My So-Called Death

My So-Called Death

by Stacey Jay

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My So-Called Death 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Michele_lee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Karen tragically died from a major fall from the top of the cheer leading pyramid and even more tragically discovered that she is a genetic zombie and now has to live out the rest of her days slurping down animal brains and fearing maggot infestations. She's even transferred to DEAD high, where supposedly she'll learn how to cope with her new, long lasting, but secret, un-life. But high school, even undead high schools, are cruel and to make bad things worse a full day into Karen's new life a body of a student is found, with her brain harvested by an unknown bad guy that just happens to be lurking around the school. Now perky, driven Karen is taking it upon herself to ferret out the killer before something really, really bad happens.My So-Called Death weaves back and forth over the line between strong characterization and too much. As amusing as Karen's ultra modern and perky inner monologue is, it, and the lack of strong characters outside of the lead, her BFF and her boyfriend, is bound to annoy some readers who never saw the spirit behind similar tales, like the movies Clueless and Legally Blonde. However it's a perky-fun-gruesome mystery, horror-lite in terms of gore, violence and general darkness. But it's not without creepy, and almost-serious scenes, sort of like the dread one would feel at seeing a bedazzled pirate flag on an approaching ship. As for its value to collections, there's definitely an audience for Jay's kind of creepy-gross-not-quite-dark humor, at the very least adults could enjoy it for all the in jokes about iconic 80s and 90s culture.Contains: fried brain bites and giant maggots
theepicrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fans of You Are So Undead To Me will find this zombie book full of familiar perkiness yet definitely cut in a different cloth - more along the lines of Generation Dead and I Kissed A ZOMBIE, And I Liked It. If you prefer an intelligent zombie with a little perk, then My So-Called Death will suit your zombie needs!Stacey Jay really captured the voice of a perky, go-getter girl - so much that I could not help but laugh at how chipper Karen stayed despite being a zombie and enduring undeserved suspicion from her fellow undead peers due to her love of pink and possible involvement of the brain-snatching.Not to mention, Stacey Jay definitely created an awesome high school for the undead with deliciously disgusting lunch menus that involves brains - animal, of course - and educational classes for those who could possibly live forever and may want to integrate back into the "living" society.My So-Called Death is absolutely perfect for those who want to ease themselves into zombie books - especially light-hearted ones - and definitely if you instill zombie love into the younger generation (i.e. middle-grade / junior high). Karen has just started high school, so I think Stacey Jay hit the nail right on that age range!
EKAnderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Karen Vera has been transported from her fabulous position atop a cheerleader pyramid to DEAD High. She'd known there were risks to being a "flyer," but she didn't imagine that she'd die -- let alone become "genetically undead." Now Karen has to deal with things like her weirdo roommate who mostly cries and performs goth-y rituals under a blanket. And then there's the snacking on animal brains to prevent rot. And, oh yeah, someone in school has been harvesting her fellow student's brains and way too many signs are pointing to crushworthy Gavin. This hilarious mystery will have you hooked from page one, with its fabulously imagined world in which the teenage undead can play, complete with plenty of zombie puns. I'm really hoping that Stacey Jay will continue Karen Vera's story as a series, even if I'm not inclined hang out at the DEAD High campus any time in the near future.
ylin.0621 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Karen Vera falls from the top of the pyramid she expected to die since anyone knows that having their skull cracked open and their brains spilled out can only mean death. But Karen¿s family line has a history of well, not dying¿completely. Apparently Karen has a special gene that when she ¿dies¿ she doesn¿t die, but rather turns into a zombie¿Death Challenged. After having her parents rush her home, the principal of DEAD High visits and invites Karen to their boarding school to continue her education because frankly everyone at the football game expected Karen to die. DEAD High isn¿t perfect by a long shot for Karen. She¿s forced into these long drabs of fabric as the official that only highlights how tiny Karen¿s physique is: a measly 5¿1. But she¿ll take it as long as she can hang out with Gavin again. Though that faithful encounter may just get Karen¿s brain nibbled on. Quite frankly I found My So Called Death to be a rollicking fun, hilarious read. The entire novel doesn¿t take itself too serious (though there are some paragraphs where Stacey Jay tries to incorporate some women¿s right/fight against racism/prejudice), which was very relaxing despite the giant maggot fights. Jay also writes some of the most disgusting raw lunch menus ever¿raw cow brains served with some raw pork stuffed in its own intestines¿but then again it just made me like this novel even more. Some downsides: don¿t expect some amazing character developments or anything ¿wow! that just frazzled my dazzle!¿ I am also still confused on the Deprogrammeds¿those who are reanimated by black magic. And while in most fun, rollicking reads things can get predictable, My So Called Death kept a few surprises in store. If you¿re interested in what happens when an ex-cheerleader turns into a zombie, look no further. If you¿re interested in reading about an ex-cheerleader battling a giant maggot, look no further.
CoffeeGoddessTK More than 1 year ago
When I heard that My So-Called Death by Stacey Jay was being re-released, it was a no-brainer (ha!) that I was going to have to read it. Stacey has written some of my favorite YA books, and, although this one is aimed at the younger end of the YA age group, it is still completely engaging. Karen Vera, the heroine of this story, is a pert and sassy cheerleader, who, to put it politely, is Death-challenged, which means that she has a genetic mutation that prevents her from dying. But, when your entire school sees you tumble from the top of a cheer formation to your death, what is there to do but roll with the changes? Karen is whisked off to DEAD High School, so that she may better learn what it means to live as a member of the dead. I have to admit that zombies are not usually on my list of paranormal creatures that I want to read about. All that blood and death and brain-eating, you know. But the characters in this book are not your typical zombies. Stacey has taken the stereotype and completely changed it, writing a story that is campy and fun, and, given the subject matter, pretty darned enjoyable. I found myself laughing out loud at the intros to each chapter. Entries from books like, 'Total Health for the Death-Challenged, 5th Edition' and 'Zombie Poets Through the Ages, 2nd Edition' were witty and entertaining. The mystery that pairs Karen and her boy zombie crush Gavin ties everything together nicely, making this a story that YA readers will very much enjoy, and, coupled with the snarky banter and typical teen angst, makes for a fast and enjoyable read.
Crystal_Yawn More than 1 year ago
as a 34 yo mother of a teen i was very much able to enjoy this book. It was true to the age of the students. They didn't act older then they were. The plot is funny. It takes a genre i hate (zombies) and made it worth reading. Waiting to see what was going to happen next. I had trouble putting it down. I'll definitely be having my teen read this, i think she will really enjoy it.
epicrat More than 1 year ago
Fans of You Are So Undead To Me will find this zombie book full of familiar perkiness yet definitely cut in a different cloth - more along the lines of Generation Dead and I Kissed A ZOMBIE, And I Liked It. If you prefer an intelligent zombie with a little perk, then My So-Called Death will suit your zombie needs! Stacey Jay really captured the voice of a perky, go-getter girl - so much that I could not help but laugh at how chipper Karen stayed despite being a zombie and enduring undeserved suspicion from her fellow undead peers due to her love of pink and possible involvement of the brain-snatching. Not to mention, Stacey Jay definitely created an awesome high school for the undead with deliciously disgusting lunch menus that involves brains - animal, of course - and educational classes for those who could possibly live forever and may want to integrate back into the "living" society. My So-Called Death is absolutely perfect for those who want to ease themselves into zombie books - especially light-hearted ones - and definitely if you instill zombie love into the younger generation (i.e. middle-grade / junior high). Karen has just started high school, so I think Stacey Jay hit the nail right on that age range!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
U-G-L-Y, Karen totally has an alibi... SHE'S UNDEAD, WHAT WHAT? SHE'S UNDEAD! Just a freshman, Karen Vera was on top of the world. Karen was part of the fearless JV squad at Peachtree High and the girl that everyone envied. Unfortunately, her life went splat as she was knocked off her high pyramid and fell into a world that forces her to trade in her pom-poms for some animal brains. Turns out Karen is "Death Challenged." So, once her pretty little head met the pavement, which would lead some to a painful death, Karen was still alive, sort of, and whisked away by her parents, oddly enough like it was normal protocol. A visit by Theresa Samedi, the principal of the institute of the Death Challenged Education of Adolescents and the Deprogrammed, quickly informs Karen of her current zombie status. Before she knows it, Karen is enrolled in DEAD High to protect her from being hunted and rotting away. Karen was quick to discover that her new life at a new school would not be the same. Although she soon found a new BFF, Trish, and was able to interact with the McSteamy of the school, Gavin McDougal, things weren't all that peachy. First, she meets her roommate, Clarice, who wants nothing to do with a roomie, especially one who's a cheerleader. Then she discovers that swimming and running are the only sports offered, since zombie bodies are way too delicate for any type of contact sports. This ultimately means that cheerleading is out of the question! To make matters worse, a death, yes, a real death, occurred at the school. The friendly Kendra had her brains harvested, which means that DEAD High isn't so safe after all. Going from ordinary zombie to zombie sleuth, Karen takes it upon herself to figure out who the killer is, while also trying to survive this new lifestyle and maybe even snag herself some arm candy along the way. With various snippets and quotes taken from different sources starting off each chapter, MY SO-CALLED DEATH is a delectable read that allows you to indulge in a world of zombies that author Stacey Jay seems to have perfected. Hilariously funny, MY SO-CALLED DEATH will make readers want to become undead themselves so that they can join forces with Karen and kick some butt. Fans of Stacey Jay's previous novels will not be disappointed with this one!
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
Karen tragically died from a major fall from the top of the cheer leading pyramid and even more tragically discovered that she is a genetic zombie and now has to live out the rest of her days slurping down animal brains and fearing maggot infestations. She's even transferred to DEAD high, where supposedly she'll learn how to cope with her new, long lasting, but secret, un-life. But high school, even undead high schools, are cruel and to make bad things worse a full day into Karen's new life a body of a student is found, with her brain harvested by an unknown bad guy that just happens to be lurking around the school. Now perky, driven Karen is taking it upon herself to ferret out the killer before something really, really bad happens. My So-Called Death weaves back and forth over the line between strong characterization and too much. As amusing as Karen's ultra modern and perky inner monologue is, it, and the lack of strong characters outside of the lead, her BFF and her boyfriend, is bound to annoy some readers who never saw the spirit behind similar tales, like the movies Clueless and Legally Blonde. However it's a perky-fun-gruesome mystery, horror-lite in terms of gore, violence and general darkness. But it's not without creepy, and almost-serious scenes, sort of like the dread one would feel at seeing a bedazzled pirate flag on an approaching ship. As for its value to collections, there's definitely an audience for Jay's kind of creepy-gross-not-quite-dark humor, at the very least adults could enjoy it for all the in jokes about iconic 80s and 90s culture. Contains: fried brain bites and giant maggots
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
iheartmonsterdotcom More than 1 year ago
Plot Sketch: Karen Vera is a cheerleader. She rocks at the top of the pyramid, and everyone wants to be her. Well, at least they did until she fell from the top of said pyramid and cracked her head open and her brains fell out. She died. They had a funeral, but Karen was still around. She's a zombie. Not the kind of zombie that got themselves dead and then got reanimated via black magic, those are the lower class Deprogrammed. Nope, she's Death Challenged, which is pretty much the bourgeoisie of zombiedom. Now she's attending a brand new school just for zombies, away from her parents and toddler triplet siblings, and trying to learn the ways of zombie life. She's eating brains, making friends, and learning how to care for her undead skin. She's clashing with her goth-ish roommate, Clarice, and crushing on the OMG steamy lunch-line guy, Gavin. Everything is very "new girl in school," until, someone turns up with their brain missing. Zombies without brains are dead. Karen, with the help of some friends, sets out on a course to find out who the brain snatcher is and solve the mystery before it's too late for the brainless deprogrammed girl to be reanimated, again. Verdict: This fast-paced high school zombie story is delightful. The plot is twisty and doesn't dawdle. It's engaging and intriguing. The writing is clever and concise, but also addresses important themes such as self-esteem, trust, and interaction with authority figures. There is very minimal strong language, I think it's one instance, and it's addressed as strong language in the book. The characters are appropriately developed for a novel of this length, and Jay does a good job of developing them through their thoughts and actions as the plot moves along rather than spending time describing the character and what they might do in any given situation as we often find in young adult literature. Her ability to do this is what allows the story to move so quickly. I mean, don't miss a paragraph because if you do, you'll be lost. No skimming or skipping ahead either. She'll catch you if you do and you'll have to rewind yourself. I think she did a great job with the imagery and world building and she accomplished it in the same manner as she did the character development, as the story progressed. I never once wondered what someone looked like or where the characters were as that information was provided to me at precisely the right moment again and again. Jay's creativity and mastery of her craft are evident in this work, and if you love a book that moves along, or love zombies, or just love to laugh, you'll love this. I also want to note for those of you who do not love zombies that you are reading a review by someone who frequently has zombie nightmares. This will not give you nightmares, promise. It'll make you laugh, squee, and giggle, but it will not haunt you. I hope to read more about Karen Vera. Pick it up and see for yourself! The Kirkus review compared this story to Harry Potter in a negative light... the Muggle-born vs. Wizard-born was paralleled to the Deprogrammed vs. Death Challenged in this work. I want to go on record as saying that I see no similarity to Harry Potter in My So-Called Death unless you totally stretch it and say that every book set in a school with a mystery is Harry Potter. If My So-Called Death is derivative of Harry Potter, than Harry Potter is derivative of the American Civil Rights Movement. Lame compa