I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dead Over Heels by Allison Kemper
Genres: Horror, YA, zombies
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The end of the world just might be their perfect beginning…
Glenview, North Carolina. Also known―at least to sixteen-year-old Ava Pegg―as the Land of Incredibly Boring Vacations. What exactly were her parents thinking when they bought a summer home here? Then the cute-but-really-annoying boy next door shows up at her place in a panic…hollering something about flesh-eating zombies attacking the town.
At first, Ava’s certain that Cole spent a little too much time with his head in the moonshine barrel. But when someone―or something―rotted and terrifying emerges from behind the woodpile, Ava realizes this is no hooch hallucination. The undead are walking in Glenview, and they are hungry. Panicked, Ava and Cole flee into the national forest. No supplies, no weapons. Just two teenagers who don’t even like each other fighting for their lives. But that’s the funny thing about the Zombpocalypse. You never know when you’ll meet your undead end. Or when you’ll fall dead over heels for a boy…
Dead Over Heels is a YA | ZA novel about a couple of those crazy teenagers as they try to figure out how to survive zombies, and the wilderness. Ava is a bookish indoors type girl, so when her family decides to get a vacation house in the boonies she’s none too pleased. Cole is a country boy, he hunts, and he works for his money. He is not impressed with Ava and her seemingly lack of work ethic, to him she’s just another Floridiot.
This is another one of my #WoW dreams come true.
What I absolutely loved about this book was that it was truly a young adult novel, that of course can be enjoyed by an adult. The characters acted their age, they made smarter decisions than the teenagers in my life would make, but that’s because the teenagers in my life aren’t faced with zombies, nor do they live in the backwoods of North Carolina either. I don’t know I just really found the YA part to be sort of refreshing. I mean the book had gross parts, and scary parts, but it wasn’t over the top. And the romance was cute, and I mean that in the best possible way. It sort of grew from this mutual distrust/dislike into a friendship, into maybe more, and I think that’s how a lot of kids relationships work.
This is a character driven story, if you’re looking for zombies to be the most important thing in this book then you’re not going to get that. Instead you’re going to get blossoming characters, and growth of those characters. You’re also going to get some very interesting twists on the zombie mythos, so while the zombies aren’t the sole focus of the story, they’re still there, and they’re still awesome.
I mean if you really twisted my arm and made me tell you something I didn’t like about Dead Over Heels (like seriously put a hurtin’ on me) I’d have to say that sometimes Cole’s language is just a bit too country for me. I’m not really used to that. Most of the teenagers I know don’t even really speak English, and the words they use aren’t even really words, so it seemed really out of place to me. But then again, in context it makes perfect sense that he would speak this way because of where he is from. So it’s not even really a negative. In fact his English skills, country and all are like three-hundred times better than I’d say ninety percent of the teens in my town. At the time when I was reading it though I probably thought that it was a bit overkill, but in hindsight it was good technique to show the differences between Ava and her Floridiot world, compared to his world. It sort of set them apart in just another way.
On that same note, I should mention that sometimes in YA novels the authors are so far off the mark of how teenagers speak, and while Ava and Cole have a different cadence and vocabulary than the teens I know, the banter, teasing, and bickering is all pretty well spot on.
I really wish this were a series. Is it a series? Can it be a series? I mean it works perfectly fine as a standalone, but those 269 pages went really fast, and I was craving more!