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Generation Dead    by Daniel Waters Amazon.com order for
Generation Dead
by Daniel Waters
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Vampires seem to be the hot characters at the moment for young adult dark fantasy novels. However, in Generation Dead, Daniel Waters goes with another horror classic zombies. But in his tale, it is not the undead who are the monsters.

Phoebe Kendall is a typical goth girl dressing all in black, listening to sad, heavy music, writing dark poems but even she is surprised when she starts to fall for Tommy Williams at her school. Tommy is one of the living impaired students at Oakvale High, which has a reputation for accepting the recent phenomenon of American teens coming back from death, but there is something different about him. Most of the differently biotic students are slow to react and often distant, but not Tommy, who decides to go out for the football team. His choice is, of course, met with resentment from most of the team, fans, and the coach. However, this just makes Phoebe more interested in him. She jumps at a chance to participate in an Undead Studies class, dragging along her two friends, Margi and Adam. But most people are not as accepting as Phoebe and her friends; some want the zombies dead ... permanently.

This is a fun book that in some ways resembles a typical teen novel there are the school cliques, outcasts, and those that want to buck the system. However, Waters also has a deeper message about prejudice. By taking a difference that does not exist in real life (undead), he makes it easier for readers to confront bigotry without feeling attacked in any way to their own views. Generation Dead is a good read that raises a lot of questions which would make it an excellent novel for a young adult book club. Daniel Waters leaves the story a little open at the end, hopefully to make way for a sequel or even a series.

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