Title: Eat, Brains, Love
Author: Jeff Hart
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062200348 (Harper Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062200348 (Harper Teen)
Reviewed by: Bridget
Two teenage zombies search for brains, love, and answers in this surprisingly romantic and laugh-out-loud funny debut novel with guts.
Jake Stephens was always an average, fly-under-the-radar guy. The kind of guy who would never catch the attention of an insanely popular girl like Amanda Blake-or a psychic teenage government agent like Cass. But one day during lunch, Jake’s whole life changed. He and Amanda suddenly locked eyes across the cafeteria, and at the exact same instant, they turned into zombies and devoured half their senior class.
Now Jake definitely has Amanda’s attention-as well as Cass’s, since she’s been sent on a top-secret mission to hunt them down. As Jake and Amanda deal with the existential guilt of eating their best friends, Cass struggles with a growing psychic dilemma of her own-one that will lead the three of them on an epic journey across the country and make them question what it means to truly be alive. Or undead.
Eat, Brains, Love is a heartwarming and bloody blend of romance, deadpan humor, and suspense that fans of Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies will devour. With its irresistibly dry and authentic teen voice, as well as a zombie apocalypse worthy of AMC’s The Walking Dead, this irreverent paperback original will leave readers dying for the sequel that’s coming in Summer 2014.
Quick & Dirty: Snarky YA Paranormal filled with humor, interesting characters, and a weirdly sweet romance.
Opening Sentence: FIRST SEMESTER OF MY SENIOR YEAR, THE GUIDANCE counselor at Ronald Reagan High School gave all us new seniors this lame career-aptitude test.
Jake Stephens is your average teenage boy. He likes to play video games and hang out with his friends. He’s not really the popular type so he dates but not anyone like Amanda Blake. She is one of the most beautiful, popular girls in the school and she doesn’t even know Jake exists. But then Jake’s entire life changes at lunch one day when he and Amanda ends up eating half the senior class for lunch. Yep, they have both turned into zombies and now they are on the run for their lives. They realize that they aren’t the only zombies around and that it is very possible the government has been keeping this a secret for a very long time. They have heard that there might be answers in Ohio, but they have to keep their hunger in check if they are going to make it there undetected.
Cass is a psychic that works for the U.S. military in the special unit that deals with zombies. She has the unique ability to see into people’s mind if she can touch anything that they own. She can also manipulate people into believing any story the government wants them too. For instance making zombie attacks seem like something else. She is now on the case evolving Jake and Amanda. She keeps seeing inside of Jake’s head and the more she gets to know him; the more she starts to question her mission to take him down.
The story alters between Jake and Cass’s point of view. First you meet Jake who is snarky and funny. He is totally laid back and actually really sweet. When he gets turned into a zombie he feels really bad about all the people he ate, but when the virus kicks in all he sees is red. He tries to do the right thing even if he does eat people to stay alive. As he travels with Amanda he really gets to know her and they start to fall for each other. Their romance is weird but really cute at the same time. He has a great voice and it was fun being inside his head.
Cass is a really smart cute girl that has always followed the rules. Before she went to work for the military she had a normal life, but she wanted to make a difference so when they discovered that she was psychic she jumped at the chance to help. She has always thought that zombies were brainless killers that deserved no symphony, but Jake is different. I really liked Cass, she is witty and knows how to use her head. I am secretly rooting for her to win Jake’s heart. I think they would be cute together.
This book was so funny. It is actually pretty gruesome how they devour people, but Hart spins it so perfectly that you aren’t grossed out by all the gore. The characters were fun and engaging. The plot was full of twists and surprises. The romance was weirdly sweet and well developed. There is a cliffhanger at the end so I am eagerly waiting for the next book to come out. Overall, I would say that I really enjoyed this book. It hooked me right at the beginning and I couldn’t put it down. Warning: there is a lot of vulgarity and sexual references throughout the book so I would not recommend this to anyone under the age of 16. If you are a zombie fan or you are looking for a funny book, I would highly recommend you pick this one up.
That’s when I saw it too. Amanda Blake was hunched like an animal on the floor next to the table. She was eating something, devouring it really, snarling and spitting. The something looked an awful lot like Amanda’s best friend Cindy St. Clair. I could tell from the twitching red soles of the designer heels she was always bragging about.
Blood was squirting everywhere, and now everyone was screaming and racing for the exit, and the thing eating Cindy stood up and it looked like Amanda Blake gone totally rancid.
She was standing there, swaying on her feet, seeming unsure of what to do next. Her face was gray and dried-out, like it was covered in one of those mud masks Kelly’s always doing, except where the mask cracked, thick, dark blood oozed out.
She roared again, then dove for another girl who was cowering a few feet away, and plunged her fingers right into the girl’s stomach, ripping out a big chunk of flesh that she began to chow down on.
“Dude,” Adam said, grabbing my arm. “Come on! We have to get the hell out of here.”
My stomach growled yet again, and then Adam’s eyes widened in shock. He dropped my arm and began to back slowly away from me.
“There’s another one!” someone shouted, pointing at me. I didn’t know what that meant and I didn’t care. My head was throbbing, and my vision had completely clouded with red. I felt a weird emptiness in my chest and realized that my heart had stopped beating. When I looked back up at Adam, who was a few feet from me now, still steadily backing away, all I could think about was how tasty he looked. How satisfying it would be to rip into one of his fleshy biceps and finally have a decent meal.
Apparently, that’s exactly what I did.
FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Eat, Brains, Love. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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