Summer time is when teenagers can forget about responsibilities and take a few steps away from reality: waking up before dawn to get to the bus-stop, getting home on time to complete the research paper for English class, getting to bed before midnight in order to repeat the entire, tedious process again in the morning. Summer is the perfect time to step away from the world of complex text-books, assigned novels and long-boring articles centered on subjects that can hardly hold anyone’s interest. Rather, this is when teens can indulge and escape reality, explore fantastical worlds and maybe even allow their imagination to get the best of them.
And what better way is there to do just that, then with a good, harrowing zombie book in hand?
While this “Gothicky” genre may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the plethora of zombie books on the market right now do offer something for even the most trepid reader. There is the zombie-survival guide for the pragmatist; zombie-love story for the skeptical teenage girl looking for a new kind of romance; even a police-action thriller for those that love a good mystery. So, sit back (or find a good spot from which you have a vantage point, should any zombies decide to attack), forget the world outside your door, and allow your imagination to get the best of you with these reads:
• Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen
For those who shutter at the thought of having to read dry, British lit, this novel with a twist is sure to provide not only entertainment, but useful insight should your next English class require understanding of Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. This zombie-rewrite centers on the original plot conjured by Austen but allows for that suspended reality that will keep you entertained unlike Austen’s original. So go ahead, give it a try and see if you don’t walk away with a better understanding of 19th Century Britain….and of course, zombies.
• I Zombie I by Jack Wallen
Jacob Plummer, a reporter turned zombie, uses his best weapons to stave off zombies: sarcasm and the written word. He attempts to “spread the truth” by chronicling what is happening around him, as more and more people become infected. This is a must-read for anyone who relies on sarcasm to get through those dark-hard-to-handle moments!
• Breathers by S. G. Brown
Fight Club meets Shaun of the Dead is how one could describe S.G. Brown’s novel. As newly “born” zombies shunned by family and friends around them, Andy, Rita and Jerry band together on a journey of self-discovery. It’ll be hard not to empathize with these undead characters as they embark on a journey that involves shenanigans like a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all mistreated zombies.
• World War Z by Max Brooks
If you’ve read Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide, it’s imperative you read WWZ. Written in a journalistic style, with Brooks acting as a reporter who embarks on a journey around the world ten years after the zombie apocalypse, the question-answer layout will make this a quick and interesting read. As you read various reports of how different countries and people battled and survived the slew of zombies, you’ll often have to regroup and remember that this realistic-portrayal is simply a creation of Brooks’ highly active imagination. With the movie slated to come out next summer, this should be the first zombie-book you pick up this summer.
• Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore
This is a tale of an uber-zombie named Peter Mellor who, despite having been turned into a flesh-and-brain-eating cannibal, has managed to retain his sense of conscience. He can think and talk, but because above all else he craves brains, Peter is stuck in a moral quandary. What to do? And thus begins the tale of a man/zombie that will leave you wondering, “what would I do in Peter’s situation?” An witty and tragic story that will no doubt leave you moved.
Obviously the compiled list above is only a snippet of zombie-genre novels that are out there. If the books on this list do not peak your interest, check out some of the other stories and allow your imagination to run wild.