I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Return of the Living Dead by Araminta Star Matthews
Series: Horror High School #1
Published by Curiosity Quills Press on May 8th 2014
Genres: Horror, Romance, Young Adult, zombie
Source: the publisher
Being in love with a zombie bites, but that won’t stop true love. Can it? Horror High School: Return of the Loving Dead is unlike any zombie book you’ve ever read. Meet Amber Vanderkamp, senior at Stephen E. King High School. Amber is poised to be class valedictorian when she graduates this year and has her sights set on the New York Center for the Performing Arts for college. Everything is wonderful in Amber's world. She always gets the lead in her high school's plays and is counting on the lead role in the school’s upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet. That is until her well-ordered world is thrown into chaos when her boyfriend, Zach, dies and comes back as a zombie. But how can she turn her back on the love of her life? How does she deal with the pressure? And will she remain committed to the boy she once considered her soul mate? Especially when her mother (with secrets of her own) is encouraging her to wait and experience more of the world. And her flighty best friend, Jasmine, is acting more peculiar than ever since Zach has become a member of the undead club. Add in the class bullies, Caleb and Darla, who seem to be doing everything in their power to ruin Amber's life and everything is here for a page-turning romp through a world where zombies are a part of everyday life.
I wasn’t grabbed with the beginning of this one. I loved that it had zombies in it but the story actually starts two years prior with a zompocalypse but the plot to the book starts after the zombies are all taken care of and people are trying to move on with their lives. The problem for me was that I really enjoy the scariness behind all the zombie books that are out there and my favorites are the most horrible, with all the gore and craziness. This book did have some of that but not a lot, it is definitely based around young adult.
Also, the relationships at the beginning sort of drove me crazy. Two best friends fought so much that I was surprised that these two, Amber and Jazz, could even remain friends. It was hard for me to really get to know them with all the arguing and bickering and back and forth between them. Then we have Amber’s flighty mom, which is explained later in the plot what exactly is going on with her, but she is so flighty that she almost seems like she doesn’t care about Amber, and that really frustrated me as well.
The plot itself was interesting after I got past the idea that this wasn’t going to be about blood and guts and what not, which honestly is fine, and the different take on zombies was interesting. I really like how they called them the Living Imparied because you KNOW that is exactly what would happen if zombies were to have a way to live with us in the world.
All in all I enjoyed the plot and how the characters come together and Amber’s resilience. There are so many things working against her but she is stubborn and decides early on that this is going to work out no matter how many people do not believe in her and Zach. Interesting read, just not my fav. Curious about the second book though.
In addition to being an uber-geek, Araminta is an accomplished educator at both the secondary and postsecondary level, having earned a terminal degree in Creative Writing (she could just call it an MFA, but “terminal” is so much more appropriate). She is passionate about her subject and loves bringing new ways of reading and writing to her students. Her book, Write of the Living Dead, coauthored with Rachel Lee and Stan Swanson, brings many of her writing lessons to print.
Because Araminta can’t bring herself to sit still even for a moment, she spends her spare time (when she is not teaching or writing or editing) playing MMORPG’s, reading (mostly classics), and inventing. She lives in Central Maine with her supportive partner, her whippet, Devo, and her Jack-Chi, Crivens.