Genre: Urban Fantasy,
Zombie & Paranormal Fiction
Publisher: DAW Books (Penguin Group)
Read an Excerpt
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Reviewed by: Aimee
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: Epic Win! 5 out of 5
I followed his lead and pulled my mask off, then froze. All of a sudden it seemed as if I could smell the brain, and not in an oh-how-gross way, but as if someone had taken the lid off a pot of gumbo and let the aroma fill the room. And I knew it was the brain that smelled so utterly enticing--knew it with all of my being.Can a Zombie novel be disgusting and sweet? Apparently so. My Life as A White Trash Zombie has a little bit of everything in it; mystery, suspense, romance, and humor mixed with brains, blood, murder and "zombie superpowers!" It's a unique, paranormal ride with some emotional self-discovery and feel good moments mixed together.
What the hell was wrong with me?
To my shock and horror my mouth began to water and my stomach gave a loud growl--loud enough for the others to hear. Both of them turned to look at me and Dr. Leblanc gave a laugh. "Okay, you're officially the toughest morgue tech who's ever worked here if you can still be hungry during an autopsy!"
I freaking LOVE this book! It's no secret that I've loved and admired the cover since it was first revealed, right down to the "I Love Brain's" tattoo on Angel's shoulder. But when I finally had the book in my hands and ready to read, I couldn't help wondering how the heck Diana Rowland was going to pull off a Zombie novel with the main character actually being the Zombie, instead of the other way around. And I also worried how she'd pull off a Zombie romance. The answer is, very creatively. Honestly, there's really not much romance in this story. What little there is, is very sweetly done and enough to satisfy. Never fear, though, you won't really miss it with everything else going on. Your mind will be fully engaged and occupied from start to finish in this very clever, Zombie mystery.
On the back of the book, the summary starts out by saying, Angel Crawford is a loser," And as I read through the first few chapters I realized... wow, Angel Crawford really is a loser. It made me worry how I was ever going to connect with or care about her character. She wasn't really someone I'd want to root for as a heroine. Angel's a slacking, potty-mouthed failure who can't hold a job, keeps making terrible choices and hanging around deplorable people. But as I continued to read, I learned more about what made Angel the way she is in the first place; understanding blossomed, and things started to fall into place. Plus, her character matures as the story progresses and she starts making better decisions for herself. Who knew it would only take becoming a brain eating Zombie to initiate such an awakening?
After reading the summary I made the quick assumption that the serial killer decapitating bodies just when Angel is her hungriest, is somehow supplying Angel with dead bodies on purpose to keep her alive. Yes, I know it's obvious, I'm a Zombie novice. But after a few chapters I realized it's the exact opposite. Zombie's eat brains and decapitated bodies don't have heads... or brains. Thus, the "oh crap" factor comes into play and this truly becomes a problem in more ways than one. As one character in the book said, "Things go downhill fast," and they definitely weren't exaggerating. Being a Zombie isn't what I'd call "romantic" like the vampire, shifter novels flooding the paranormal genre. Starting to rot, stink and fall apart can reek havoc on your work and social life. But Diana Rowland manages to blend romantic and gross together quite successfully. Her background as a detective, cop, morgue assistant and crime scene investigator really shows in her writing. I was impressed with the amount of complex details included in the novel that add to Angel's many experiences working with dead bodies. I definitely felt more educated, in a morbid sort of way, on the inner workings of a morgue and the type of people who might work there.
My final verdict? I was definitely rooting for Angel by the end of the book and quite proud of her too. She grows up, gets clarity in her life, makes difficult choices and learns to respect and value herself in the process. It was creepy and disgusting while also managing to have fun, sweet and endearing moments. Very nicely done and truly worth your time. I certainly hope this is only the first in a planned series because I'd definitely love to read more about Angel Crawford's adventures as a brain eating morgue tech.
I would recommend My Life as a White Trash Zombie to fans of Zombie fiction, of course. That's pretty obvious from the start. But it should also be read by, well... ANYONE. It's that good.