At the risk of annoying the author because I might have gotten the voice of this story all wrong, I’m just going to say that I enjoyed this book when I just relaxed and didn’t take it seriously as I had to really work to wrap my mind around this very creative story. The book is uniquely written in that it is sort of two books in one. There is the main storyline and then that is interrupted by excerpts from the ‘how-to’ guide that the main character wrote. I found this ‘guide’ a hoot. I offer this tip: do not read this in public if you have a quirky sense of humor and an embarrassing laugh that you are shy about (because you will guffaw and draw attention). The main story line is also quirky and humorous at times (okay a lot of the time), but in this I caution that I did get a little squeamish when zombie eating and personal habits were part of the story (yeah, if it were true that we lost all the male population to a disease that turned them into zombies, I’d be single and celibate). That’s actually the premise of the book which leads me into talking about the plot.
The story opens about 20 years after this horrid disease sweeps the world leaving only about 300K males who are not infected while the rest become zombies. So what’s a girl to do? Hattie Cross journalist for a sensationalist rag with aspirations for writing at a serious paper writes a how-to guide to women about making lemonade out of lemons. She herself has perfected techniques for dating zombies and shares it.
The notoriety Hattie gains from her book gets her on a morning news show and helps draw her to the attention of the talented head of the world’s largest zombie pharmaceutical corporation who specialize in drugs that enhance the zombies: Zombreeze a scent sanitizer, Zombilay a skin firm serum, Zombiagra for erectile dysfunction, Zombicol for behavior modification, etc. Hattie is offered a chance to tour the company, interview the employees, and get the coveted interview with the head and scientific wonder gal, Matilda Stanfield. The corporation is even now testing a new drug that will have the effect of leaving the zombie with the ability for simple thinking and speaking. Hattie’s boss at the paper is over the top excited and is always looking for proof of government conspiracies and out-there stories. She promises to run Hattie’s big Zombapocalypse story when Hattie turns in a good interview.
During the tour, Hattie meets her first non-zombie male, Dr. Jake Maddox. It is epic. She partied hard the night before and comes to her tour and interview wasted. Yes, folks, she vomited all over the nice handsome male doctor.
The story continues with Hattie and her reporter’s sense digging in to a few intriguing facts that lead her to the biggest cover-up ever known. Naturally, this is dangerous and leads to a fast-paced second half of the book which I will not spoil for all the quirky types who plan to read this.
Though the story does plunge into some serious moments, most of the characters are just fun to get to know. Hattie is the ultimate girl-survivor. She takes this devastating loss of men and makes something of her circumstances. She is surrounded by a posse of friends who also do more than make the best of things. They’re great when they all get together. Then there is Hattie’s mom. The older generation has it the hardest because they have strong memories of what the world was once like and are appalled by this attitude of moving on. Not Hattie’s mom, she’s appalled when Hattie doesn’t share about her new boyzomb. Jake Maddox at first appears to be a stuffy scientist, but he has a few surprises up his sleeve when Hattie meets up with him on another occasion.
The only thing that struck me as a disappointment (other than my squeamishness at times) was the lack of more scene time between Jake and Hattie. I would have liked to see more of them together. I thought they were great together and felt my interest double when Jake was present. Unfortunately, he only has a few scenes so the romance is not the mainplot. The story is told entirely from Hattie’s point of view making the book mostly about Hattie.
Again, I caution you, for optimal enjoyment, I recommend not taking this read too seriously. This is a futuristic ‘what-if’ tale and is for someone looking for something very different from their normal routine reads. After finishing it, just sigh with relief that the planet is still populated by non-zombie men (or not, if you’re still mad at your other half for some misdemeanor or other).