Note: In general, I’m against abandoning books that I’ve received as advanced review copies. The publisher gives out copies of this book for an honest review, and I don’t feel I can legitimately review the worth of a whole book if I only read part of it. I am going to, however, make an exception for this book. I’ve already put the book down and then tried to talk myself into reading it again half a dozen times, and it just simply has some elements to it that I find myself getting frustrated at every time I pick it up.
This zombie apocalypse novel promises to be part-Holes, part-Zombieland, a horror-flick-in-a-book. When teenage protagonist Nick gets in trouble at work and gets sent to a juvenile delinquent camp, things seem like they couldn’t get worse… until the counselors start turning into zombies.
Unfortunately, I had a number of issues with this book that even zombies couldn’t remedy. First off, the e-galley must have had some sort of formatting error because throughout each page I had missing letters, random letters substituting for symbols, and every once in awhile some sort of nonsense jumble of letters for no apparent reason. Add in some slangs and made-up words and phrases (such as “lamestream” instead of “mainstream”), and this book was work merely to decipher.
Even more frustrating was the vulgarity. I can tolerate swearing and cursing in literature. I have less tolerance for lewdness, but even then, sometimes, it brings the reader to a better understanding of a character’s mindset or attitude — I get that. In the past, there have been books with “rated-R”-type language and sexuality that I’ve enjoyed — when there’s a point to it (Huxley’s Brave New World is just one example; Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange is another). And, yes, I get that this is a book where most of the main characters are teenage males going through puberty, but reading crass jokes and constant discussions of their hormone-driven desires and bodily functions isn’t really how I want to spend my free time, nor did I feel it was necessary for the character development or plot.
Despite that, I may have been able to shrug it off and skip over the crudeness if I had really felt invested in the characters or plot, but sadly, I wasn’t.
Perhaps others of the zombie-fan world might pick this up and find it interests them, or — who knows — maybe it does get more interesting further on and I just needed to hold on for a few more pages (chapters?), but as of right now, this is going back to the bottom of my list and I don’t see myself picking it up again anytime soon.