Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Undead by Kirsty McKay

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  • Publisher: Chicken House (Scholastic, Inc.)
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Source: eARC from NetGalley/Publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Overview

Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.

The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.

Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.

But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.

Combining the chill of THE SHINING, the thrill ride of SPEED, the humor of SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and the angst of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, Kirsty McKay's UNDEAD is a bloody mad mash-up, a school-trip splatter-fest, a funny, gory, frighteningly good debut!


My Thoughts

This is one of the few reviews that I actually changed my rating while writing my review. I thought I liked it more than I did when I finished it, but when I sat down to put my thoughts on paper (or screen) I realized all of the things that I didn't like about it. I still enjoyed the book enough though. I was really excited for this book due to the synopsis. I thought it sounded pretty awesome, except the synopsis is not a great judge of the book. It's not an exciting all out thrill ride with crazy zombies lurking around every corner like it would suggest. So unless there were some major changes between the ARC and the final copy, I wouldn't go by that at all. I am a sucker when it comes to zombie books. I also love humor and this sounded like a great combination of the two, but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

I liked Bobby and her snarky, don't give a crap attitude at first, but it got old quick. She has just moved back to the UK with her mother (Thanks to her moms work) and is the new girl who doesn't fit in. Total cliche, I know. This book is full of the typical cliches, I think it's supposed to be part of the humor. She stays on the bus to be alone away from all the other kids and gets stuck on there with Smitty, the bad boy and the bus driver. He attitude doesn't really improve much for most of the book. She tries to put on the tough girl act to prove she's not a helpless weak girl. She does some selfless things and really does try to do what she can to help their growing group survive, but in general she wasn't that likable. I just didn't feel her character. 

So onto the actual storyline. School trip, zombies, stumbling upon other survivors...you get the point. Now these people who are nothing alike have to work together to survive and try not to kill each other. They manage to travel to a gas station, then a parking lot, back to the cafe, so and and so on until they get to a castle. I get that we are trying to be on an adventure here, but it was just sort of okay to me. Th ere were a few funny lines here and there, and some interesting things that happened. And lets not forget the plot twist...was that supposed to be surprising? Are we supposed to feel shock? I felt like I wanted to be finished with this book already. 

So maybe I am just getting more picky with my reading, but this just didn't entertain me as much as I would have liked. I wasn't expecting a blow me away, awesome book, just fun entertainment. I know this review seems pretty negative, but I did like the book, I just thought that at times it got a bit lame and there was a lot of unnecessary things going on. Maybe if I had been able to connect with the characters, or at least like them I would have liked it more. I just didn't get that. The characters started to annoy me and the plot was not keeping me engaged. What saved this book for me was the small amounts of entertainment I got out of it. 3 out of 5 stars.

**Hop on over to The Bookish Brunette for her fantastic 5 stiletto review of this.

18 comments:

  1. This sounded like it could be fun or end up cheesy and dumb. I was a little put off because of that and it sounds like it went a cheesy route. I love zombies too! And enjoy humorous fun stories of them but sometimes too much cliche is just annoying and not humorous. Might be a fun read at some point when I am in the right mood.

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    1. I was entertained at first, but then it was just okay. I was under the impression it was going to be action packed and full of humor, but it wasn't. It had it's moments of greatness, but overall just fell flat to me.

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  2. From the look of the cover and the sound of the synopsis this sounded like one of those LOL-fest books. But it sounds like the humor got real old soon which sucks because it seems like that's all it really had going for it. I'm not a big zombie fan (as you know) so I definitely won't be reading this one. Great review. I'm glad for the most part you enjoyed it.

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    1. Yes, I was totally expecting a really funny book too, but it just wasn't. I think if I had cared at least a little what happened to the characters it would have made it better too, but honestly, I didn't care who survived and who didn't. I was hoping for a few to get chomped.

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    2. Good review! I'm just getting into zombies so i planned on reading this one. sorry you didn't enjoy it that much

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  3. Sorry this one did not work of for you. I opened this one up, read a few pages, and closed it. I haven't had the urge to start again. I think it was the writing. I can just tell I might not enjoy it. But, I want to give it the fair go....*sigh*

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    1. I would go with your gut instinct on it. If you didn't like it in the beginning, you probably won't like it. I liked it at first and then it all went downhill.

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  4. So I'm not a fan of hardcore zombie books. And a lot of the things that bothered you about the story, actually appeal to me. Funny how that goes! A few of my other friends read Undead and really enjoy it, so we'll see. Great review. Sorry you felt let down.

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    1. Yeah, I know some people who really enjoyed it. We all have different things we like or don't. I love Ashley's review of it and she loved the book. That's why I linked it at the end of my review. :)

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  5. See everything that you DIDN'T like was what kept me going through the "plot twist" that would've otherwise killed the book for me!

    I LOVED Bobby, and you know how much of the dialog I loved!! Lol

    Regardless, I hate when I'm reading and I feel like, "I'm just being of picky." I don't think that's it dude... I really think that as time passes we just "get" what's us and what's not! Whilst something may be PERFECT in one book, it might SUCK in another. People are always super surprised if I less than LOVE *zombie book A* and I'm like, "Dude, I like zombies. Not every one is going to drop my panties okay?"

    Did I just write a book in your comment section? I think I did...

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    1. LMAO!! I so freaking love you chick. This comment made my day. I can see why people like this book, just at the time it didn't do anything for me. Who knows I could read it like 2 years from now and love it. You totally rock by the way!

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  6. Great review Amy, this is the second less than favourable review I have read for this one by people I trust. I don't think this one is for me so I'll be staying away. But definitely going to check out Ashley's review!

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    1. Ashley's review makes me want to love the book.

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  7. Ahh I've had the whole "write the review and then change the rating" thing soo often. O_O You think you like it but when you get the review onto paper it seems less good than you would've thought. And I hate clichés too it feels so out of place and wrong O_O I'm glad you didn't like this one as you thought but thanks for being honest about it!! :) Awesome review Amy!

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  8. I just can't get into zombie books. I wish I did cause so many peeps love them but I don't. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Valerie
    StuckInBooks.com

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