rest of the novel seemed a little too far-fetched for me as a reader, and I’m sorry to say that, overall, this novel just wasn’t for me.

Truth be told, some of the events and situations within the novel weren’t believable for me as a reader.  Early on in the novel, Trixie and Jack, teenagers, figure out the cure for the zombie apocalypse and send it to a medical office before any of the world’s great scientist are able to even get close to a cure.  This just didn’t seem real to me, nor did Trixie herself.  Her thought process, her ability… it all just seemed to be a little too neat and unrealistic.  For instance, the conversations between Trixie and her mother felt artificial to me as they were always lighthearted and understanding.  If my daughter ate the family dog, I would not be calm about it. Likewise, I wouldn’t be able to tell my only child to go out and risk her life for the greater good.  Thus, I personally felt like the interactions within the novel were a bit superficial.

There seemed to always be a ready answer to every problem, each perilous situation was quickly alleviated, and there really wasn’t any point that I felt the characters were in extreme danger.  It’s almost as if every time something bad was about to happen, the situation smoothed itself over, making as little waves within the story as possible, fixing the problems nearly as soon as they began.  It’s a relatively short novel, a stand alone, so perhaps a little more fleshing out of scenes and characters would alleviate this pattern I saw while reading, but overall, I thought it was a little too fast-paced without giving enough explanation or peril.  It’s a great premise, but it just wasn’t for me.  Two stars.

2 stars

 I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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