Donna of the Dead
by Alison Kemper
Pub Date: March 4, 2014
I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
People. I loved this book. I read it all in one sitting, and it's not a short book! When I first came across it on Goodreads it didn't have a cover (still doesn't), and the blurb was pretty much one sentence. But it compared the book to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so that put it on my auto-read list. I was so excited to get this ARC! I try to read the ARCs in the order in which the books will be released. But I had to read this right away. And then I had to keep reading until I was finished.
So I should probably say what it's about. It's a zombie novel. I know everyone talks about supernatural trends in books, and I've never been into any of them before... but give me more zombie novels! Please! This one reminded me of This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers just because of the setup, but it was still different.
This book is about a girl named Donna who can hear voices in her head that warn her when she's in danger. This special ability (which she keeps secret from everyone) comes in handy when a zombie outbreak occurs. Her and her best friend Deke end up hiding out in their high school with a group of their classmates. Some of these people Donna can't stand, but her long-time crush Liam is there as well. And that's basically it. Let the zombie slaying begin!
First thing I liked about this book was that it had a really interesting opening. Donna and Deke are with their families on a cruise ship when suddenly everyone else on the ship gets zombi-fied. And their parents get the ship to land and the kids escape. I've just never seen any scene from a zombie story take place in the middle of the ocean. It definitely raised the tension, having the characters confined to this zombie infested ship.
Next I liked the ensemble cast of characters. I feel like trapping kids in their high school with no adults is a common thing in YA now, but I'm a sucker for it. There's just so much room for different personalities to interact and different relationships to emerge.
The action was great. It was interesting to see how Donna's voices helped her. Because they didn't tell her directly what to do. They just gave warnings and she had to figure it out. I also really appreciated how the voices weren't this random supernatural element. By the end, we find out that there's a reason Donna can hear them.
So like I already said, I really really enjoyed this book. Definitely check it out if you like zombie novels, action, survival stories, or just a nice dose of teen drama.