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Generation Dead (Generation Dead Series #1)

Generation Dead (Generation Dead Series #1)

4.1 305
by Daniel Waters

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Phoebe Kendall is just your typical Goth girl with a crush. He's strong and silent and dead.

All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. But when they come back to life, they are no longer the same. Feared and misunderstood, they are doing their best to blend into a society that doesn't want them.


Phoebe Kendall is just your typical Goth girl with a crush. He's strong and silent and dead.

All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. But when they come back to life, they are no longer the same. Feared and misunderstood, they are doing their best to blend into a society that doesn't want them.
The administration at Oakvale High attempts to be more welcoming of the "differently biotic." But the students don't want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn't breathing. And there are no laws that exist to protect the "living impaired" from the people who want them to disappear-for good.
When Phoebe falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids, no one can believe it; not her best friend, Margi, and especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has feelings for Phoebe that run much deeper than just friendship; he would do anything for her. But what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?

Editorial Reviews

Regina Marler
Witty and well written, Generation Dead is a classic desegregation story that also skewers adult attempts to make teenagers play nice. An unctuous father-daughter research team enlists a handful of students at Oakvale High for its work-study program on the differently biotic, but the most effective adult in the book is the coach who wants to arrange a hit on a zombie who's tried out for football ("case of beer to whoever puts him out"). Motivational speakers, politically correct speech and encounter groups come in for special ridicule.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Waters's strong first novel introduces a cast of memorable characters—both dead and alive. For unknown reasons, American teenagers who die are coming back to life. Known as the "living impaired" or "differently biotic," these teens walk among the living and even attend school, but face massive prejudice. Phoebe Kendall, a junior at Oakvale High in Connecticut, is alive and well, but shockingly, she has a crush on Tommy Williams, who's dead. Her best friend, Margi, thinks she's crazy, and her friend and neighbor Adam, who has a secret thing for Phoebe, can't understand what she sees in the dead kid. The situation gets worse when school bully Pete Martinsburg's hatred of the undead leads him to lash out violently. The dialogue can be stiff and Waters leaves many questions unanswered (Do the dead teens age? Can they be hurt and then heal? Why do they go to school?). In balance, however, the creepy premise is solid enough, and will easily capture the reader's imagination. Ages 12-up. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
Zombies are not the monsters in Daniel Waters's novel; the prejudiced living are. For an unexplained reason, American teens who have died tragically are coming back to life, sort of. They are the living dead and many are abandoned by family in fear and are hassled at school. Tommy Williams, one of the "living impaired," wants to play football. But his playing does not meet with the approval of many people in town, including the coach and several players. Star football player Adam, though, is willing to give Tommy a chance. And living classmate Phoebe is willing to go even further in accepting the undead; she dates Tommy. These students become part of a study of the phenomenon that puts both living and undead together in a study group, helping to build acceptance and camaraderie. The study is funded through an ambiguous research group that promises to investigate the zombie occurrences at Oakvale High School. All of this attention to the undead doesn't sit well with Pete Martensburg, who is the real villain, a living teen with issues of his own, plotting the destruction of the zombies who seem to be gaining acceptance in the high school. Waters's novel is a fascinating, haunting tale of prejudice and fear. It is the first of what promises to be a compelling series of novels that look at death from a fantastic, yet honest, perspective. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Dante, aka Danny Gray, is half-vamp and half-wulf, and in his world, this means disaster. There are only three distinct and very separate classes. The elite are the vampyres-rich, powerful, and beautiful. In between are the humans, tolerated because they admire vampires and acknowledge their dominance. Then there are the werewolves, who are poor, ugly, despised. They must register themselves and during the time of the "Change" are forced to live in prisonlike compounds. Danny and his sister had genetic treatments when they were young to suppress their wulven genes and allow their vampyre side to take control. The treatments worked for his sister, but Danny became sick and was unable to finish them. As a result he has vamp-blue eyes but the darker coloring and the stockier build of a werewolf. Everyone in his almost all-vamp high school assumes that he is half-vamp and half human; only a few close friends know the truth. When he starts exhibiting wulf behavior, Danny is terrified but realizes that he must accept who he is before time runs out. Red Moon Rising is a well-written coming-of-age story with a diverse cast of characters. Moore tackles important issues such as self-esteem, prejudice/discrimination, loyalty, and acceptance, all woven into a teen paranormal adventure drama. The ending leaves some unanswered questions that hopefully will be addressed in a sequel. Fans of the genre will enjoy this different spin on the supernatural.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Is it too many junk-food preservatives? Brain patterns rewired by first-person shooter games? Or simply a sign of the Apocalypse? No one knows why deceased American teenagers are returning as zombies (please, call them "living impaired"), but it's happening. At progressive Oakvale High, Phoebe, who was Goth long before this phenomenon, wonders why she is attracted to differently biotic Tommy. Along with best friend Margi and childhood buddy Adam (who can't express his love for her), Phoebe joins Undead Studies, so she can understand what it's like to be dead in a living world and reconcile the recent death and return of another good friend. Not everyone, however, is so accepting of this dawn of the dead. Someone's kidnapping zombies, and one popular student, obsessed with a dead girlfriend who never returned, wants the dead to stay that way. Stephenie Meyer meets John Green in debut author Waters's wry, original supernatural romance, which blends sensitivity and deadpan humor to reflect a culture clash on both sides of the living spectrum. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Publication date:
A Generation Dead Novel Series , #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years


Meet the Author

This is Daniel Waters's first young adult novel. He lives with his family in Connecticut. You can visit his Web site at danielwaters.com and find Tommy at mysocalledundeath.com.

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Generation Dead (Generation Dead Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 303 reviews.
AuthorKellyMoran More than 1 year ago
To summarize Generation Dead, by Daniel Waters in one word- Clever! Daniel Waters resides in Connecticut with his family. Generation Dead is his first young adult novel.

All over the country an unusual phenomenon is happening. Some teenagers who die are not staying dead. Isolated strictly to the United States and to teenagers, these young adults are labeled differently bionic or living impaired. All they are trying to do is fit into a society that doesn¿t want them and doesn¿t understand. The kids at Oakvale High School are no different. They don¿t want to eat with them, talk to them, or sit in class with them. They just want them to disappear. Phoebe has never been part of the popular crowd, not with her goth looks and attitude. So when she falls for Tommy, leader of the dead kids, no one can quite believe it. Margi, her best friend, has a fear of the living impaired which is rooted to an incident from their past she¿d rather ignore than face. And Adam, her next door neighbor and star of the football team, has recently realized his feelings for Phoebe go much deeper than the girl next door he always thought she was. But what if all Adam can do is protect Tommy to make her happy?

I only have two criticisms for the book. One, there were a few errors, but I had the advanced reading copy which is not the final publication draft. And two, I was sad when it ended, as I wanted more.

Generation Dead, by Daniel Waters is clever, witty, and downright genius. How on earth he came up with this idea I¿ll never know. But I am so very glad he did. He was able to get into the minds of teenagers and know what they are thinking, feeling, and their reactions to the world around them. Targeted for young adults ages twelve and up, I think parents and adults would benefit from this read, as they just might finally get into their teenagers psyche. From the star of the football team, to the cheerleader who seemingly has it all, to the lost soul who hides in the corner¿ every character is believable and convincing. The plot flowed well and was exceedingly difficult to put down. In my opinion, the greatest part of this story was the way Daniel Waters was able to throw out any and every notion we have about zombies. You won¿t find flesh eating monsters and gore beyond nightmares, but rather a brilliantly funny adaptation of what a world might be like should this phenomenon every occur. Impressive, very impressive!

Kelly Moran,

Author and Reviewer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to admit that I am a sucker for a eye-catching cover, but with this book it didn't go much beyond that. I had extremely high expectations for Generation Dead, and was sorely disappointed. Some of the characters were half-way believable,likable even, while others bordered on ridiculous. The plot seemed messy, and the characters were overly stereotyped. The dialog was awkward, and left you feeling like you just watched a bad accident. While again I have to admit the overall idea of the book was pretty genius, the execution was mediocre at best. There were several plot strands that simply fizzled out and left you feeling less than satisfied, and not in a good way. The end was predictable and well what was to be expected after reading half-way through the first chapter.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
You've heard of Generation "X" and Generation "Y." Get ready for Generation Dead -- Generation Dead being known for its, well, undead. Science can't explain it, and no one really knows why it happens, but American teenagers are coming back to life. Known to the living as differently biotic or the living impaired, these zombie teenagers try to "live" their undead lives, but as with any group of people that vary from the norm, there are always prejudices.

Phoebe, a Goth girl, finds herself unexpectedly drawn to one of these so-called living impaired students, Tommy Williams. Her best friend, Margi, thinks she is crazy, but Margi's feeling for the undead are more complicated than a general dislike. Then there is Phoebe's neighbor and childhood friend, Adam. Adam has finally realized his true feelings for Phoebe, but he still can't find the courage to tell her. Of course, it doesn't make the situation any easier when he discovers Phoebe is crushing on the dead kid.

Phoebe talks Margi and Adam into joining a work study at the Hunter Foundation, which is centered around the undead phenomenon. Unfortunately, not everyone tries to be as open-minded. There aren't any laws protecting these teens, and they are being singled out and sometimes killed again. When a student makes a personal vendetta to take out the living impaired and anyone associated with them, the situation can only end in tragedy.

GENERATION DEAD went above and beyond what I was expecting. Sure, it is about the dead, but there are so many underlying messages in this book. Prejudice is something that is very apparent, and is something that we deal with in reality on a daily basis. There is a part in the book where they have a guest speaker in their undead studies program. Basically, they are discussing how they can acclimate the undead into society. I have to say that the dialogue of the speaker totally blew me away. I think I read it maybe three or four times, and I just kept thinking, if only acceptance and change were and could be that easy, the world would be a better place.

As for the rest of the story, the characters were beyond three-dimensional. I felt like I knew these kids, and they continued to develop throughout the entire story, I mean literally up until the last page. I loved it! The plot was totally original and kept me turning pages until the late hours of the night. I love Mr. Waters' writing style, as it's engrossing yet simple. The story was full of wit and humor, and I was totally captured!

Obviously, I really liked/loved this book!
DreamerWA More than 1 year ago
The story is about a nice goth girl named Phoebe who has an outrageous goth girl BFF and a guy BFF (who happens to be her next door neighbor) that's on the football team, dating one of the school's snottiest girls and has secretly fallen in love with her. - Now picture a world where the teenagers of America come back from the dead, completely zombie-like. Weird? Definitely. I read this book only because of its high ratings and was very skeptical of the "zombies" - but the ratings hold true and I, myself, have rated this book with all-five stars. The title and book cover deceives readers into thinking that this book may not amount to much - but in fact the book contains more than just the typical adolescent misadventures of a goth girl. The book actually takes you through a whirl of unbelievable discrimination - providing a constant reminder of the racism that occurred during the 1950's. I don't want to give too much away - let me just say that there are moments that are comedic and romantically cute, but also moments that are confusing, outright disturbing, and sobering. This book will not only entertain and keep you glued to the pages but it will also leave an imprint on you when you are done. FYI - I bought the entire series before I got 1/4 of the book read; it's that good.
darkangel_1988 More than 1 year ago
Great Book!
itsoliviar More than 1 year ago
Phoebe Kendall,the main character in the book, is a goth girl who attends Oakvale High school. During this time, teenagers who have died are "coming back to life," but as zombies. They are known as the,"living impaired." Most kids and staff are against these dead teenagers and treat them differently. They refuse to associate with them and even make fun of them. Phoebe, on the other hand are drawn to them. She falls in love with Tommy Williams, who is the leader of the "living impaired" teenagers, and her friends, Adam and Margi are shocked when they hear this. Adam, who has always had feelings for her,becomes jealous of Tommy. But trying to make Phoebe happy, he does everything he can to help her out and be there for her. The boy who despises the living dead the most is Pete and as you read on, you start to see that his hatred for the dead teenagers is because of his first love, Julie. Julie had died and did not "come back," so he shows bitterness towards the living dead because the person he loved the most did not have that second chance they did. The author shows there is some corruption in the world because people who are closed minded to the "differently biotic" teenagers, just follow what society feels and doesn't give any reason to treat them differently. To back it up even more, people who "died," used to be loved and cherished by the same people who refuse and deny them now. The people that show acceptance and compassion towards the living dead, have an independent mind and stands up for what they know is right. People in society tend to just follow others because they want to be accepted, and care about what others think. But people who think for themselves are able to see the beauty in life that others can't, and are able to see what's truly right or wrong in the world.
Sensitivemuse More than 1 year ago
This book was good. Really good. I'm a total zombie fanatic so when this one popped up I had to get my hands on it as quick as I could. Despite it's thickness it was definitely a fast read for me. The plot was pretty good, but had some inconsistencies that made me blink twice. Although the book stated that the living impaired was only limited to the USA (such as the quote below): First: "Apparently neither did teenagers in Uzbekistan, Burkina Faso, Sweden, or Papua New Guinea for some reason. But kids from Oklahoma, Rockaway Beach, the Big Apple, Arkansas, or the Big Easy all bore at least a chance of winding up living impaired as long as they croaked during the teen delicate years" YET you get this later on in the novel: "And there are two dead kids in Canada now". um..ok? so..is it a phenomenon worldwide? or is it only in North America? last time I checked Canada wasn't part of the States. Was it a spur of the moment for the author to have the living impaired issue spread throughout the continent? This bugged me. A lot. Although it didn't take me away from the novel but this sort of mistake does look bad. Perhaps I'm being too picky, but to me, the error is rather obvious and it sticks out like a sore thumb. Especially when you have this (via the Amazon website) from the back cover of the novel: All over the country, a strange phenomenon is happening. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. They are coming back to life, but they are no longer the same-they stutter, and their reactions to everything are slower. Termed "living impaired" or "differently biotic," they are doing their best to fit into a society that doesn't want them. Consistency, please. Either have it all over the world, or in one country or continent and stick with it. Don't change it around to suit your purposes. I will praise the characters in the novel though. They were all different, and each had a distinct personality (even the living impaired did!). Out of all the characters, I liked Karen DeSonne. She stood out to me as the most mature, and even though she didn't have a big role in this book, I felt as if I wanted to know more about her, and her side of the story. On the other hand, I really hated Pete. Now I know the characters in this book are very close to their stereotypes (you have a Goth, some jocks, some of the popular girls, etc) but Pete is your typical Jock Jerk (notice the caps yes?). Everything about him was so vile I almost wanted to clean my eyes out whenever he leaves a scene. He sums up everything I hated about these kinds of guys in high school. He's just so horrible you either want to spit in his eye or punch him in the face, or both if you're feeling extra generous. As to the Phoebe/Adam/Tommy triangle, I'm not sure what to say. I like both Adam and Tommy so I'm not sure which "Team" I should root for. The ending of this book shocked me and I didn't see it coming, which means, obviously, I will be reading the second book of this series. Readers will see obvious comparisons and ideas drawn from the Civil Rights movement (which may be good and may encourage readers to read more on the issue). Despite its flaws, I still found it a great read - it's perfect for teens but also equally enjoyable to those of other age ranges as well.
PinkyTheGhost More than 1 year ago
I found this in a Barnes and Noble store, and the cover just totally caught my eye...i loved the cover...i read the back, and i read it was about zombies...which i found very interesting. Also the fact that it got a review that said "A mix of Stephanie Meyers and John Green", and since im a huge fan of the Twilight Saga, i decided to go ahead and give this book a chance. I started to read it and found that it had my attention from the beginning. It did fall flat a few times, and was a bit slow at some points, but overall i loved it. The characters are great, my personal favorite happens to be Margi as you can tell by my user name lol, love the sarcasm and humor, had some heart felt momments when the "differently biotic" were sharing their stories as they "came back" and was denied and turned away from people that loved them the most at one time. I also love some of the bands it mentions, which i thought was really cool cause it made it more realistic for me. I would recommend this book to everyone! :)
Reading_With_Cupcakes More than 1 year ago
I was initially drawn to Generation Dead by Daniel Waters because it is a novel about zombies and who doesn’t love a good old fashioned zombie novel? I mean, zombies are the dead come back to life. Creatures that were once human that are now rotting and want to eat our brains. Not much can go wrong when you go with a story about zombies. However, this is not a story about your typical zombies. These zombies are more human than not. In Generation Dead the zombies are not eating humans and they are not really rotting either. Actually, some of them can almost pass as still being alive. They talk, dance, joke, go to school and in some cases even play sports. Generation Dead is a book about the undead trying to find their way in the world. The zombies are all teenagers. For reasons yet to be discovered only those in a certain age bracket come back from the dead. Thus, being the teenagers that they are, they are sent to school to complete their high school educations. Not everyone is happy about the undead trying to find their place in society. They do not want to see them go to school, get jobs, hanging out at the mall, or even walking down the street. Also, there are no laws about killing a zombie. It is definitely a hard time to be one of the walking dead. Our main living character is Phoebe. Phoebe is a goth girl fascinated with zombies and their plight. She recruits a few living friends to partake in a special class for the living and the dead to comingle and get to know each other. She also becomes very close to our main zombie character Tommy Williams. Tommy is a dead boy who wants to help those like him fit into society. While he finds some that share his hopes and dreams for the undead, he finds many more (both living and dead) that are opposed to it. He actually joins the football team and writes an online blog in support of the zombie plight for equality. All in all, I thought that Generation Dead was okay. I didn’t think it was anything super special, but it wasn’t bad either. You could easily substitute the zombies for any class/race of people and be able to apply it to reality. This could actually make for some very interesting book club or classroom discussions. I do wish that the characters didn’t feel so one dimensional. I wanted to feel more from them than I got to. I understand that from the zombies, but I wanted more life from the living (pun intended). My Rating 3 out of 5 stars You can find more of my reviews here: http://readingwithcupcakes.blogspot.com/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are not many original vampire stories around, so when I saw that Generation Dead was about zombies, it caught my attention. Instead of gore and violence of the lurching dead, I found a very clever and original story! It actually is a story about intolerance and prejudice with real people someone my age can relate too. Some teenagers that die, come back to life, and are called "living impaired" / "differently biotic." They have to resume fitting back into school and society. This is where the problem lies and the story focuses on high school life. If you have not been popular or shun for some reason...actually even if you are popular, this story does a good job to make you see, that we are not so different after all. The writer is excellent because he lets each character speak for themselves, which makes it easy to relate to. It was very engrossing and I defiantly would recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a clever and witty book. Teens will fall in love with this loving story. Its all about friends and student overcoming themselves and the undead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is hard to read such small print but this book was absolutrly amazing that i had to go get a hardback cover and read the book again just to feel the love phoebe got in thi book.......Amazing book all in all reccomend this to zombie fans everywhere
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
alexisjeron More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I could not put it down and was interested from page one. Plus, look at the cover (usually I would argue to not judge a book by one... but man this cover rocks!). This is not your average love story, or your average zombie lit. It was totally unpredictable with a new character at every turn. The characters were all very well developed. I felt what Pheobe was feeling, and sympathized with the zoms. I would recommend this book to any teenager, though mainly teenage girls because Pheobe is 100% girl, even if she fronts a goth attitude. Also, romance is the main part of the plot, yet underneath it were strong themes of overcoming prejudice and learning to accept people that are different than you. The themes were so relateable and the plot was unique. No matter if your a zombie or a human, you can relate to the struggle of fitting in and learning to survive high school. The single second that I finished this book, I wished that I had the second in my hands. I would recommend this to high school and college aged girls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WildGinger More than 1 year ago
i truly loved this book. i am a complete sucker for spooky stories and zombies. old school zombies scare me admittedly, but these "dead heads" as they were called in the book. made me smile. sadly, i found the character of Tommy Williams, the main "worm burger/ corpsicle/ dead head/ zombie" to be slightly weak. yes, he dated a "Breather/ beating heart/ bleeder" (Phoebe Kendall) and played on the football team at his high school. but he also seemed weak in personality. Phoebe however made me laugh on just about every page in the book. margi sounds like one of my friends ( just without the crazy spiked pink hair) i really enjoyed the book all in all and i am really glad i read the rest of the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another one of the love stories but this one is a little undead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PanolaJD More than 1 year ago
Phoebe is just your typical goth girl with a crush. He’s strong and silent…and dead. All over the country, a strange phenomenon is happening. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. They are coming back to life, but they are no longer the same—they stutter, and their reactions to everything are slower. Termed "living impaired" or "differently biotic," they are doing their best to fit into a society that doesn’t want them. Fitting in is hard enough when you don’t have the look or attitude, but when almost everyone else is alive and you’re not, it’s close to impossible. The kids at Oakvale High don’t want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn’t breathing. And there are no laws that exist to protect the differently biotic from the people who want them to disappear—for good. With her pale skin and Goth wardrobe, Phoebe has never run with the popular crowd. But no one can believe it when she falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids. Not her best friend, Margi, whose fear of the differently biotic is deeply rooted in guilt over the past. And especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has just realized his feelings for Phoebe run much deeper than just friendship. He would do anything for her, but what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy? Phoebe's an open-minded high school goth student whose best friend/neighbor is one of the football teams top players, Adam. Their Connecticut school comes into the media spotlight when it beings to allow the highest ratio per capita of "living impaired" (really zombie teenagers, but the word "zombie" is a derogatory term in the story and everyone usually refers to them as DP = differently biotic) to attend classes. This unique acceptance is met with much tension, but a new Hunter Foundation "learning lab" is started to include both kind of students in hopes of projecting a more positive image. Throughout it all, Phoebe begins to develop feelings for the new "living impaired" student Tommy and realizes not everyone is as tolerant as she. So on top of having the responsibility of teaching her community about what DP people have to offer, she also has to deal with prejudices against her latest crush. I admit, it took me awhile to get into this book. I would start reading, put it down, then a week later pick it up again. But after about getting a third of the way into it . . . I was intrigued. I'm a HUGE zombie fan, so that was the main reason for reading this, but overall, I liked it. It's defiantly got its undertone meanings, but you really begin to see the DP students side of their new way of "life" and some of their stories are just so heartbreaking. The ending was a bit shocking for me, so I cannot wait to begin the 2nd book in the series - Kiss of Life. Likes: I enjoyed Adam & Phoebe's Frisbee sessions, very therapeutic. Dislikes: How the zombies speak annoyed the heck out of me, but not so much towards the end.