Generation Dead (Generation Dead Series #1)

( 305 )


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 ...

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Generation Dead (Generation Dead Series #1)

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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.
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?

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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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423109228
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/7/2009
  • Series: Generation Dead Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 254,451
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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 and find Tommy at

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 305 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 305 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2009

    Generation Dead

    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.

    16 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Young Adult

    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.<BR/><BR/>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?<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>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!<BR/><BR/> <BR/><BR/>Kelly Moran,<BR/><BR/>Author and Reviewer

    14 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by The Story Siren for

    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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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! <BR/><BR/>Obviously, I really liked/loved this book!

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008

    Generation Dead

    This book was DISSAPOINTING!! I had waited so long to read it but I barley got past the 8th chapter because I continuously lost focus!

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2009

    it was okay.

    This book i thought was going to be great. It had a great storyline. The author could do so much with it. It was cool to here some of the characters point of veiw, but it didnt include tommy point of view . It should have at least have a zombies piont of view. The ending was stupid. i was so upset with it. It would be a great book if there was a sequel to it. Which i hope the author does because it was good. You don't know what happens with the characters or even if the zombies ever get excepted in the world. It was an okay read it just needs a sequel.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover (or Title)

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2008

    A reviewer

    It was a little disappointing...I don't even really know what I was expecting when I bought it. I wished the author would have just done the Pheobe/Adam point of view. There were way to many unnessary characters. I just didn't feel attached to any of the characters...I didn't even like any of them. I felt very rushed throughout my reading of the book. All of the the names sort of blended together. It kinda felt like yet another Twilight wannabe. Sorry Generation Dead! I wanted to like you!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Generation Dead

    Great Book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2010


    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great novel, a little inconsistent

    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? 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    i luved it!!!

    I absolutely loved this book.I find it was insteresting and made u not want to close the book.i give it 3 thumbs up if i had three thumbs lol

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    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! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I expected more

    I expected more out of this book than what I actually got. It wasn't as good as I was hoping it would be. Don't buy it, just get it from the library. It's not really worth buying. One thing that really annoyed me was that the characters would speak too formally in a casual situation, for example, saying "you are" when it would sound more natural if they just said "you're". Who are they based on, Rock Lee? But it wasn't a completely terrible book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    Not worth reading!

    This book has lack of thrill and Edge! It confussed me and At moments I felt as if it was MOCKING Twilight!This book had a akward Climax and unreasonable reasalotion! This book may look thrilling and suspenful but its a boring and confussing book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    Good. Bad.

    what can i say? Tak, and adam where the only characters that really caught my attention. Phoebe cried to much. Pete is an idiot. Tommy was cool but he was really kind of formal in the way he speaks. Margi is annoying. And Karen is... well let's just say i didnt like her AT ALL. I liked the book but i which there was more of adam and less of phoebe and the book was kind of slow the ending is wonderful though and its full of emotions. Would i read kiss of life? maybe.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    UM...... alright

    This book was ok. it wasn't toltally horrible but it wasn't good enough to make me want to read the next book in the series, kiss of life. i dont know if i only feel this way because i had high expectations for this book and it didn't live up to my expectations or if i would have felt this way if i didn't have high expectations. there were some good parts but most of the parts were boring or trying to hard to be exciting. i wouldn't spend my time on this if i were you. if your looking for books about dead people try twilight by stephenie meyer or evernight by claudia gray or the mediator series by meg cabot (although those are about vampires and ghosts not zombies) instead of this. if you read this book and really liked it then a book that i found similar writing style in is magic or madness by justine larbalestier.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Almost as Good as Twilight

    This is a really good book. I was in love with Edward Cullen, but now I can't decide between him or Tommy Williams. I say that because there is no one out there like Edward but I could probably find someone like Tommy [except for him being a zombie though ;-) ]. Well, overall it was an amazing book, can't wait for Kiss of Death coming out on May 12. READ IT!!!!!!

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2008

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    I Also Recommend:


    I finished this book in one day... I couldn't put it down! Who would have thought that a book about zombies could be so good and relatable?

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2008

    Generation Dead

    This book was really really good. That's enough said. just read it, it will do you good. Im seriously looking out for his sequel, Kiss of Life coming out in May. Woohoo!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Fun Twist in YA Paranormal

    What if American teenagers began coming back from the dead? And what if, instead of wanting braaaaaaiiiiiiinnnnnssss, they wanted to play football and go to the homecoming dance? What if the non-living-impaired didn't want them to? That's the premise of this clever novel, a refreshing teen paranormal that stands out in the sea of vampires, werewolves, and witches.<BR/><BR/>It's not perfect: I felt like the author was trying a little too hard with all of his Goth references, and I can only hope the abrupt ending means there is a sequel in the works. However, I did like all of the main characters- even the villain had a fairly well-rounded character- and while there are romantic elements, the plot is much more driven by the difficulties of zombie assimilation.<BR/><BR/>This book would, I think, appeal to both boys and girls, and for all that it has a love triangle featuring a "differently biotic person," it is wholly appropriate for teens of all ages. Two thumbs up.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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