Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Life as a White Trash Zombie.

Title/Author: My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland. 

Genre: Urban Fantasy.  

Publisher: Daw Books.  

Source: Purchased.

Favorite character: Angel. 

Favorite quote: "Welcome to Death." ~Dr. Leblanc.

Synopsis: Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She's a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she's made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay "alive"...~Product Description

My Thoughts:  Braaaaaiiins!  Tomato soup with brains.  Brains in your coffee.  Frozen brains.  These are just some of the ways you can prepare brains if you ever become a zombie, which is what happened to Angel Crawford.  It took her a while to figure it out, but once she did she realized that she had been given a second chance at life...or rather, unlife...well she had a second chance. 

She is not educated, but she is smart, clever and it is easy to like her and to relate to her.  Her voice is clear and strong and I love her self deprecating attitude and sarcasm.  With the emergence of her new life she realizes that certain habits that she indulged in before do not have the same effect so she amends her behavior in part to better deal with her condition and in part because she doesn't want to screw up again.

I'm usually hesitant to read zombie stories.  Maybe it was the cool, pink rockabilly-esque cover that attracted me initially, but I also wanted to try it because the author will be at AAD.  Either way, I'm so glad I read this book.  I love the zombie mythology that Rowland came up with.  It is a nice change from the mindless killing machines with no consciousness that make up most of the zombie empire in movies and literature.

All of Ms. Rowland's characters in this book are believable, interesting and add to the story.  From co-workers to mentors to boyfriends to co-dependant relatives.  I truly felt immersed in the tale and enjoyed reading every page.

Angel's story is layered with a lot going on, just like in anyone's life.  However, it is easy to follow and is not bogged down.  The mysteries, yes plural, had me guessing until the end and that's all I'm going to say about it, except it is well done.  My favorite aspect of this book is the change and growth in Angel.  She was raised in a not so positive environment, has low self esteem and unstable relationships.  The reader is allowed to see her come to terms with and deal with her issues.  As she says, "I had no pride. No drive. I'd never been able to see a world beyond what I'd always known."  All she needed was a chance to believe in herself.  It took self preservation and a newfound sense of responsibility to achieve that.  What I really love is that I think a lot of people are in the same boat.  They don't realize that they can change or change their situation and I love how Angel has overcome her once narrow worldview.

There is no overt romance or sex in this book, but there is a love interest.  It is one of the many layers I mentioned, but really not the main plot, which I like as well.  What I also love is the details in this book.  Yes, they are about death, autopsies, and funeral procedures, but they are interesting and definitely add to the plot and give the story excellent dimension. I lapped up (no pun intended) the details of cutting into bodies, brain consumption and the like, but if you are squeamish just be warned.

My Life as a White Trash Zombie was my first Diana Rowland book, but I will definitely read the next one in this series Even White Trash Zombies get the Blues.   Again, another cool cover.  I think I'd like posters of them.  I'll probably check out her other books, The Kara Gillian series, which takes place in Louisiana - another selling point, as well. 

Also, extra points to the author for using the word "splorting."



Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Love your review and I love zombies..adding this one to my list!

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

This is a series I'm hoping to read before AAD, even if it's light on the romance. The change up of the zombie mythology gives me enough to look forward to.

Karen said...

I'm hoping both Kevin & I can read this and do a He said - She said review :-)

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