Generation DeadTitle: Generation Dead
Author: Daniel Waters
ISBN: 9781423109211
Pages: 392 pages
Publisher/Date: Hyperion, c2008.

Phoebe and her friends held their breath as the dead girl in the plaid skirt walked past their table in the lunchroom. Her motion kicked up a cool trailing breeze that seemed to settle on the skin and catch in their hair. As they watched her go by, Phoebe could almost tell what everyone was thinking. Everyone, that is, except for the dead girl. (1)

Fans of Stephenie Meyer will devour Generation Dead by Daniel Waters. No one knows why teenagers across America (and only America) are suddenly rising from the dead. But these zombies, or the politically correct term “differently biotic”, are not as welcome at Oakvale High as they would like to be. When undead Tommy Williams tries out for the football team and starts hanging out with goth (but very alive) girl Phoebe Kendall, sparks fly amongst the public and their classmates. Phoebe’s long time friend and next door neighbor Adam maintains he’s just worried about her safety, but with danger lurking in the shadows, he’s forced to confront feelings that might be more than just friendship.

The comparisons that could be drawn between Generation Dead and the Twilight series are inevitable. We have a love triangle between a human girl, a human boy, and a supernatural boy, but it’s zombies instead of vampires. I personally like this series better than Stephenie Meyer, no offense. The writing here is more suscinct, the details are gripping and doled out in a suspensfully slow manner, and Waters has a firm grasp on teen psychology and social attitudes. Zombie rights are compared to African American and homosexual rights, and while references to ongoing legislation might date it eventually, it’s not used to the point of detraction. The pacing is also excellent, with a twist of an ending that most never see coming. It plants the seed for the sequel, Kiss of Life, and the author discusses in his blog the possibility of future books in the series. The only complaint is that I don’t know which character the cover is supposed to portray, as none of the zombies in the book are cheerleaders, for obvious reasons once you’ve read the book.

Don’t believe me? Jocelyn at Teen Book Review agrees with me about the book and the cover and Ameelia Ghareeb addresses the teen aspects of the book and also compares it to Twilight.