The Girl’s Guide to Dating Zombies
Author: Lynn Messina
Publisher: Potatoworks Press
Date of Publication: November 25, 2013
Hattie Cross knows what you’re thinking: Zombie sex? Ewwwww. But she also knows that since a virus turned 99.9999 percent of human males into zombies, it’s statistically impossible to meet—let alone date—the remaining 0.00001 percent. So she writes “The Girls’ Guide to Dating Zombies” to help her fellow single women navigate the zombie-relationship waters.
Her practical how-to impresses the CEO of the largest drug company in the world, and before she knows it, Hattie, a reporter for a downmarket tabloid that specializes in conspiracy theories, is sitting down with the woman who single-handedly invented the zombie-behavioral-modification market. Granted access to the inner sanctum of zombaceuticals, she meets an actual, living, breathing M-A-N.
Now Hattie, the consummate professional, is acting like a single girl at the end of the twentieth century: self-conscious, klutzy and unable to form a coherent sentence without babbling. Worst of all, the human male appears to have impaired her ability to think clearly. Because all of a sudden she’s convinced a conspiracy is afoot at the drug company and it seems to go all the way to the top!
I’ll be honest, I got this book solely because of the blurb. It sounded funny and so I had some vague hope it would follow through and actually be funny. I’ve never read a zombie romance before, because, well, ewwww. The fact that the author references the ewww factor in zombie dating hooked me in as much as the fact that it sounded funny.
It was hilarious in many places. Hattie is so down to earth, matter of fact about the fact that there are no more men, having not met one since she was six and the men were wiped out. I loved the fact that the first time she meets Jake, the actual, human male referenced in the blurb, she pukes all over him. I’m sorry, it’s gross, but it just kept the giggles coming because I totally believe it could happen. I’m nervous enough around guys and I’ve been around them my entire life!
Hattie’s practical attitude that ended up in her writing the Girls Guide to Dating Zombies carried her through the entire book. She was down in the dumps because her former boyzomb had been stolen by another woman, starts tentatively a new relationship with a new zombie who she names Joe. And all as she finally gets to meet her idol, the head of the biggest zombiesuetical (sorry, I can’t spell, but think zombie and pharmaceutical) company, Geiser & Meyer for an interview that she hopes will finally vault her back into the world of being a real journalist as opposed to a writer for the equivalent of the Daily Tattler.
The world building here was phenomenal. Ms. Messina goes into depth explaining how exactly the virus took out the men, gave serious thought to how the world might have changed if there were very few men around (48% of the surviving men became movie stars and thus were pampered, another hefty percentage became sperm donors and again were pampered … you get the picture – life could sort of rock as a man). An entire industry rose up around the zombie issue, since the zombies weren’t cannibals, but rather only wanted animal brains, not human ones. There were soooo many drugs, and you could tell what they’d been birthed from (Zombiagra, Zombialis, etc.) to deal with the typical zombie problems: stopping cellular decay, allowing a zombie to, er, get it up (if you get my drift), something so they wouldn’t smell bad, and so on and so forth.
The only problem I had with this book (besides the overuse of words including word “zombie” which I didn’t mark down for in this 4.5-star review) was the pacing. The last third of the book is definitely fast-paced with a major “OMG, I gotta keep reading” factor. But the first two-thirds can be a bit dense at times (especially with all of the technical details about the virus). I kept going simply because the humor was good and I enjoyed Hattie’s view on the world. But I wish the suspense and tension could have been wound through the entire book, not just the last part of it.
So, anyway, 4.5 stars (I need to find a half-star .jpg somewhere) and I dearly hope to find more books like this one. Thanks Ms. Messina for an awesome read!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.