Friday, March 7, 2014

Tori's Review: Donna of the Dead by Alison Kemper

Donna of the Dead by Alison Kemper
Series: None
Genre: Young Adult, Zombies, Romance
Rating: ♚♚½
Pages: 250
Published by Entangled Teen on March 4, 2014
Amazon | B&N
Donna Pierce might hear voices, but that doesn’t mean she’s crazy. Probably.

The voices do serve their purpose, though—whenever Donna hears them, she knows she’s in danger. So when they start yelling at the top of their proverbial lungs, it’s no surprise she and her best friend, Deke, end up narrowly escaping a zombie horde. Alone without their families, they take refuge at their high school with the super-helpful nerds, the bossy class president, and—best of all?—Liam, hottie extraordinaire and Donna’s long-time crush. When Liam is around, it’s easy to forget about the moaning zombies, her dad’s plight to reach them, and how weird Deke is suddenly acting toward her.

But as the teens’ numbers dwindle and their escape plans fall apart, Donna has to listen to the secrets those voices in her head have been hiding. It seems not all the zombies are shuffling idiots, and the half-undead aren’t really down with kids like Donna…
NOTE: I received this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

On one hand, this book was light and funny and easy to read. On the other hand, it wasn't what I expected from young adult, and it definitely wasn't what I expected from a zombie book. There were good aspects in Donna of the Dead—the humor that Deke brings to the table—and there were not-so-good aspects in Donna of the Dead—the writing.

Let me start off by saying that the writing wasn't bad; it was just young, to say the least. While reading Donna of the Dead, I felt like I was reading a first draft. Not because of mistakes, but because of Donna's lack of character arc and a few other things. I'm just going to leave it with, "The writing wasn't my favorite."

Donna was my next least favorite. She wasn't irritable, but she definitely wasn't a protagonist that I enjoyed. She was too much like myself. Saying humorous jokes in the midst of awkward situations. Being completely wrapped up in a guy where it's almost unhealthy. Donna's personality and how it was similar to my own was what made me not like her. I don't want to read about myself. And she didn't develop until about 80%, and it was pretty sudden.

The one character that I did love, though, was Deke, Donna's hilarious and hot best friend. He always knew the right thing to say, and I loved his relationship with Donna, because he always challenged her to do her best. The two of them just worked, in my opinion. The one thing I didn't like about Deke was how long it took him to admit his feelings for Donna. Like, dude, it's not that difficult. Just say you like her.

The thing about the supporting characters is that they're extremely forgettable. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I want to be able to remember a character months after reading the book and describe what I liked about them. I can't do that for the supporting characters in Donna of the Dead. I can barely remember their names.

The zombie science in this book was interesting and unique, which I enjoyed yet thought was weird all at the same time. For some reason, I really just don't want the zombie myth to be tampered with. Vampires? Okay. Werewolves? I don't care. But zombies? No, thank you. Although the way everything came together at the end was great, and I liked that a lot. The world building was a bit lacking in terms of Donna's voices, but in the end things are sort of explained, which I can deal with.

In conclusion, the part I liked the most in Donna of the Dead would be Deke. He's my favorite. And the ending was hilarious, too. I thought Kemper really knew how to end her book well. I would probably recommend this book for readers who don't read a lot of zombie books and for readers that enjoy funny apocalypse books.

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