Author: Carrie Harris
Series: Kate Grable #1
Publisher: Delacourte Press
Date Published: July 12th 2011
Genre: Zombie/ Post-Apocalypse
Someone's been a very bad zombie.Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steriods are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate! She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town . . . and stay hormonally human.
As much as I wanted to love this book (I've heard so much good about it!) I found myself hopelessly disappointed with what I found. Despite having one of the coolest covers of all zombie fiction, it just doesn't live up to the hype. It's not a bad book...it just isn't a great one either. The writing sucks you in and is really fun and easy to follow, but I kind of felt like the story itself lacked direction and anything that could distinguish it in the paranormal genre. There isn't a lot to say about it, other than it seems like there are 10,000 other zombie books out there right now that have exactly the same plot.
Despite not being a big fan of the book overall I still really liked the main character. Kate was actually a pretty fantastic protagonist that held her own in a book full of cheesy cut-out characters. Her voice was fun and cute without being annoying or whiny. She also was super smart and embraced her nerdyness and didn't seem to care what people thought about her. It's great to see that kind of confidence in such a young character, especially because she didn't hide behind snark and bluster to be strong...she just was a strong, smart, and confident girl who happened to be dealing with the zombie apocalypse. She is really likable because even though she is nerdy she can keep up with the football players and other "popular" kids at the school without letting it get too angsty like a lot of the underdog teenage stories can get.
A lot of the plot seemed cheesy and unbelievable. The logistics of the virus and the spread of the illness alone were cliche, contrived, and kind of idiotic...I mean...black vomiting football players on steroids? I also wasnt' thrilled by the "Happily Ever After" ending. It's like how in a Disney movie, only the evil people die...well in this book the zombies were magically cured and returned to their normal selves despite the infected kids having lost limbs and fingers and stuff...not likely...I felt that there were a lot of things left unsaid or explained away with vague answers that left you feeling like you don't have the entire story. One thing that bugged me was the creation of the virus in the first place...I don't want to give away spoilers...but you think that the main character would realize if she was making zombie-cultures in her free period...The cure itself was ridiculously easy. I want my characters to struggle, to work for the win...not just be bonked on the head with a solution to the worst problem they will ever face...I got frustrated with how simple everything was in the end and ended the book on a sour note.
I was a little thrown off by the direction Harris chose to take the tone of the book. I'm used to my zombie books being of one of two flavors: either gritty, terrifying, and gruesome; or campy, hilarious and satirical. This book was none of those things and only seemed to succeed at being cutesy, cliche, and predictable. I like a good Zom-com as much as the next girl, but this book doesn't pull funny off well. Sure it's witty and cute, but it tackles the apocalypse too seriously to be a comedy and not nearly serious enough to be considered a drama...it's just kind of floating by itself in a class all it's own. The best thing to say about the story is that it moves quickly. You could definitely read this book in an hour or two with how fast-paced it is. However the speed might move so quickly at the expense of other elements in the story like character development and actual...I dunno...bonding with the characters and the story.
P.S. Bad Taste in Boys has been on my TBR pile for FOR eva! So even though it satisfies quite a few challenges that I'm participating in, I will use it for the TBR pile challenge!