Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Undead by Kirsty McKay

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Kirsty McKay
Series: Undead, #1
Publication date: September 1st 2012
by The Chicken House


Out of sight, out of their minds: It’s a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.

The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.

Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.

But they’ve changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they’re zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin’ fast, because that’s the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates’ next meal. It’s kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.

*A copy was provided by Scholastic Inc. for review purposes*

What started off as a laugh-out-loud funny zombie book/parody, ends up losing its flair about half way through, when the humor turns from funny to exhausting. I can see this book garnering a certain fan base, especially those who get a kick out of B-rated horror films and parodies. To me it was just too… dumb. This book was dumb. I can’t lie.

When a school-trip zombifies, Bobby and a couple other fortunate classmates who are still alive, are trying to escape their friends who suddenly want to eat their faces. This book is definitely meant to be funny, even bizarre, and I did laugh quite a bit, especially at the beginning when Bobby’s sense of humor makes the best of things. I knew before going in that it wasn’t a serious zombie novel, I mean, just look at this cover, what I didn’t expect was the extent to which it would get ridiculous. I wanted to lay off the funny just a notch, and get some good story building at the very least to give the humor something to hang on to. For the most part, we go back and forth with no real goal or significance in the story, causing me to get restless and jittery, and eventually lethargic. The book zombiefied me! Bravo! Finally, when the plot got some traction, I was too anxious to get the book over with to enjoy the story developments that followed.

There are a lot of characters that come into play in this novel. Bobby being the narrator, we obviously get to know her the most. I did like her, but I also got irritated by her more than I can count, mostly because of her annoyingly flippant attitude about the situation. What I did like was her determination and take-charge attitude. She’s not one that needs a hand to hold. Along with Bobby, we meet a slew of “survivors” that I can’t say are very memorable. When a name was mentioned, I kept having to do a mental-check to recall who they were. This is the type of characterization that you come to expect from horror films, but in a book I like to get distinct personalities that I can get to know and care about, at least to some extent.

Also, for the love of god, zombies are called zombies, not zoms. *cries*

Will I tell you not to read this book? Not at all. It has tons of humor that ranges from hilarious to stupid to just plain ridiculous that I’m sure some people will enjoy. It will probably even gain its own cult following. But if you’re looking for any type of substance other than mindless entertainment, walk away, and let us never speak of this again.

2 Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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31 Responses to “Review: Undead by Kirsty McKay”

  1. Maji Bookshelf

    LOL ZOMS!! HAHAHA! Wow, I think this book would annoy me too! I hate it when books are funny, but then turn annoying! 🙁 Though, i do think Bobby is a character i’d like as well, despite her attitude 😛
    Great review Giselle!
    – Farah @ Maji Bookshelf

  2. -Ria xo

    I read a different review yesterday, of somebody who really enjoyed this– so I guess it’s one of those books you either love or hate?

    I’m not a fan of zombie stories, so I don’t know what my take on this would be.

    I’m pleased that you found parts funny, but it’s a shame that its overall effect wasn’t great. :L As well as the fact that you found Bobby annoying.

    Thank you for the review, Giselle!

  3. Amy

    Awesome review!! I just read this the other day and I really liked it at first, then became rather bored with it. I still did like it because it was a quick and brainless read. I think I gave it 3.5 stars. My review will be up for it soon. If it weren’t for the entertainment value of it, I don’t know that I would have enjoyed it as much.

  4. Sarah Elizabeth

    Oh gosh, I’m getting so sick of zombies! Think I have read a few too many zombie books recently! Don’t think I’ll be picking this one up. Thanks for an honest review 🙂

  5. Rebecca

    This sounds shocking, thanks for being honest though! I wasn’t interested in Undead but it’s still disappointing to hear it ended in a FAIL. This sounds horrible and the humour sounds overdone and annoying. *hugs* Great review!

  6. Jac

    ‘oh man, I’m so bummed to see the 2 cups… This was going to be my next read. But I’m on such a kick I don’t know that I want to read something so slow going, KWIM? I’m glad that it starts out strong, but I hate when the humor gets over used.

    I guess I’ll still give it a try, I need a good (quick) Zombie pick me up.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  7. Danny

    Oh…. well, it’s horrible when you got into a book and it even starts awesome, you laugh and then … you end up being annoyed! Too bad really, I wanted to read this book because it sounded funny! Maybe I still give it a try!

  8. Christina

    Meh. I don’t think this sounds like my thing. I don’t like the cover at all, but I added it to GR when Wendy Darling gave it 4.5 stars. I am now torn again. Argh. I guess I’ll leave it on my list, but it’s something I probably won’t get to any time soon.

  9. Shooting Stars Mag

    Aw, sorry it didn’t suit you. I don’t think it would be my thing either. I like a good zombie book, and humor is AWESOME, but I like that humor to go along with a nice story.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  10. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Oy, this one sounds painful, zoms? REALLY?!?! I’m all for some dumb comedy (we know this right? Cause Superbad is like, the best movie EVER teeeheeeee) but this one sounds like it goes a bit over the top. There definitely has to be more substance to make you actually care about the book. And it’s never good when you have to sit and do a roll call to actually remember who someone is. Great review!

  11. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Oh, thank you so much for saying that. I really was hoping for a silly, over-the-top zombie-attacks-students, students-kick-ass story. But, despite it’s short length, it just kept going on and on and on and on. And then…IT DIDN’T FREAKIN’ END!!!!! GAH!!!! *throws book across room*

    Cute premise and, yes, let us never speak of it again. *hugs*

  12. Millie

    Oy, sorry you didn’t necessarily enjoy this book. It does look like it has a lot of humor, but I can see where it might become a little overbearing at times. Zoms….sounds horrific ;D
    Cheers! Hope you read a more enjoyable book! (Which is almost impossible not to do)

  13. Renae

    Excellent review! This is definitely not the sort of book I’d enjoy unless I was half-dead in bed with the flu, so unless that happens soon (hopefully not), I’ll have to put a hold on reading this one. Thanks, Giselle!

    (And what’s with “zoms”? That’s just weird.)

  14. J.J. Bonds

    I’ll admit I’m a fan of the B grade horror flick (Ginger Snaps, anyone?), but I probably wouldn’t choose this type of mindless entertainment in a book. Thanks for the honest review! I was curious about Undead, but maybe it’s a pass after all.

  15. Candace

    Parodies have become ‘the thing’ and for me I can really enjoy them as long as they have likable characters and don’t go TOO far over the ridiculous line. It sounds like this one crossed it though. 🙁 sorry you weren’t able to enjoy it more!

  16. ODell @ Book Twirps

    Awww it sucks you didn’t like it. I finished it last week and I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t blown away by it either. I agree that the humor became a bit redundant after a while. Great review!

  17. Camille Picott

    Heh, this definitely sounds like a cult book. Not sure if it’s quite my thing, as I’m not a huge fan of cheesy humor, though I could see this really appealing to a certain market. Nice review!

  18. The Vintage Bookworm

    Great review. This does sound pretty funny, but I hate when books get too ridiculous that you don’t even want to finish it. I may find out more on it and give it a try, but at the moment I have way too many books on my TBR list haha.

  19. Smash Attack!

    Zoms? Oh dear. I received an ARC of this, opened it, read a few pages, put it down and cringed. After this review and a few other, I think I should just find it a new home.