Dead football players, Gothic ingÃ©nues, and zombie hate crimes, who could ask for anything more? Daniel Waters Generation Dead is a half hearted attempt at an intriguing twist to the tried and true theme of Zombies.
Readers look at the cover and see a dead looking cheerleader lying across the bleachers. This alone gives us a false sense of excitement that they may have actually stumbled upon some real undead action within these pages. I mean, zombie cheerleaders kicking butt and eating brains is the first thing that ran through my mind. I was sorely disappointed.
Waters establishes a world in which teenagers who die sometimes come back from the dead in corporeal form. Those still among the living call these kids the living impaired and the differently biotic. The story is about Phoebe, a black haired, black clothed dead girl wannabe. Her best friend is a football quarterback who is secretly in love with her. Through Adam, the football player, she meets Tommy Williams whos just made the football team. Hes tall, blonde, strong, silent, and dead. The majority of the book focuses on Phoebe and Tommys growing relationship and their struggles against discrimination at their high school.
In all honesty, this book reminded me somewhat of a bad episode of Gossip Girl Gone Goth. Nothing really happens except high school angst and drama until about two thirds of the way into the book when somebody decides to take some real action against the zombies. Its written in this crazy omniscient point of view that bounces from person to person so fast it made me dizzy and doesnt give anybody nearly enough time connect to any characters. The ending could have been excellent, but the lack of affection I felt for any of them mostly made me just want to finish the book faster.
This isnt the first time weve seen this happen. I believe a trend was started a few years ago; write a book about an undead being falling in love with a human and sell millions of copies without a plot or character development (you know what Im talking about). The problem here is that Waters is a bit slow on the uptake. Its already been done.
Admittedly, the writing is not half bad and there are some great one liners in there that actually made me laugh out loud. But on the whole, it is chick lit with a few zombies that break all of the standard zombie rules, not unlike that other undead book we love so much. If you like chick flicks, high school angst, and, okay Ill say it, Twilight, then stop by the library and give it a read, but please dont waste your money on it. I can almost guarantee you that you wont read it again.