by J.R. Angelella
2.7 8


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Zombie by J.R. Angelella

A zombie movie-obsessed teen is forced to face a dark family secret in this shocking debut literary novel from a talented new author.  

"Wow! A crazy, wicked knock-out of a book!" -Garth Stein

Fourteen-year-old Jeremy Barker attends an all-boys Catholic high school where roving gangs of bullies make his days a living hell. His mother is an absentee pillhead, his older brother a self-diagnosed sex-addict, and his father disappears night after night without explanation. Jeremy navigates it all with a code cobbled together from the zombie movies he's obsessed with: Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, Planet Terror, Zombieland, and Dawn of the Dead among others.

The code is put to the test when he discovers in his father's closet a bizarre homemade video of a man strapped to a bed, being prepped for some sort of surgical procedure. As Jeremy attempts to trace the origin of the video, this remarkable debut moves from its sharp, precocious beginnings to a climax of almost unthinkable violence, testing him, and the reader, to the core.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616950880
Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/05/2012
Pages: 342
Sales rank: 787,686
Product dimensions: 5.58(w) x 8.06(h) x 0.94(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

J.R. Angelella has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and his short fiction has appeared in various literary journals. He and his wife, Kate Angelella, are co-writing two YA novels for Sourcebooks/Teen Fire, Crossed and Cursed, the first of which will publish in 2012. He lives in Brooklyn, NY. For more information, visit his website at www.jrangelella.com.

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Zombie 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Ellonkah More than 1 year ago
I would like to thank Soho Press for letting me read and review this book. Jeremy Barker is a somewhat typical high school freshman. He loves zombie movies, girls make his nose bleed, and he’s not a big fan of authority. His parents are separated and he lives with his dad and Dog. Most of this book follows Jeremy and what goes on inside his head as he starts high school, has troubles with his family, and meets his first girlfriend. One day, Jeremy sees his pinky-less English teacher slip his father a DVD in the school parking lot. The first chance Jeremy gets, he watches the DVD, which contains a strange and gruesome kind of ritual surgery. Jeremy confronts his dad about the DVD, but the confrontation ends up like a lot of scenes in this book – fractured and distracted. Jeremy gets only a few sentences out and his dad switches the conversation to something much more mundane (calling a girl, bad-mouthing Jeremy’s mother, asking him how his day at school was, etc.) I enjoy a good coming-of-age story, but I just kept waiting for something, ANYTHING to actually happen in this one. The author spends almost the entire book on day-to-day Jeremy and never really pushes any kind of plot. “The mystery of the surgery DVD” could have been presented in a much more compelling manner that could have turned this into a serious contemporary page-turner. But it wasn’t, the DVD gets found, then mentioned a time or two to no serious effect, until the end when the “something” finally happens…and unfortunately by then it’s a highly predictable “something.” The language and sexual humor in this book will turn off a lot of readers, so don’t even bother trying to read this if you can’t handle every swear word and homophobic insult that you can think of repeated many times throughout the book. I am not a reader who is sensitive to language, and some of the writing in this book was absolutely hilarious and witty. Unfortunately an equal amount came across as simply trying too hard to be “that way.” I’m curious to see how this author writes his next (adult) novel. I really did like a lot of the things about his style and creativity; I just think that this story wasn’t told quite the way I wanted it to be told.
Captain_Doodles More than 1 year ago
Did I miss something? I bought this book based on all the glowing reviews I read here and at that other book store website (which shall remain nameless). The whole book felt like the author's rough draft. Characters were never fully developed, the "zombie" theme felt forced (like the author only chose that topic because of the current popularity of the Zombie genre) dialogue between characters felt forced and unreal and the ending was awful. What happened to the father? What was he involved in? Sorry J.R. this one felt like a swing and a miss.
SlowMobius More than 1 year ago
Poorly conceived, though generally well written, "Zombie" was a book that had momentum, but no real direction. By the time I got to the end of the book I had so little emotional investment in the characters that I really could not care less how it ended.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book based on the reviews and the description, but they are so wrong. The characters were not developed enough to get me invested in the book and I kept wanting more out of the storyline. I only kept reading waiting for something more to happen but unfortunately it never does.
amyismagic More than 1 year ago
Pretty clever. I got it just cause I like zombies, but I had a good time reading it
BrandieC More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely and interesting find for both zombie movie lovers and lovers of the J.D. Salinger classic "Catcher in the Rye." What begins as the light coming of age story of a zombie-movie buff becomes an intense novel about the aftermath of the Vietnamese War on the U.S. surviving stories - definitely warenting a re-read as you ask yourself "was that real!?!"