The world is Cassie Fremont’s playground. Her face is on the cover of every newspaper, she has no homework, no curfew, and no credit limit, and she spends her days traveling the country with her friends, including a boy who would flirt with death just to turn her head. Life is just about perfect—except that those newspaper headlines are about her bludgeoning her crush to death with a paintball gun, she has to fight ravenous walking corpses every time she steps outside, and one of her friends is still missing, trapped somewhere in the distant, practically impassable wreckage of Manhattan. Still, Cassie’s an optimist. More prone to hysterical laughter than hysterical tears, she’d rather fight a corpse than be one, and she won’t leave a friend stranded when she can simply take her road trip to impossible new places to find her, even if getting there means admitting to that boy that she might just love him, too. Skillfully blending effective horror with unexpected humor, this diary-format novel is a fast-paced and heartwarming read.
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This story starts off with a bit of a bang. The synopsis tells us something bad is about to happen, but it’s one of those things that you don’t realize it’s going to be quite like that until it actually happens and you’re like, “OH DAAAAMN!” From there on, it’s about a group of teenagers trying to make it from California to New York City at the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse to find the twin sister of one of the female leads, Rory. Their friendships are put to the ultimate test. Loves are found, loves are lost, and loves that were there all along but not realized finally make their appearance.
The story is told from Cassie’s POV. It didn’t bother me as it does some readers to read from this perspective. I can identify with Cassie because I know what it was like to always hang out with the guys and learn about stuff you don’t care about on the outside, but secretly you enjoy the crap out of. For me, Cassie was a very likeable and relatable character. I’ve been in her shoes. She grows throughout the story as well, and you can see her level of accepted responsibility go up. In a world where everything else is going to crap, she still keeps her senses of loyalty and humor. That was great for me because I can appreciate a snarky chick.
The other main female lead, Rory, seriously got on my nerves. I understand her need to find her sister, appreciate her willingness to go alone, but she didn’t have to be such a twat about it all the time. To me she was the stereotypical spoiled rich girl that I wanted to punch in the face and be done with it. I would have told her to take her ass on to NYC by herself if she was going to act like that all the time. Yes, her sister was Cassie’s friend also, but the way I see it, NYC has a lot of people, which in this situation equates to a lot of zombies. The probability of actually finding the one person you are looking for alive is pretty small.
These kids really did have to grow up fast. They have seen and experienced things that no adult wants to go through, let alone teenagers. They should be worried about school, dating, and getting their drivers licenses, not whether or not they will be eaten by zombies in their sleep.
My absolute FAVORITE character in this book is Norman. He’s such a goober, and I love that about him! He’s got a twisted sense of humor, which is awesome. Possible spoiler alert (will not give away any of the plot, just a small part of a scene that is part of Norman’s sense of humor showing) [One of my favorite scenes in this book is when Norman decides to start dressing as a clown for the whole adventure. His theory is that there is always one scary zombie that is dressed as a clown in all of the movies he has seen. The guy/zombie who had been wearing the clown costume previously had been killed, and to carry on his legacy of scary zombie clowns, Norman took the costume so if he became a zombie, he could be the next clown zombie. This really cracked me up, especially after I thought about how right he is!]
I really enjoyed the movement through this book. Each new chapter was a new experience and I absolutely liked how it flowed. I never felt bored or like I wished the author would hurry up and get to the point. All of the experiences encountered along the way were vital to the story and bringing them to the final chapters and into their developed abilities. Lots of action!
If I had to complain about anything, it would be something superficial that can be solved with a little bit of imagination. For me, the likelihood of a group of teenagers without driver’s licenses successfully driving across the country together with no adults seems highly unlikely. But at the same time, I don’t know these kids, maybe they are secretly ninjas or something, so it didn’t bother me enough to affect how I feel about the story.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes an adventure with some zombies thrown in to make things more exciting. It’s a YA book, but I enjoyed it just as I would an adult book. Having a bunch of sex thrown into this book would have only complicated things further and there was just enough romance to make me happy. It doesn’t take much for me lol. I’m trying to talk my 13 year old into reading it if that gives you an idea as to how violent or sexy it is.
On a small side note, the ending absolutely KILLED me!