Home > Book, Genre, Review, urban fantasy > Book Review: My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Book Review: My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Punk girl with blood and guts hanging out of her mouth.Summary:
Angel wakes up in the hospital to discover she was found naked and overdosed on drugs on the the side of the road in her small town after a fight with her boyfriend, Randy.  Someone mysteriously drops off medicinal energy drinks along with a note that she must work loyally for at least a month at a job newly acquired for her at the city morgue.  A high school drop-out living with her alcoholic and periodically abusive father, Angel decides that she should seize this opportunity.  It certainly helps that pills and alcohol no longer seem to do anything for her.  As her oddly gloppy energy drinks start to run out, though, Angel finds herself having cravings for something found in the morgue–brains.

I bought the kindle edition of this book the instant it came out as a birthday present to myself for two reasons.  First, the title is amazing.  Second, look at that cover!  Yeah, the whole thing just screamed my named.  My instincts were right, too.

It’s been a long time since I read a book that hits all the elements I love in literature like this one–urban fantasy style horror, a setting that rings familiar to me, a completely relatable main character, and a fun love interest.  It’s a world that’s simultaneously familiar and special, which is what makes urban fantasy fun.  Angel’s world of trailers, beer cans, and nothing to do reminds me a lot of my childhood growing up in Vermont.  On the other hand, Angel has cravings for brains.  And she somehow manages to keep this a secret in a small town, certainly a monumental task.

Angel’s problems are a combination or fantastical ones (must find brains to survive) and completely real world ones (a history of an abusive mother and an alcoholic father).  Angel has a lot to overcome even before she gets zombified, but the zombification adds an element of distance that allows tough things to be talked about without that dragging down dullness often found in literary fiction.

Rowland reworks the zombie trope without completely removing the essentials of a zombie.  Angel can function in day to day life as long as she has brains once every two days or so.  If she doesn’t have them though, her senses slowly dull and she gradually turns into the lurching monster simply desiring brains that we all know from the classic zombie movies.  This really works, because it allows Angel to be a part of society, yet still be the monster we’ve all grown to know and love.

That said, I will say that I am getting a bit tired of the monsters surviving by working in a morgue trope.  I wish Rowland had come up with something a bit more creative for how Angel gets her hands on brains than that.  It’s starting to seem like the staff of the morgues in all of urban fantasy consist entirely of monsters and sociopaths.  Thinking more outside the box would have made me love the book instead of really liking it.

Overall, this zombie book gave me thrills, chills, and laughs galore, but it also brought me close to tears.  It’s genre fiction with a heart, and I highly recommend it to anyone willing to see zombies (or white trash) in a whole new light.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Amazon

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  1. October 3, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Based on what we heard on Saturday- all white trash zombies would totally have gotten it from rabies. That was totally unrelated to the review, but seeing it made that thought come into my head.

    • October 3, 2011 at 11:42 am

      Zombification from rabies does seem like it would hit the white trash first!

  2. October 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Haha, I don’t see many books that have a zombie as the main character. This sounds really interesting! I imagine trying to hide the fact that you’re a zombie would be much tougher than if you were a vampire or werewolf…

    • October 4, 2011 at 9:05 am

      Haha good point! It’s definitely harder to get brains than blood. 😉

  3. October 6, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Great review, maybe not for me but sooooo very you!! 😀

    • October 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

      You know what, I think since you like the I Am Not a Serial Killer series you just might be able to handle the squick factor here. 😉

  4. October 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    That is the weirdest cover… I have to admit I would probably glance at this cover, but I am not sure if I would want to buy it.

  1. October 7, 2011 at 9:25 am
  2. November 1, 2011 at 10:20 am

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