October 6, 2010

Book Review: Passing Strange by Daniel Waters

Title: Passing Strange
Author: Daniel Waters
Publiser: Simon and Schuster

From Goodreads
Karen DeSonne always passed as a normal (if pale) teenager; with her friends, with her family, and at school. Passing cost her the love of her life. And now that Karen’s dead, she’s still passing—this time, as alive. Karen DeSonne just happens to be an extremely human-like zombie. Meanwhile, Karen’s dead friends have been fingered in a high-profile murder, causing a new round of antizombie regulations that have forced them into hiding. Karen soon learns that the “murder” that destroyed their non-life was a hoax, staged by Pete Martinsburg and his bioist zealots. Obtaining enough evidence to expose the fraud and prove her friends’ innocence means doing the unthinkable: becoming Pete’s girlfriend. Karen’s only hope is that the enemy never realizes who she really is—because the consequences would be worse than death.
My Review
I will admit that it took me a bit to get the flow of this latest addition to the Generation Dead series.  This book is told from Karen's view point, so I had to get use to not hearing from Phoebe and Adam as much - actually hardly at all! If you really liked those characters be prepared to not see much of them.  Their characters have a big role, but you still don't see much of them.  Also, be prepared to see a lot of Pete.  He was not my favorite characters (understandably it hope!) in the last books, so it was kind of hard to have to hear so much about him now.  I got use to it, especially as I saw what Karen was trying to do to him.

For me this chapter in the book saw it taking a big turn. It became less about zombies and zombie rights, although they are still a part of the story, and became more about looking at how we deal with the choices we've made in life.  Karen, while dating Pete to bring him down, has to face the loss of her first love.  The choices she made surrounding that part of her life still haunt her.  We see just how painful her struggles are putting aside any notion that zombies are unfeeling "monsters". Throughout the book we also see how Karen's family is dealing, or not dealing with her death and return.  I felt so much for Karen and her family - especially her dad.  You could really feel their pain.  To me this was a change from the previous books that seemed to deal more with the kids as zombies just trying to be "normal" teen.  It made the series less fluff and more substantial. 

The end gives some wonderful closure to Karen's story, so I was very satisfied with that.  But! it left a huge door open for the story of Pete! I was completely left questioning after his last scene.  I have suspicions, questions, ideas, shock, confusion, and total intrigue when it comes to his character now! At the start of the book I wondered if I'd want to read more of the Generation Dead series, but because of Pete (yes Pete of all people!) I know I'll be looking for the next book.

Final thought: Took a turn, a good one, from a fluffy zombie book.
Best stick-with-you image: Under the lake-super cool
Best for readers who: are a bit older - definitely YA and not MG
Best for ages: 14+

I do have to share the other cover for this book.  I received the UK edition, but this is the US one.  I'm not sure which one I like best.  You???


  1. Wow,
    I have never heard of this series, but it sounds so original and completely unlike everything I have ever read!
    This goes straight to my to-read list1
    Thanks so much!

  2. Makes me really want to read it. Karen is one of my favorite characters so it will be nice to see more of her.

  3. Oh, I think you've convinced me. Sounds great!