Sunday, March 30, 2014

NERC Review #12: Donna of the Dead by Alison Kemper

*I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I think I'm burned out on zombies/post-apocalyptic novels, because while I found this enjoyable, I didn't necessarily think the undead aspects were all that great. I liked the MC's POV, and I was glad that there was comedic relief throughout. However, all the funny comments took away the sense of desperation and danger. It made the apocalypse seem like some sort of inconvenience and not a real plague.

Rating: 3 stars!
I don't know what it was, but I just couldn't take Donna of the Dead seriously on the whole zombie level. Maybe it was the MC's penchant for cracking jokes in tense situations, or maybe it was because the zombies "roared" all the time. I don't know, but it didn't grip me with a sense of a terror. It wasn't rich with dark and disturbing undertones. If anything, it made me laugh at the complete absurdity to how this apocalypse has turned out.

First of all, I really like the MC's POV. Although, as to her and her personality, I waver a bit. Donna is very superficial, sometimes snobbish, and definitely selfish. But she did provide comedic relief throughout, making the apocalypse seem more like a walk in the park than it should be. At the end of the book, though, she did become more likeable to me. Maybe it was because she finally shedded that haughty attitude and uncharacteristic sarcasm to save other people's lives. Maybe it was because she finally understood what it was like to be the heroine of her story, instead of having everybody else come to her rescue. Whatever the case, she did have some growth.

Deke, on the other hand, was just pure awesomeness! Heroic, strong, tender, selfless. He was everything that Donna wasn't and everything you want in a male lead. He was always there for Donna, always the first one to volunteer for the most dangerous quests. Him and his bat-wielding skills saved lives, while his kindness and compassion helped soothe those that survived. I loved him so much! But sometimes, I thought he deserved more than Donna and her airheadedness. But, like I said, he was steadfast in his friendship with her all the while wanting more.

And that takes me to the "love triangle" between Donna, Liam, and Deke. Boy, I think this love triangle took away my enjoyment from the story. It was just all so very high school and it didn't really make the book light so much as annoying. Donna spent maybe half the book thinking about Liam, describing how utterly perfect he is, that his looks made him seem like a God, and how all she wanted was to talk to him, for him to notice her. She spent half the time wondering about him that she totally missed it on the MOST OBVIOUS CLUES EVER. Or maybe it was just obvious to me. 

Not to mention, the author made sure to add a character from every single clique from high school. The cheerleaders, the emo/goth kid, the nerds, the jock, the newspaper staff, the wannabe rapper. Every single one of them were so cliche and had very little depth

Honestly, this plot wasn't very deep. It's not to say I didn't like it, but there wasn't much depth to the story-line, and all of the deaths and heartbreak didn't make my heart ache for the characters. I still don't really understand how all of it started, and I still don't get what the voices Donna was hearing mean. It was all speculation at the end, really. And that takes me to the end of the novel--an ending that inspires hope and change to come. It was an easy ending for the book, a safe one.

If you're looking for a book that's not going to make you think, that's going to provide with you some light, fluffy fun, then you're in the right place. Donna of the Dead wasn't the best zombie book I've ever read, but it wasn't bad. It was right there between good and please-tell-me-this-isn't-how-people-would-act-in-a-real-apocalypse.