Girl Z: My Life As a Teenage Zombie (英語) ペーパーバック – 2013/8
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Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager's biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead. Becca's life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret he's becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for. Then she meets Gabe, a good-looking part-Z like her and she fears she may be falling for him. But how can he, who shows hardly any Z symptoms, be interested in someone like her? Time is running out . . . and Becca needs his help as she and her cousin Carm search for their missing mothers and fight off hungry Zs. Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is too late."
C.A. Verstraete has always wanted to be a writer for as far back as she can remember and although her career has mostly been in newspapers and magazines, fiction writing always called to her. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies including: "Athena's Daughters," "The Corner Cafe: A Tasty Collection of Short Stories," and "Feast of the Dead: Hors D'Oeuvres. "She is author of a nonfiction book on miniatures collecting, "In Miniature Style II," and a children's mystery, S"earching for a Starry Night." She lives in Wisconsin.
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The story doesn't run to a lot of life-or-death battles with zombie hordes or random character deaths as in the television series "The Walking Dead." Becca's half-zombie life may be exciting and contain some threats, but not enough to terrify timid readers into closing the book for good. It reminds me of those old teen monster movies from back in the sixties, such as 'I Was a Teenage Werewolf.'
The writing quality is overall quite good. There were a few parts when Becca's personal unhappiness was the main thing going on, but they were relatively brief and didn't detract from enjoyment of the book. I look forward to reading other works by this author.
This book is a pleasant departure from all those YA books that are filled with annoying levels or teenage angst, and/or contain content that shouldn't be read by anyone under 27. And actual adults can read this book with pleasure. The target audience, I would guess, runs more to girl teens than boys, but any young man who doesn't insist on a massive death count in his zombie fiction might enjoy it.
My notes on the book:
* Some wonderful prose: "like stringing a pearl necklace with gloves on"
* Fun names like Nurse Teapot.
* Humour, even in places you would not expect "after she poked my in the arm to get my eye straight"
If you've read as many zombie books as I have (I believe I'm up to about 60 now) you may be getting that "been there, done that" feeling. I can guarantee that you will NOT have those feelings with this book. If you're looking for a fresh, fun, and fast-paced New zombie book, download, Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie! I firmly believe you will not be sorry you did so.
Great job Christine!! You've got a new fan for life!! I'm really looking forward to reading other work from you and (hopefully) Girl Z, part 2!!
This is a strong first novel from C.A. Verstraete, and I look forward to her future endeavors -- which, with any luck, will include a Girl Z sequel. It's also refreshing to see a teenage monster book with a woman as the protagonist that bears no resemblance to Twilight and its ilk.