Monday, July 21, 2008
GENERATION DEAD by Daniel Waters
Phoebe's nickname is Morticia Scarypants. She and her best friend Margi call themselves the Weird Sisters. Dressing in traditional goth garb has often made them the freaks of the school. But recent events have made Phoebe and Margi appear practically normal.
Here's the deal - teenagers all around the country who die have been coming back. They aren't coming back to life, but they are coming back as the living impaired (dead) - zombies. Some people have been accepting of this strange occurence, while others see this different existence as a threat and treat the teens as part of an unwanted minority. Prejudice and misunderstanding make the world an ugly place for this new and different group of teens. High school bullies are out in full-force, and even the teens' own families push them aside to survive as best they can.
Phoebe is strangely attracted to Tommy whose zombie-like skills are a notch above the others. His decision to go out for the school's football team causes quite a stir in the community. The coach is against it and so are many of the players. Phoebe and several of her friends stand by Tommy and are invited into the circle of the local living impaired. They are also invited to join a group at the Hunter Foundation attempting to study the plight of the "differently biotic."
GENERATION DEAD is an entertaining novel with an emphasis on the power of friendship among the few against the prejudice of the many. Daniel Waters takes his readers into this strange, new reality so they understand the pressures facing both the living and the dead. Not everyone is "lucky" enough to return after death which results in questions and bad feelings in some. Hopefully, teen readers will find Waters' unique tale a fun read at the same time they see how prejudice can tear apart a community.