Thursday, February 23, 2012

REVIEW: Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer

Zombies Don't Cry Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

CAUTION: Long Review

Lightning strikes Maddie Swift and turns the high school student into a zombie in the novel Zombies Don't Cry. Told in 1st PoV from Maddie's side, ZDC is about Maddie coming to term with her new state of life — or unlife, rather — and the danger that accompanies it. To be honest, Maddie would have faced the danger anyway because she was the next target for the villains. The story conveniently made her a zombie before anything too bad could happen to her, which I didn’t mind but some readers might. The 70,000 words story is a zombie story with zombie eating brains, but it was never gory — Twilight was more gory. ZDC was about as violent as your typical YA, but less so than The Hunger Games.

The story’s subtitle, “A Living Dead Love Story,” is a misnomer because there was no love story. There was a love interest or two. There was a dance event. And that was it. There were no dating, no couple dancing, the scenes Maddie had with her first love interest barely counted as flirting and was mostly teenage awkwardness. If anything, the romance, what little there was, made the story worse. ZDC was a routine zombie story of the ‘save the town’ trope when suddenly the story remembered it was supposed to be a love story near the end. It forced a character to become Maddie’s second love interest and slapped down an unwanted, unnecessary love triangle.

The Characters

+++ Maddie, the main character

I like her voice; I like her quick deduction of her new zombie state; I like how she did not hesitate to buy and eat brains. Whatever the situation, she adapt without drama. When people got bitten, friends turned to enemies, and bodies started dropping, Maddie did not once raise her hands and drop into hysteria. She tackled the problem straight on with any weapons she got her hands on.

With that said, there were moments when I thought she was blase about death and emotionally distant. In chapter one, she was never concerned with the fact that three of her classmates died in one semester barely half over. She used the excuse that she was a coroner’s daughter, but it was not very convincing to me. This a girl who regularly visit cemetery to do rubbing on fresh headstones. Maddie and her humor was way morbid before she ever became a zombie. I do not understand why it was a surprise to everyone and to herself when she disguised her zombie-self in Goth clothes. It was a surprise to me that she was not already dressed in Goth clothes, zombie or no zombie.

+++ Hazel, the best friend

I did not like her one bit. I thought she was pushy and manipulative.
As usual, this is all about Hazel.
Not that I mind all that much. In the 11 years since we’ve been best friends, ever since she walked up to me in my backyard one summer day and said, “I’m your new neighbor; we’re going to be best friends. Any questions?” it’s always been about Hazel.
Hazel the Girl Scout.
Hazel the wannabe fashion designer.
Hazel the head of Cheer.
Hazel the class secretary.
Hazel the insidious friend who use wallflower Maddie for a lackey and to make herself look better in comparison. I felt disbelief when Hazel got mad when Maddie did not immediately confess everything to Hazel, took that as a lie of omission, and almost broke up their friendship for that one “lie.” Hazel never once gave Maddie the benefit of doubt, and that sometime there are things too dangerous or too hurtful to openly share with friends.

I’m also pretty sure there were things Hazel never shared with Maddie and lies she told to Maddie. But one thing is for sure, Hazel was not a good friend to Maddie. Chloe the first zombie acquaintance Maddie made was a better friend than Hazel ever was in the story. I’m glad what happened to Hazel happened.

+++ Stamp, the first love interest

ZDC never let me know the reasons for why Stamp liked Maddie. All Stamp said was that Maddie was unlike any other girl he ever met, but never specific how. I like Maddie but I didn’t see what Stamp like about Maddie. They hardly knew each other beside Stamp being a jock and Maddie looking like a bookworm. They had nothing in common except for art class but only because Stamp was forced to take it.

+++ Dane, the second love interest

He’s a zombie. He dress in hoods. He’s always accompanied by Chloe that people assume Chloe is his girlfriend. He has a slight crush on Maddie that he nor Maddie never acted upon until that ridiculous last chapter and the epilogue.

And that’s about it. Dane lacked character development. Moreover, the only reason I believe he liked Maddie is because she was the only other zombie girl beside Chloe and Chloe was like a sister to Dane.

The Plot-holes

There were a few. I didn't find them annoying, I found them a disappointment. They made the last third of ZDC "meh."

1) Why was it so important and urgent for Maddie to meet the Elders, take an oath, and be formally inducted into zombie society? I got the impression there were harsh, maybe fatal consequences for not registering yourself as a new zombie. But how would a new zombie knows there were other zombies, let alone a society of them, let alone a zombie law that said you got to self-register? An Elder said, “Ignorance is no excuse.” Hell yes it is, especially for a society that survives on secrecy and whose security is through obscurity. Paradox much?

2) How come Dane and Chloe never reported villains Bones and Dahlia to the Sentinels, the zombie police? Why was there even a truce between Zerkers (the bad zombies) and zombies when all zombies have to take an oath to destroy the Zerkers? All the bad things at the end of the story could have been easily avoided if someone just took the time to report it to the zombie authority. Yet no one ever did.

3) When the dust cleared, why did the good guys have to runaway and hide from the zombie authority? It can’t just be because of the good guys’ failure to report the Zerkers or that the aftermath of the Zerkers battle might reveal zombies to the public. The ending made little sense.

In Conclusion

I enjoyed ZDC all the way till part 3 where the plot started to unravel. Then ZDC ended with an epilogue that smacked me silly with its deformed romance and sucker-punched me with a drama llama. Quite a shame because I truly enjoyed ZDC as a drama-free, routine zombie, popcorn action story.

I rate the ZDC two-stars for it was okay. I would recommend this novel for someone who wants a light zombie story.


If you like the humor and popcorn action part of ZDC, try Drink, Slay, Love.

If you like a horror-less zombie story with a mystery that's adult fiction, try My Life As a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1).

If you want some horror and drama in a YA, try Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1).

If you just want horror in YA, try Being Human.

Amazon GoodReads

Post a Comment

You can also comment on the Goodreads version of my review. Click on the rating located in the beginning of my review to get to the webpage.