Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Book Review: Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

Move over, Generations X and Y. The new kids in town are Generation Dead.

All over America, recently deceased teenagers are getting up and walking around. They have no heartbeats. They don’t breathe. But they do have minds and emotions. They ride the school bus and struggle through math homework. One of them, Tommy Williams, even plays football.

Living, breathing goth girl Phoebe is fascinated with Tommy. It’s that age-old attraction to a guy who lives on the fringes—a guy the girl thinks maybe, if she can just love him enough, will come around and be the person he almost is. You know, Rebel Without a Pulse. The trouble is, living people are pretty freaked out about a live girl dating a dead boy. Not to mention that Adam, Phoebe’s best friend, has secretly been in love with her for years.

Generation Dead manages to be funny and dark at the same time, with none of the cheesy horror and melodrama we usually associate with zombie stories. Instead, it’s a new twist on the issue of accepting differences and learning from people who come from other walks of life—er, death. I felt a lot of great tension between the desire to see Phoebe and Tommy overcome the prejudices against their friendship and my wish for Phoebe and the likable, tough-but-sensitive Adam to end up together.

Each character in Generation Dead has a distinct voice, and Daniel Waters writes refreshingly authentic-sounding boy dialog. Generation Dead, published by Hyperion, is more than just a YA urban fantasy. It’s a novel about social awareness that will appeal to readers with a broad range of genre preferences, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

5 comments:

Andrew Carmichael said...

I keep looking at this book in the bookstores and I haven't bought it yet, but with this review I think I'll pick up a copy next time I see it!

Catherine said...

Cool. Thanks for posting this, it sound s like I might enjoy it.

hannah said...

I was about to post exactly the same thing Andy wrote...

BooksandLove said...

Can't wait to read it!

Anonymous said...

I found it randomly online and checked it out at the library. I've now had two other people read it. I love this book and anyone with a healthy sense of humor will enjoy it, even if it is a little dark sometimes.
-D