Sunday, March 24, 2019

REVIEW: Undead by Kirsty McKay

Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.

The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.

Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.

But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.

I read this book as part of my Cleaning Out My TBR challenge. I originally added this book to my TBR in 2012 and lately, I've been wary about those books on my TBR added in 2012 because my tastes have changed a lot since then and I haven't had a whole lot of luck with them. With this book, I'm glad to say that I actually did enjoy it. It was an entertaining and thrilling read!

Bobby has recently moved back to the UK and what better way to get to know her school classmates than to join them on a ski trip? At least, that's what Bobby's mother thinks. So far, no one seems to want to talk to her and the trip is feeling like hell. On the way back from the trip, their bus stops by a cafe. Bobby decides to stay inside the bus, but her classmates wander off for lunch, with the exception of Smitty, the trouble maker who is told to stay on the bus. Things seem normal until their classmate Alice comes running back to the bus claiming that everyone else is dead and one of their newly dead teachers tried to grab her. This can't be believed until they see for themselves that their classmates and everyone else in the cafe is dead, but is walking towards them. They have to find a way to escape, but that's easier said than done when you're in a snowstorm, in a bus running out of gas, and no way out of town to escape the surrounding zombies.

I admit that I was surprised by how entertained I was from this book. The plot sounds like it comes straight from a cheesy horror movie. The book does feel at times like you are reading a cheesy horror movie, and it does start out that way. Our main cast is isolated, in a snowstorm, with no way to get help. Bonus points that they are young people. The longer in the story, though, the more complicated the storyline gets. I just kept wanting to turn the pages in this book because I wanted to see the characters make it out of this dangerous situation. There was never a break in the action in this book and the thrill level just went up and up and up.

The story also takes the typical zombie plot into absurd directions. Sometimes the absurdity of the book was difficult for me to take in or believe (that's what makes it absurd!). Oddly enough, though, it worked for the book. For instance: <highlight to view spoiler> The carrot juice and the carrot man. I guessed early on that this was the cause of the zombie virus, but it's such an odd premise! Also, I am now going to be very distrustful whenever someone tries to give me a free food sample.<end of spoiler> The absurdity also brings some humor into the story, from the witty banter between the characters to the unconventional methods the characters use to kill the zombies.

The characters in the story seem to be, at first glance, the stereotypical characters. Smitty is the rebel, Alice is the princess, and later we also get the nerd. Bobby, our main character, is likely considered to be the average one, which works for the story because we need someone who we can relate to because we certainly can't relate to the situation, but as the story continues Bobby becomes more than just the average girl. One of the difficulties I did have with Bobby's character, though, is her history. Her history eventually becomes important, but for most of the story we don't know her history or it is vague. This is understandable since we don't want to take a break from the action to learn her story, but some parts of her history seem to affect her deeply and have changed her. Not knowing much made her feel less developed.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I found it to be very entertaining, equal parts thrilling and absurd. I give this book a rating of three stars, which is my "I liked it" rating. While I enjoyed reading this book, the book did not make me think or make a huge connection with me, it was just a fun read. The book ended in an abrupt way that made me immediately put the next book on hold, so I will be continuing this series.

I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it.

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