Joplin Loves To read | 11 June 2013 | Lisa

I hadn't read anything by Darren Shan, author of the Cirque du Freak series, until Danya recommended "Zom-B" to me, knowing my affection for zombie stories. Wow. Intense book, and not a straight-up horror story. Monsters come in all forms, not just in brain-eating creatures. The main character, B, comes from a rough home life. B's father abuses his wife and B, and his racist views and activities have started to rub off on B. When Danya asked me what I thought about B, I replied, "I don't really like him." She just grinned and said, "I can't wait to tell Renee what you said." A couple nights later, I'd stayed up late and came to a point in the book where I actually gasped and said, "NO WAY!" My outburst scared my dog, and even though it was nearly 2 a.m., I wanted to text Danya and Renee. The book was worth reading just for that thought-provoking twist alone. Aside from that dramatic development, though, it truly is a great read. The racist rhetoric is tough to stomach, but it's a reality, not just in B's world but in our own. Much of the book is about B's family life and interactions with friends and teachers, with murmurings of zombie attacks in the background. But near the end of the book, the zombie attacks have spread to B's community, and B is holed up in the school with friends, trying to survive. The zombie attacks are described in all their gross glory, and cool, black-and-white artwork is reminiscent of graphic novels. I just checked out the second book in the series, and I can't wait to read it.

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