Tuesday 30 April 2019

The A-Z Blog Challenge, Letter Z

Letter Z of My Favourite Books by Title
Two authors, to genres: YA and Horror

It's been a lot of fun taking part in the A to Z Challenge, and been great to revisit all these books. 
To finish off this journey through my favourite books, I have maybe cheated a little: One of the books has a Z in the title and one is about the topic that starts with a Z! 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35896878-of-lies-and-zombies The first is, Of Lies and Zombies, by Angela Lynn. 

Here's the blurb:

A story about grandmas, cookies, and zombies ... sort of.

Katie Bell has a plan: the ‘Epic Summer of Epicness Before Senior Year' plan. There will be late night parties with her best friend Trevor and Grandma Frankie’s Chunky Monkey Chocolate Chip Cookies for breakfast. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll run into her nameless savior from Feldman’s party. Things she will be avoiding: her estranged father and workaholic mother.

Katie has a golden rule: when life gets too real avoid it by lying. But on the last day of junior year, when the lies won't stick and reality closes in, she is forced to run as far and as fast as she can straight into oddly familiar Logan. When Logan asks Katie to help him film a zombie movie, Katie jumps at the chance.

Because Katie’s got a new plan: the ‘Avoid Reality at ALL Costs' plan.

Unfortunately, reality doesn’t play by Katie’s rule.

This is a book (and author) I'm a little bias toward being that I was the editor on it. I've worked with Angela Lynn on two of her books so far. The first being All The What Ifs, mentioned in Letter A, and it's quite apt that these books should bookend the beginning and end of this challenge for me. I love them both as much as each other. 

Angela has the ability to create characters that readers care about. They are real and emotional, and it's easy to connect with them. YA might not be my normal go-to genre, but I'm glad I didn't miss either of these books. 

With Of Lies and Zombies, I had strong emotions about the characters within the first few pages, which is always a good sign. And don't be misled by the title in thinking this book is about zombies, it's not, they only appear as a film project. This book is about love, both of the romantic kind and the family kind. I laughed out loud at some scenes in this book - even on the fourth run through - and cried too. 

Lynn doesn't shy away from keeping it real, and as with her first book she doesn't deliver the perfect happy ending that you might want for the characters, you get how it is, nothing more and nothing less. 

This is what makes them so real and engaging. These are books I love having on my book shelf. 


The second is Dead Sea Games, by J. Whitworth Hazzard. Here's the blurb: 

One year after the Emergency, the island of Manhattan has become a prison. The survivors of the Colony have carved out a living a few stories above the sea of millions of shambling corpses. With no escape and no hope for the future, the teenagers entertain themselves by participating in brutal gladiatorial games, betting the only thing they have left – their lives. Jeremy Walters is among the best of the best, but his adrenalin-addicted recklessness has done more than earn him the nickname Deathwish; it’s gotten him noticed. Now the race is on to recruit Deathwish as opposing forces maneuver to take advantage of his zombie-killing gifts. If he somehow manages to navigate the maze of bribery, threats, extortion, and intimidation, and not get himself killed, he’ll still have to face every teenager's greatest fear: an angry mother.
This book is about zombies - or trying to survive with their existence in the world. This is a sort of post-apocalyptic dystopian novel, with a lot of action and a lot of horror. It is written in first person from the perspective of a 15 year old, who is the main character. 

It is fast-paced and action-packed, it doesn't relent. James Hazzard had originally written it in separate novellas and then with the fourth episode decided to combine them into one novel.

I am not really someone who picks up a book on zombies, but having got to know James in my writing community, and read other short pieces of his, I was interested to read more. And after reading the first one in the series, I had to read the rest. They are brilliant. Nothing quite like them. Great characters who you get to know, with a backdrop of an intriguing storyline about how the world came to this. They are book that literally keep you on the edge of your seat!

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