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Zombie Blondes by Brian James
Review by Nicole Brinkley
Feiwel & Friends Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780312372989
Date: 24 June 2008 List Price $16.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

"Welcome to Maplecrest, Hannah Sanders," she says, without sounding like she really cares at all before reading the next name.

Maplecrest: just another town to hide in while her father flees from his past, dragging his unfortunate daughter around with him while all Hannah truly wants to do is settle down and just be accepted. In a town this small, she believes she might have a chance -- she's fairly pretty and decently smart, and how many people in a town this small can have that combination?

Plenty, actually.

From the second she walks into the school, she realizes that any chance she had of climbing up the social hierarchy in at least one town has been squashed. The cheerleaders walk by -- all blond, super skinny, deathly pale, with large blue eyes. Their names all start with M -- and nobody messes with these girls, not even the teachers. They rule the school.

Hannah wants to be one more badly than she's ever wanted to be popular before.

The one kid who dares to befriend her after she's been shunned by the cheerleaders is creepy kid Lukas -- who fills her thoughts with ideas of zombie cheerleaders and creepy pep rallies. Those stories can't be true, can they ...?

When Hannah tries out for the cheerleading team and is invited to join the squad, she'll learn soon enough if there is truth in the stories.

Brian James hasn't exactly written the most original plotline, nor the most original characters; but Hannah is a character that anybody can easily sympathize with -- at the beginning, anyway. Toward the middle of Zombie Blondes, it begins to irritate a person how she's missing the blatantly obvious clues that the cheerleaders are indeed zombies and it isn't Lukas' imagination run wild. Lukas is a strong character throughout the novel who has a personality all his own, and you're able to like him from beginning to end.

Some of the characters that were intentionally just like everybody else -- the cheerleading squad -- were done well in that each character was like the other one just enough to be considered "perfect," but each one had her faults and personality quirks that made me able to see the story occurring in real life, if zombies were real.

The ending of the book was strong and definitely sets it up for a potential sequel. It wasn't your traditional happy ending. All in all, the story was an enjoyable read, though it didn't engage me enough that I wasn't able to put it down and come back to it later.

Recommended for any zombie lover who wants a quick read and an enjoyable story.

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