The book cover. That’s the big draw for Generation Dead by Daniel Waters. Even author P. J. Haarsma’s attention was grabbed by the cover when it was on display at my school. Many students saw me reading the book and kept hounding me to finish it.
This is Waters’s first YA book and I’m excited for more. The concept is that teenagers who have died recently are starting to come back. Where it branches from the horror norm is that these “biotically different” (zombie not being politically correct) teens want equal rights.
It’s a great allegory where readers are challenged without knowing it. Sure, we want Tommy (one of the living-impaired kids) to be allowed to try out for the football team, but wasn’t it spring of 2007 when Turner County High finally had a prom where races were integrated? There’s still work to be done in real life that Generation Dead may inspire.
There’s actually some spooky sections mixed in with the humor. The high school is surrounded by a forest and not everyone who goes in comes back out. Also, Pete Martinsburg is now one of the best villains I’ve read this year. He’s the perfect antagonist to Adam. Both are football stars: Adam learning self-control and respect over the summer, Pete harboring hatred and betrayal since his girlfriend wasn’t able to come back from the dead.
It’s a great plotline that moves at a decent pace to keep you engaged over the 400+ pages. (Definitely a connection for your Twilight fans.)