This week I review the upcoming release Donna of the Dead by Alison Kemper which is an upcoming Zombie Romance novel from Entangled publishing.
Author: Alison Kemper
Genre: Zombies, Young Adult,Romance
Expected Publication: March 4, 2014
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…
Donna of the Dead follows a teenager named Donna and her best friend Deke. When reports start flooding in from back home that a serious outbreak of unknown origin has occurred the teens are concerned but being on a cruise ship surrounded by nothing but miles of ocean helps to put their minds at ease. That is until they learn someone has fallen sick on board, Oh and their vacation has been cut short with the ship headed straight home. Unfortunately for Donna and Deke things quickly go from bad to worse. Now on the run from creatures thought only to exist in Fiction, Donna and Deke must stay one step ahead from the hungry zombie hordes and find a way back to their loved ones before it's too late.
As far as Zombie Apocalypse stories go Donna of the Dead doesn't bring anything new to the proverbial Zombie table. If you read a lot of Zombie books like I do you could probably find similarities with every situation to something already read before. However, I don't really read Zombie books for the hope that it's genre breaking. I read them cause I like them, simple as that.
Where Donna of the Dead really shines is in its secondary characters. I loved Deke. He's somewhat awkward yet intellectual, gets along with everyone yet doesn't care about popularity. Deke is the perfect guy and in my opinion way too good for Donna. I also really liked Tara the bubbly cheerleader who while maybe not perfect had a good heart and head on her shoulders and Veronica the science girl who originally was underestimated but ultimately became an integral part of the group. Lastly, I like the Librarian whose name escapes me at this moment. You don't ever really get to see librarians kick Zombie ass and I LOVED how prepared she was in a place where traditional weapons obviously aren't allowed. I really, really hope we get to see more of her in the future.
Now although I liked Donna of the Dead it was main character Donna who I took the biggest issues with. It is really hard falling in love with a story when the main character is just so incredibly unlikable. Donna is self centered, rude to the other survivors, treats her best friend like crap and is unwilling to help with the simplest of tasks unless it involves tearing down others and making herself look good. Donna's only redeemable quality is her love for her other best friend Phoebe. Unlike Deke (whose treated worse than a door mat at times) I can tell she truly cared about her since she showed genuine emotion when it's made clear that she might never see her again.
Another character I took issue with but too a lesser extent is Saul. Not enough back story is known about him but yet here he is the obvious big bad of the story. What I want to know is was he always such a jerk or did the virus change him? How much control does her actually have and why is he different? I'm not sure the answer will matter but at least I'd have them. He actually reminded me way too much of Eliza (a character I loathe completely) from Mark Tufo's Zombie fallout series and I admit maybe I was subconsciously projecting my hate for that character onto him due to the obvious similarities between them.
As far as Zombie stories go, I've certainly read worse. I think if I had liked Donna more the enjoyability factor would've been much higher. It is really hard to love a book, especially in the Zombie genre, when you feel indifferent to the main characters survival. However, I do think Donna of the Dead had some really interesting ideas in it and therefore will still be one I follow should a sequel ever be written. With that being said, I will be rating Donna of the Dead by Alison Kemper ★★★.
About the Author
Alison Kemper grew up in South Florida, the only girl on a street with eleven boys. She spent most of her childhood paddling a canoe through neighborhood canals and looking for adventure. She usually found it. Sometimes the police were involved. And large dogs. And one time, a very territorial snake. She now lives in North Carolina and writes books. The books often include girls having adventures. With boys. Cute boys. And cute dogs too. But no cute snakes. Never cute snakes.
Follow Alison: Goodreads / Website / Twitter
Out of curiosity, Have you read heard of Donna of the Dead?
If yes, Will you be reading it?
What's your take on Zombie novels with a romantic twist?
Does the romantic aspect make them more or less appealing?
Leave me your answers in the comments below or feel free to tweet me them @Hermyoni
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