STORYLINE: It’s 2020 and a virus has all but wiped out the human male. His replacement is the zombie. Hattie Cross writes a book The Girls' Guide to Dating Zombies, which catches the attention of the CEO of the largest supplier of ‘zombie-behavioral-modification’ drugs in the world. Hattie is invited to do a feature on the company, meets that rarest of creatures – a real, live man – and gets up to her neck in a conspiracy theory. If her suspicions are correct, the course of history will change, assuming she can survive long enough to share her discovery.
PLAYERS: Hattie Cross is an ambitious tabloid reporter who wants to write more meaningful articles than the trashy stuff she writes every day. She innovative and resourceful and proves this through her book that opens her woman-based society to the possibilities of human/zombie relationships.
Jake Maddox is a scientist, Hattie’s love interest, and part of the remaining 0.00001 percent of men who aren’t zombies. At first introduction, I wasn’t sure what to make of him, but he turns out to be an all right guy.
I LIKED: Hattie’s voice and her approach to the world that is her reality. Yes, dating zombies has many drawbacks, including them losing digits, and their disturbing feeding habits, but Hattie manages to make the ‘eeewww factors’ sound not-so-nasty. Even though I was grossed out, the writer made the book fun to read by running Hattie’s story parallel with chapters from The Girls' Guide to Dating Zombies.
Hattie shows her creativity at the end of the novel by writing another ‘how-to’ book that helps sisters navigate the new dating possibilities that opened up thanks to the main storyline.
I COULD HAVE LIVED WITHOUT: the writer’s description of all the zombie stuff – the physical descriptions, their habits and levels of putrefaction. She painted too-vivid pictures which I’m still seeing and smelling – ugh!
OVERALL COMMENTS: This is my first full zombie read and Ms. Messina made it a fun experience. The story starts off at a sedate pace and then moves up to a sustained gallop at just past the half-way mark. The light-hearted tone works well for the story, despite the nefarious activities that go on. I’m a fan of writers that can make me laugh and would definitely read other books by this writer.
COVER NOTE: I’m not a fan of graphic covers, but this one does capture the essence of the book. The trailer is funny and complements the book perfectly.
SOURCE: I received an advance review copy through Novel Publicity.