From that first paragraph, I was absolutely hooked. There were a few slow places, but it always managed to pick back up and hold your interest. I was absolutely enthralled by the characters. They were developed brilliantly -- especially Adam, who you could see changing practically right before your eyes. He was an absolute delight. But Adam's not the only one ... I like that Phoebe was not concerned about what people thought and actually gave the zombies (or "differently biotic") a chance. Karen was also a great character, evolving as the story went. She made a true effort to become more like the living than some of the other characters. Tommy was the unofficial spokesperson of the living impaired, and he really had a way of teaching you about them, as well as gaining your empathy. The character that I didn't think developed enough was the token bad guy, Pete, but I think that's just because we don't really know enough about his past ... so, his actions seem a little extreme. I'm not a huge fan of the ending. I know there's a reason for it and it just seemed inevitable when you read closer to the ending, but I didn't want it to happen.
Overall, this is a wonderful read. The writing is wonderful, the plot is good -- except for the ending -- and it's a pretty decent read. Not the quickest read out there, being almost 400 pages, but it honestly doesn't seem like it's that long.
I really enjoy this book. It's an original idea, I've never read anything like it. I never would have thought I would enjoy a romance book about zombies, I'm not usually a zombie lover, but this book is the exception. You will enjoy this book and become attached to the characters. The second one is just as good.
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
((reprinted with author's permission))
I honestly didn't think Generation Dead by Daniel Waters would be that good. I picked it up at the library becuase I had no books to read.
Well, that night I finished and I went online to put the second book on hold.
The book...is amazing. It's funny. It's sad. It had real issues. But it maintains the paranormal part. In the book, the world has a new race of people...the living dead, zombies (that won't eat you, well not all of them anyways.) or, if you want to be politically correct, the different biotic. The differently biotic are treated like outcasts. Why? Well for one, they died as teens and suddenly came back. That's a little creepy. But they are also outcast because people cannot excet change in this world.
Generation Dead tells an all too familiar and sad tale of a new type of people getting shunned because of who they are. Yes, they are dead. But as the book shows, they too have feelings, though it takes a while to get a grip on them.
Lesson: Learning how to execpt change and not outcasting people because they are different to you. I mean, who really cares that you're boyfriend can't breath? :)
This book was very dull and boring. Those stupid zombies suck. It took me forever to read the book because it just didn't grasp my attention well enough. I thought it was horribly written, and just overall very stupid. Tommy can't compare to other characters, because other characters are better than him. I found this book very uninteresting.
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.
Zombies is just one thing that causes this book to be different in a good way. I love how everyone knows about them and there are even support groups. The fact that Pheobe and Tommy tried to connect the two races was really nice. I liked how they didn't care what people thought and just walked around together.
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.
Generation Dead is about a generation in which dead teenagers come back and live amongst the living. Many people arent comfortable around the zombies as they are called and therefore the living dead are faced with lots of prejudice. Things get especially bad when Tommy, a zombie, makes it onto the football team. Some of his teammates are outraged and this results in violence. However, not everyone feels this way about the living dead, in fact, Phoebe feels herself drawn to Tommy. Too bad for Adam, Phoebes best friend who has feelings for Phoebe but wont admit to them. But the biggest question of the book is what makes the dead teenagers come back, and why only some of them do.
I have to say that this book disappointed me. I guess I had too high expectations because romance with a supernatural twist is usually my type of book. Honestly, the book wasnt romantic at all and the plot moved really slowly and therefore made the book boring. There were also a lot of references to football that not everyone, including me, can understand. The idea of the story is actually great, but the way the book is written brought it across as boring and uninteresting.