My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Time Taken To Read - 6 *long* hours
Blurb From Goodreads
Fourteen-year-old Jeremy Barker is obsessed with zombie movies. He attends an all-boys Catholic High School where roving gangs in plaid make his days a living hell. His mother is an absentee pillhead, his older brother a self-diagnosed sex-addict, and his father an ex-Marine realtor who disappears night after night without explanation. Jeremy navigates it all with a code cobbled together from Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, Planet Terror, Zombieland and Dawn of the Dead:
• Avoid Contact
• Keep Quiet
• Forget the Past
• Fight to Survive
The code is put to the test when he discovers in his father’s closet a bizarre homemade video of a man strapped to a bed, being prepped for some sort of surgical procedure. As Jeremy—troubled but ever-optimistic—attempts to trace the origin of the video, this remarkable debut moves from its sharp, precocious beginnings to a climax of almost unthinkable violence, testing him to the core.
I clearly thought with the title this was about zombies, there are references to zombie survival rules that Jeremy uses to survive his existence with the bullies at school, the shambles of his family life and every other situation he encounters. His mother is a pill popper, his brother is a sex addict and his father he suspects of being involved in something dark and dangerous as he disappears every night.
Oh dear this book was a struggle for me. Not only was the format only available to read on the computer which in itself was a nightmare (I have emailed the publisher about this), just about every line had a swear word or something crude. I have no problem reading bad language but this was just overkill, swearing for the sake of swearing. It was constantly following Jeremys life at school and the bullying and interaction with the other kids so teenage boys can and do swear but this was all the time.
Once you wade through all the bad language it is a tale of teenage angst, following a young boy through the trials and issues most teenage boys have likely experienced. The only thing I didn't mind was his zombie fixation and the snippets of tales about his favourite zombie movies. Maybe this will be a hit with teen boys as they might feel they can relate to the main character but I can't honestly say of all the readers I know (and thats a lot!) none of them would enjoy or relate to this. Had it not been a review book I would have given up a chapter or two in, 1/5 for me. Thanks to NetGalley and Soho Press for providing me with a review copy, release date 5th of June 2012, published by Soho Press.