Genre: YA Thriller
Author: Carrie Harris
Recommended? Yes. Zombies + Strong Heroine Geek + Fast Pace = Awesome.
BAD TASTE IN BOYS has been out for a while. For whatever reason, I never picked it up. I don’t know why, I always thought the cover was interesting. I guess it was the title that turned me off. Eventually I actually read the synopsis for it and realized it wasn’t a contemporary romance YA (which, I thought it was for some reason) but it was really about zombies! Awesome, right? I think I’ve mentioned before my weird little obsession with zombies. I just can’t get enough of them. This is the plot from Goodreads:
Someone’s been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steriods are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe–not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate! She’s got to find an antidote–before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town . . . and stay hormonally human
The first thing you’ll notice when you pick the book up is how small it is. Including the acknowledgment, dedication, and other necessary pages, it’s around just 220 pages. The story itself is only 202 pages. That intrigued me right away, could an author really put together a compelling story with real characters in such a little word count? Harris apparently could.
Granted, Kate really is the only developed character. All her friends and Aaron (her love interest) are only in the story for short periods of time, since Kate does most of the action/heroing moments by herself. Jonah, her little brother, gets a good chunk of time and he is amusing. Personally, I don’t mind not getting to know the others that well. Kate is more than enough to carry the story. She’s engaging, so clever, funny, and a total geek — which I loved.
The pace in the book is pretty fast. The soon-to-be-zombie-problem is hinted at almost right away and comes into play by the second chapter. The roller coaster ride continues strong throughout the book and once it’s resolved the book doesn’t dillydally around, it gives a nice ending and stops.
There were some dumb moments. Kate keeps a closed mouth about a lot of the weird things that are going on when she could just tell someone (like her dad or the police) and maybe some of the drama could have been avoided but… where would the fun be in that? Harris gives good enough reasons for her not to go telling everything about the problems right away, and there are zombies so you have to pull away from reality a little to enjoy the book. Another thing that bothered me a sometimes was how stereotypical some of the teens were… like the dumb jocks and perfect homecoming queen friend. I know stereotypes tend to be true, hence why they are always around, but still, they’re bothersome. And Aaron doesn’t seem to have a flaw, aside from bad taste in a best friend. I really enjoy it when the love interest isn’t perfect but, like I said, though he was mentioned often he was really only in the book six or seven times. Kate, thankfully, isn’t the stereotypical geek and has a few flaws.
BAD HAIR DAY is out now and the second in the series. Like any strong series, the first book could totally stand alone. It closes with all the important things wrapped up, but it does give the reader a desire to see what happens to Kate next.If you like zombies, or you’re looking for a quick, enjoyable YA read, I’d recommend picking up a copy of BAD TASTE IN BOYS.