Thursday, September 17, 2009

Review by Alex- Kiss of Life

Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters
**Spoilers for Generation Dead**
The phenomenon that's been sweeping the country seems to be here to stay. Not only are the teenagers who have come back from their graves still here, but newlydeads are being unearthed all the time. While scientists look for answers and politicians take their stands, the undead population of Oakville have banded together in a group they're calling the Sons of Romero, hoping to find solidarity in segregation. Phoebe Kendall may be alive, but she feels just as lost and alone as her dead friends.Just when she reconciled herself to having feelings for a zombie — her Homecoming date Tommy Williams — her friend Adam is murdered taking a bullet that was meant for her . Things get even more confusing when Adam comes back from the grave.Now she has romantic interest in two dead boys; one who saved her life, and one she can't seem to live without.

First Impressions: Read Generation Dead when it first came out and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to Kiss of Life, but in no hurry. Read for Zombie Week (and so this review is crazy late).

Kiss of Life picks up after Generation Dead. And there's lots of stuff going on. Adam got killed saving Phoebe and became a zombie. Tommy and Phoebe's relationship disintegrates. Phoebe is spending most of her time with Adam, who, despite all of Phoebe's and his family's attention, doesn't seem to be able to do much. At the beginning, it takes all his effort to move a hand, to form a single word.

And then there's the whole zombie society. It's zombies vs. humans out there, with a flimsy wall in between. There's no outright war, but zombies have no protection in any laws, being not alive. Tak, and some of the other zombies, are trying to fight back in little ways. They take pleasure in flaunting their zombie-ness and don't try to fit in with the humans. They strive to stick out. They plan to make a difference. But they're awfully creepy...

I really like the whole circumstances, I guess you can say, of the novel. The social issues that arise, all the problems, when teens start coming back from the dead. This is what makes the Generation Dead series stand out. There's starting to be quite a few other YA zombie books out there, but none quite like these. While others tend to be light and humourous, or dark and creepy, I find GD and Kiss of Life walk that fine line between. The best of both worlds. It's really really interesting, how even though I'm doubtful that zombies will ever appear, how relate-able the issues presented in the novels are to every day life. Social prejudice, guilt, being different and standing out, making a statement, trying to make a difference, dealing with high school, coping with bullies, etc. etc. etc. Nevermind all the love problems and triangles.

A down side I find, is the writing. The novel is written in multiple perspectives. Phoebe and Pete (the bully who killed Adam) in third person, Adam in disjointed first person, being the primary narrators. The problem is that the reading is so slow. The zombies speak like "And... you... are nothing like... me." I don't know about you, but when I see "...", I automatically slow down. Of course the speech is necessary for the whole zombie-ness, but I still think it detracts from the reading. Kiss of Life is a thick book, at 410 pages, and it feels even longer, which isn't always a good thing, with all the pauses.

I do however, think that the writing in Adam's point of view is really good. At first it starts off really disjointed, with phrases being short and generally not full sentences. But as the novel progresses, and Adam slowly regains some of his control, the narration gets a little more put together.

Final Impressions: Overall, didn't disappoint. A little slow, especially with the zombie pauses in speech and thinking, but mostly able to hold my interest.

Note This! Tommy blogs in the book, and in real life. There's actually a blog called mysocalledundeath. Check it out here! Whee. I love books that incorporate reading, books, or blogging!

Add To Shelf: Maybe. I'd wait for paperback though. Or take out from your library and see how you like it.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting review, because you've actually helped me understand better why I had trouble with it. I guess all those pauses made me lose some of the sense of urgency about the storyline. Tommy's real-life blog *is* a great touch though!


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