Generation Dead

Generation Dead
by Daniel Waters
YA fiction. 392 pp.
Hyperion. 2008.

flap copy:

Phoebe is just your typical Goth girl with a crush. He's strong and silent . . . and dead.

All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. They are coming back to life, but they are no longer the same. Termed "living impaired" or "differently biotic," they are doing their best to blend into society again.

But the kids at Oakvale High don't want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn't breathing. And there are no laws to protect the differently biotic from the people who want them to disappear—for good.

With her pale skin and goth wardrobe, Phoebe Kendall has never run with the popular crowd. But no one can believe it when she falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids: not her best friend, Margi, and especially not her neighbor Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has realized that his feelings run much deeper than friendship. he would do anything for her—but what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?

Since I'm still unwilling to pick up the Vampire Craptastica burdening my shelves, it makes perfect sense that I would instead pick up a book about zombies. I found this to be an intriguing book. For starters, I really like the premise—some teenagers are undead, and we have no idea why. I like that instead of being about popularity (like the other zombie books out there), this one is about social integration and community tolerance.

The writing is pretty good. The chapters are told in alternating perspectives, and it works in this novel. Even when the reader is thrown into the head of one of the antagonists (though I found him to be a rather pathetic person). The action is very slow moving in the book—probably intentional and appropriate, given the general portrayal of zombies herein. But the tension grew steadily throughout.

My major complaint with the book is that not a single story thread or conflict is resolved in this book. Not one. That irritates me. Yes, there's a sequel coming out in May, but that's no excuse not to resolve anything in this novel. Unless, of course, the author intended these other conflicts to be mere red herrings. If that's the case, I feel a bit betrayed as a reader.

One of the things I do like about this book is that Tommy has a blog. And unlike Suck It Up where the actual website merely bounces you back to the author's page, Tommy's blog is an actual blog.

Other reviews:
Miss Print | The Book Muncher | Teen Book Review | Persephone Reads | NYTimes


Kirk L. Shaw said...

I love it when authors take the time to develop a community following for their books (e.g., a blog written by the undead hero of their novels). I'm tempted to read it but for the lack of any conflict resolution. However, I've been on a zombie kick lately, so maybe...

Th. said...


Weirdly, I just used this story in a class today.