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Posted March 28, 2011
The cotton candy of zombie books
I was expecting something more along the lines of The Walking Dead or at the least High School of the Dead, but I got a far more kinder and gentler version of the zombie genre.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Dicey is the only girl on the baseball team, but she and her teammates have been playing together since her dad coached their little league team. Dicey is a loved and respected member of the team. She's also a very capable individual and Jack has no problem letting her protect or rescue him. This chick has chops! Jack is a super smart science nerd who plays role playing games on the weekends. In the high school world they are on different sides of the spectrum, but a health class project partners them up and it's the start of a beautiful friendship (and a little something more).
What really struck me about I Love Him To Pieces was the humor and the supportive characters that surround Dicey and Jack. The parents are loving and involved, though in Jack's case they aren't as present as he would like. They each have a group of friends that support their interests and were noticed Jack and Dicey's deepening relationship before our hero and heroine did.
While there was death and destruction, this is not a gory book but the humor and the sexual references make it a better read for middle grades and YA readers. Now, before anyone's Red Alert alarm goes off, the sexual references are regarding parenting an egg for health class (Jack is called the "baby daddy"). In my opinion it's all very clean, not tacky or inappropriate at all, I just don't know if most older elementary students would understand the references and find them funny. (The student newspaper interview transcript at the end of the book made me laugh out loud.) The story was well paced but I the passage of time was not represented well. I would get confused, go back a page or two, and then realize that hours or days had passed between one panel and the next. Despite my enjoyment of the story, I found this to be a real problem. I also had a few issues with the art. I can see that Gorrissen is a talented artist and the coloring and shading on the front and back covers is fantastic. While many pages and panels were well drawn, I found that sometimes it was a bit hard to tell what exactly was happening. The fact that I was reading a digital copy might be to blame for the clarity of the image, but I don't think so. Like the previous problem, this is something that should have been fixed at the story boarding stage.
Evonne Tsang has written a delightfully witty treat of a zombie story. While Janina Gorrissen is a great artist, there are places where I can't figure out what's going on in the picture, and this the storytelling. This, combined with a small but problem with the flow of events brings the book down a notch.