How did I get it: I was sent a review copy courtesy of DAW/Penguin Group. My Life As A White Trash Zombie will be out in mass market paperback on July 5th.
Why did I get it: I loved the book’s cover and I’ve been wanting to read something about zombies from a zombie’s point of view for awhile now. (This title will also count towards my Horror and Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge.)
How I would rate it: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Angel Crawford is a loser. Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she’s a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who’s been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now downward spiral her life has taken. That is, until the day she wakes up in the remembers being in an horrible car crash, anonymous letter telling her there’s a job that it’s an offer she doesn’t dare refuse. a brand new addiction: an overpowering who decapitates his prey–just when she’s hungriest Angel’s going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn’t, she’s dead meat. Literally.
Review: My Life As A White Trash Zombie was remarkably enjoyable and probably one of the few zombie books I’ve enjoyed in recent memory mostly because so many of those books don’t even focus much on zombies. In fact most of the ones I’ve attempted focus on people who are recovering from trauma or writing pretentious articles while hunting zombies and struggling with their own issues or realizing that human beings are the true walking dead blah blah blah insert more serious contemplation of the human condition here. As if now that all the fun has been sucked –no pun intended– out of vampires by making them capable of falling in love with uncoordinated teenagers, authors have no choice but to ruin the hilariously baffling concept that is zombie by taking them seriously in order to make them metaphors for the emptiness of modern society and the Evil that Man does to Man. Personally, I find it really, really nauseating. So you can only imagine my delight that there is finally a book that doesn’t take zombies too seriously and that actually focuses on them for a change.
There was, as a result, very little that I did not love about My Life As A White Trash Zombie. I loved the setting, the humor, the idea of a character’s life becoming better because of their transformation from human to zombie, and I loved the way the plot developed. The way zombies were used in the book wasn’t particularly new in of itself, I suppose, but Angel’s point of view added originality and refreshing twists as she learns about how to maintain her newly undead body while trying to catch a serial killer and find her maker. The book had a lot of sort of horror-esque moments, but maintained a healthy sense of humor throughout. And it did actually focus on zombies literally craving and going mad from lack of brains, which was amusing in of itself.
I also rejoiced in being able to care about Angel immediately, which is something I’ve struggled with in terms of a lot of female main characters in Urban Fantasy books in the recent past. I think it helped that, although Angel was a bit of a loser, I didn’t feel like she’d given up on herself or was willing to remain in the position she was in once alternatives presented themselves. Given a chance and given the actual means, Angel was willing to fight to make her life work. And while the book had some hints of romance going on, its focus remained on Angel and her growth as an individual/zombie, which was awesome.
I do have to admit that the ending to this book was sort of disappointing. I didn’t want the book to end at all anyway, but it felt like too many things got shoved into the last few chapters without so much as a hint of them being possible earlier on. I also felt that the identity of the serial killer as well as that of Angel’s maker just really seemed way too convenient. I definitely think both revelations also took away from what Angel had come and what she had accomplished to some degree. But happily, none of this kept me from enjoying the book or makes me any less eager to learn if there will be more sequels or not because I would love to read more about Angel Crawford.
In conclusion, really, really terrific in nearly all respects. My Life As A White Trash Zombie is exactly what I wish more zombie books would strive to be like, and I’m so glad I read it. So if you want a fun, engaging story about a young woman whose life becomes much, much better after she becomes a zombie and has to forage for brains, I would suggest picking this book up as soon as it comes out.