Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror Publication.Date May 1st 2011 Pages: 371 Where to get: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Website Rusty Fischer- Zombies Don't Blog Zombies Don't Cry - Goodreads My review copy: Received from the author (Thank you!)
In the sleepy small town of Barracuda Bay, Maddy Swift leads the life of a fairly typical teenager, but while attending a party one night, Maddy is struck by lightning and awakens to realize she has been reanimated and turned into a zombie. While becoming acquainted with her new "lifestyle," Maddy stumbles upon two unexpected undead chaperones, fellow students Dane and Chloe, who begin to teach her the ways of zombie life, including defending the populace from Zerkers—the bad zombies. Together, on prom night, the three teens must ultimately defend Barracuda Bay High from an all-out zombie Armageddon.(goodreads.com)
"I can tell I'm a little stiff. Okay, but who wouldn't be after a nighttime jaunt in a tsunami? I mean, lightning strikes nearby, you get knocked on your butt, you're gonna feel a little bad, right? It isn't until I get home that I realize I'm not just stiff. I am a stiff.
"We can smell for miles, see in the dark, and hear a mosquito fart two towns away.”
Rusty Fischer is officially my new hero! The story he created is simply phenomenal. Original and so unbelievably fun to read, it's a MUST-HAVE not only for every Zombie fan out there, but for anyone who loves great YA paranormal/horror books with amazing sense of humor.
Maddy is a super likable character. She’s more or less an ordinary teenage girl, who doesn’t wear tons of make-up and prefers khaki pants over flashy dresses. She might not be the most popular girl in school, but she gets by just fine, having her best friend, Hazel, and her open-minded and understanding dad at her side. And then things get even better, when she literally runs into the "new, hot guy", Stamp, who just recently moved to the town. Stamp asks her to accompany him to a party at a friend's house and Maddy gladly accepts the invite. Everything seems to be going just peachy, she even manages to sneak out of the house without her dad noticing and she almost makes it to the party... Almost, because then something unexpected happens. It starts raining and Maddy can hear the thunder approaching. It's getting closer with every minute and then it hits somewhere not far away from where she stands, and Maddy collapses to the ground. After awhile she wakes up face down in the puddle of mud, all drenched in muddy water, with her makeup streaking down her face. Not only, though, her clothes and make up are ruined and she missed out on her chance to spend the evening with her prince charming, but she suddenly realizes that her heart is not beating, like, AT ALL, and she's not breathing either. As it turns out the lightning didn't strike somewhere close to Maddy. Maddy was stricken with the lightning. And now she's turned into a living dead, a zombie!
It would be an understatement to say that her life was about to be turned up-side-down. She's an undead now and she has to learn how to survive as one. On the Internet she learns that she has to consume some brains within 48 hours from being turned, otherwise the transition to a zombie won't be completed and she will die. Again. And so Maddy goes for a “midnight-snack run” to the local grocery store and orders 10 pounds of goat brains (because these are the only brains available). While waiting for her order to be prepared, she's joined at the store by two of her school-mates, Dane and Chloe. These two, as it later turns out, are both zombies, too, and they take Maddy to meet the Council (Zombie Elders). As a new Zombie she must vow to uphold the Zombie laws and fight the Zerkers (Zombies gone wild!). She’s told that she can continue "living" like she used to, but she can't let any human know about the existence of the "unholy" kind. Much to her desperation, she also learns that she's not allowed to date Normals, and if she breaks any of the rules, she will die. Again. Maddy might be a zombie, with her body ice-cold and her heart dead in her chest, she might not be able to cry, sweat or gain weight, but she is still capable of feeling the very same emotions she used to feel before turning into a living-dead. Zombies don't cry, but they most definitely would if they could.
I loved it, loved it, loved it!!! It's not just another Zombie flick, this book is so much more than brain-eating zombies roaming around and groaning "brains... eat brainssssss..", it's a refreshing and original new take on the Zombie world, based on a solid, gripping plot, with fantastic characters and positively geeky sense of humor. I got sucked into the story from the very first page and, much to my husband's annoyance, wasn't able to put it down until I literally passed out on the couch. I picked it up first thing in the morning and finished it before even eating breakfast, that's how great it was! (I mean, come on, you gotta appreciate the fact that I chose this book over my husband's strawberry waffles, right? It never happened before!).
Zombies Don't Cry is nearly 400 hundred pages long, and yet there's not a single passage that would come across as boring or unnecessary. Every word accounts for something. And the humor.. you just gotta love the humor! I was constantly cracking up and shaking my head in pure amazement. Even the way the chapters are named already suggests that you're about to be taken on a crazy zombie-coaster ride (Chapter 5: Rainbows keep falling on my dead; Chapter 13: Cloudy with a chance of gray matter; Chapter 23: Any grave will do). Rusty's writing style is superb, light and extremely enjoyable. I started reading expecting a humorous and witty story, and I wasn't disappointed, but what I didn't at all expect was the ending, which actually made me cry. All of a sudden this book got so much more depth and I realized how well-thought-out the whole story was. The ending really got to me!
And Maddy.. Maddy is just such a great character. She goes through so much and yet she’s still strong and positive, she keeps a healthy distance to herself and she even manages to joke about all that has happened to her. She's definitely one of my favorite female characters! All the other characters, even the smallest ones, were vivid and real. Each and every single one of them was very essential to the story.
I’m thankful to Rusty that he didn’t do to Zombies, what Stephenie Meyer did to Vampires, i.e. he didn’t embellish them, didn’t make them all lovely, pretty and friendly (and sparkly!). He depicted them as they were, with gray skin and dark circles under their eyes. It worked really well, making the story more believable. These are not beasts that need to feed on human brains, but choose to SACRIFICE THEMSELVES and limit their diet to goat brains. They just don’t really care where their brains come from, as long as they can eat some! Isn’t that just so much better? Thank you, Rusty!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Zombies Don’t Cry and can’t wait for more of Rusty Fischer’s works. It’s a breath of fresh air in the Zombie department and you definitely don’t want to miss out on it!