Series: The Stella Blunt Series (#1)
Author: C.L. Lynch
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Target Age Group: YA
*Review contains spoilers
“Should I threaten him with a rifle?” Dad asked eagerly, “If we’re sticking with gender stereotypes, I’m pretty sure that as your father I am obligated to threaten him with a rifle.”
Plot and Setting
Stella and her parents move from one area of Canada to another (don’t ask me specifics), which means she gets to go to a new high school. Stella has a hard time making friends because she has a strong personality and has always ended up getting bullied due to her weight.
She encounters Howie, who speaks in a monotone voice, looks dazed, moves slow, and is obsessed with her. She slowly learns that he is a zombie, has a zombie family, and is basically a civilized version of a zombie. He drinks pig brain slushy and gets injections of a chemical to maintain his humanity, but it also slows down his aging process tremendously. As soon as she learns all of this, she is immediately attacked by a zombie. It doesn’t take long to realize there is an outbreak starting to happen.
The zombies are extremely attracted to Stella’s brainwaves which makes her a beacon of light for any zombies in her vicinity. Howie and Stella’s families work together to eliminate the zombies in town but nearly everyone dies before Stella realizes she can control the zombies with her magnificent brain waves.
The beginning of the book was slow moving but the character’s dialogue and personality brought it back for me. Stella has the best relationship with her parents. I really enjoyed seeing them interact with her. Her mom and dad are clearly both progressive and feminists. I had about 20 highlights on my Kindle app with quotes that had me laughing out loud.
Stella doesn’t take shit from anyone and it is vindicating to watch her defend herself. It was hard to read when Stella was getting verbally assaulted by her classmates but it was equally satisfying to read her rebuttals. I still kinda wish some of those people got eaten by zombies though…
Howie is one character that slightly annoyed me. I know he is a zombie and doesn’t have self preservation but his obsession with Stella was kinda creepy. I suppose that is the point of the character but it also made me cringe a little when she began to get intimate with Howie. No, not because he was a zombie, but because he seemed like the type to create a shrine to Stella or collect her toe nail clippings.
Other than the little creep factor that Howie had, all of the characters were great. Her mom and dad were definitely my favorite.
So yeah, it took me awhile to get through. Not because it was slow moving or boring, but because I don’t make e-books my priority read. I read e-books when it’s not appropriate to pull out a book (but how weird is that its more socially acceptable to stare at a phone than a book?). The book really picks up once there are zombies walking around everywhere. I love a good zombie apocalypse story with some zombie destruction. Guilty pleasure I guess.
This is kind of an “underground” find for me. I randomly happened across it while browsing Amazon. I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited for it so its practically free. I already have the second one waiting on my bookshelf on my Kindle app! I heard the second one is a mash up of New Moon and Breaking Dawn or whatever the third book was in the Twilight series haha.
One last thing regarding representation! Not only does the book have fat representation, the book is written by a person who is neurodiverse! On her Twitter page, C.L. Lynch is public about her being on the autism spectrum. I think its great when we can support neurodiverse creators, so I really encourage you to check this story out!