I think what the synopsis fails to mention is that the group of people
who don't want the 'living impaired' (or 'differently biotic') kids at
their school are extremely violent. I think anyone who had to read To Kill a Mockingbird
in English class or had to sit through a 'sensitivity' meeting at their
schools can understand what it must be like for Phoebe and her friends.
A lot of what the teachers and advocates for the Differently Biotic
(DB) were saying I remember hearing when my school first started to
allow gay or lesbian couples to attend the Prom or Homecoming Dances
together. Or after 9-11 when we had a mandatory school assembly to talk
about the recent violence committed against the Muslim students in our
The story itself is a little drawn out I think and that
makes it a little stilted to read at times. Its told in third person
limited for the most part, though it seems to branch into third person
omniscient at times too. For instance the section will be following
Phoebe around, exploring her reactions and such and then suddenly, in
the same section without breaks, cut to what Adam was thinking. It got
a little confusing at those times.
I think that the world is
well built--its pretty much the world we live in, but with DB's running
around. Its not as 'cool' to be a goth and you won't be finding too
many people calling each other 'dead-heads' (which was a term for
druggies when I was in HS) and George Romero has been elevated in
status, but otherwise its no different from my town.
between Phoebe and Tommy is sweet--Phoebe doesn't completely understand
her feelings towards Tommy, he interests her and at first I think a lot
of that interest is tied up in her trying to come to terms with seeing
one of her best friends come back as a DB. I think as she starts to see
them as separate people and less like a horde of zombies, her interest
turned more romantic. But like anything during the teen years she's
confused--she has her best friend Adam who has suddenly developed into
a mature version of the guy she pal'ed around with as kids, her best
friend Margi, who is (at best) neutral about the DB's and freaked out
by Colette's re-birth and then she has society at large saying its
wrong, its immoral, its indecent and disgusting.
I mostly wanted
to know more about what Margi has to feel so guilty about Colette's
death--she opens up in starts and fits as Phoebe becomes more insistent
that she talk to her. Pete, the biggest racist this side of anywhere (I
can easily see him as White Supremicist in the South), has his own
issues tied up with Phoebe and the DB's and a past relationship that he
has pretty much raised to Sacred. He's a bully and a brute and jerk
that's more violence then planning.
I look forward to reading the second book, Kiss of Life! And if you want more interactivity check out Tommy Williamson's Blog My So-Called Undeath,
where 'Tommy' posts (in the book he has a blog as well, that he uses to
reach out to other DB's across the nation to help them adjust to their
This book started out really slow and there were a lot of unnecessary information that was in there. I felt that the author could've cut off a lot of stuff to make it even better. The plot itself was awesome especially one with cool zombies because zombies these days are usually depicted as the bad people and they're usually really ugly. But in this book, they're not. Well, some of them are but still. I liked the romance part and how *SPOILERS* love is the thing that makes them more human-like. If it wasn't for the extremely lengthy details and unnecessary scenes, the book would've gone by a lot faster and it would've been better overall.
They don't like to be called zombies. Or
dead heads, or worm food, or whatever pejorative terms the "creative"
people of the world are coming up with. They're differently biotic: American
teens literally rising from the dead into some semblance of their former
selves. Everyone is terrified of them. What are they, and why have they
come back from the dead?
High school junior Phoebe doesn't share the
world's qualms. In fact, she just might have a crush on Tommy Williams, a
quietly powerful differently biotic boy who shocks all the students of Oakvale
High when he tries out for the football team, just to prove that he can. Phoebe
admires Tommy's guts, but there are people less happy with his actions, most
notably Pete Martinsburg, fellow teammate and soul-crushing zombie-hater who
just might do anything to stop the differently biotic from living a life that
is not theirs to live.
Phoebe's best friend Adam is secretly in
love with her, and thus finds it difficult to believe that she can like, well,
a dead guy like Tommy Williams. But as Adam begins to learn about the plight of
the differently biotic, the prejudices and difficulties they face, he realizes
that maybe the only way he can help Phoebe be happy is by protecting Tommy...
no matter the cost.
Waters creatively plugs into the typical YA reader's love for paranormal
romance and ends up teaching us all a lesson about civil rights, prejudice, and
tolerance. All of the characters are carefully constructed to be
three-dimensional: readers can even empathize with the jerk Pete Martinsburg's
tortured feelings towards zombies. I also appreciated the generous--and
accurate!--details about sports (football, baseball, Frisbee) because that is
not something I come across often enough in YA literature. While occasionally
the lecturing about tolerance goes on for a page too long, overall GENERATION
DEAD is a fun way of being enlightened about the issues regarding
bigotry and prejudice.
What would happen if the dead rose again...and then started going to your school. In this society dead American teenagers are coming back to life. People don't know what to do, they aren't considered citizens. Some people are beginning to accept, others are setting the "living impaired" on fire, or otherwise brutally killing them.
Phoebe is one of the few that are beginning to accept the presence of the zombies, also known as "living impaired", or "differently biotic" students. The other kids in school aren't so nice to them though, especially Pete's Pain Crew. Will the Zombies get the recognition they deserve.
This book had a kind of slow start, but after i got a few chapters in i was hooked. It was awesome to see the struggle of kids dieing and coming back to life. I loved how the point of view switched between three people, that all had very different views of things. Also one of the points of view was Pete's. It was kind of a struggle hating Pete for the horrible things he was doing, but seeing the reason why he was doing them, and pitying him for that reason. I would love to read more about this if there is a second book coming out after this one. I'm guessing there won't be though because of the ending. Oh well, this book was great.
Generation Dead was my first zombie novel and it probably won't be my last. I was very pleased with this introduction into the world of zombies.
I was instantly intrigued by the beginning chapters. While the book slows down and seems to take its time after the first few chapters, it picks up again in the middle and carries through to the end.
The way Waters humanizes the zombies and makes them more than just the shuffling, mumbling shells of former living, breathing people we see in the movies is what drives the story. I think that feeling a connection to the zombies is what kept me intrigued throughout. To be able to create a connection between the character and the reader when the two have seemingly nothing in common is rare and amazing.
With Generation Dead, Daniel Waters is able to create the characters you love to hate, the awkward and confusing romance that is high school, and the serious topic of hate and violence along with the fight against it in this wonderful novel.
There are several loose ends that surely promise a sequel which I look forward to. I definitely recommend reading this novel.