Reviews for Generation Dead

Kirkus Reviews 2008 April #1
Is it too many junk-food preservatives? Brain patterns rewired by first-person shooter games? Or simply a sign of the Apocalypse? No one knows why deceased American teenagers are returning as zombies (please, call them "living impaired"), but it's happening. At progressive Oakvale High, Phoebe, who was Goth long before this phenomenon, wonders why she is attracted to differently biotic Tommy. Along with best friend Margi and childhood buddy Adam (who can't express his love for her), Phoebe joins Undead Studies, so she can understand what it's like to be dead in a living world and reconcile the recent death and return of another good friend. Not everyone, however, is so accepting of this dawn of the dead. Someone's kidnapping zombies, and one popular student, obsessed with a dead girlfriend who never returned, wants the dead to stay that way. Stephenie Meyer meets John Green in debut author Waters's wry, original supernatural romance, which blends sensitivity and deadpan humor to reflect a culture clash on both sides of the living spectrum. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 April #3

Waters's strong first novel introduces a cast of memorable characters--both dead and alive. For unknown reasons, American teenagers who die are coming back to life. Known as the "living impaired" or "differently biotic," these teens walk among the living and even attend school, but face massive prejudice. Phoebe Kendall, a junior at Oakvale High in Connecticut, is alive and well, but shockingly, she has a crush on Tommy Williams, who's dead. Her best friend, Margi, thinks she's crazy, and her friend and neighbor Adam, who has a secret thing for Phoebe, can't understand what she sees in the dead kid. The situation gets worse when school bully Pete Martinsburg's hatred of the undead leads him to lash out violently. The dialogue can be stiff and Waters leaves many questions unanswered (Do the dead teens age? Can they be hurt and then heal? Why do they go to school?). In balance, however, the creepy premise is solid enough, and will easily capture the reader's imagination. Ages 12-up. (May)

[Page 53]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 November

Gr 8 Up--Dante, aka Danny Gray, is half-vamp and half-wulf, and in his world, this means disaster. There are only three distinct and very separate classes. The elite are the vampyres-rich, powerful, and beautiful. In between are the humans, tolerated because they admire vampires and acknowledge their dominance. Then there are the werewolves, who are poor, ugly, despised. They must register themselves and during the time of the "Change" are forced to live in prisonlike compounds. Danny and his sister had genetic treatments when they were young to suppress their wulven genes and allow their vampyre side to take control. The treatments worked for his sister, but Danny became sick and was unable to finish them. As a result he has vamp-blue eyes but the darker coloring and the stockier build of a werewolf. Everyone in his almost all-vamp high school assumes that he is half-vamp and half human; only a few close friends know the truth. When he starts exhibiting wulf behavior, Danny is terrified but realizes that he must accept who he is before time runs out. Red Moon Rising is a well-written coming-of-age story with a diverse cast of characters. Moore tackles important issues such as self-esteem, prejudice/discrimination, loyalty, and acceptance, all woven into a teen paranormal adventure drama. The ending leaves some unanswered questions that hopefully will be addressed in a sequel. Fans of the genre will enjoy this different spin on the supernatural.--Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY

[Page 132]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 August

Gr 9 Up-- Phoebe and her fellow Oakvale High students aren't quite sure why dead teenagers started coming back to life and attending their school. The eerie phenomenon is attributed to a combination of "teenage hormones and fast food preservatives," happening only in the United States. Though Oakvale has a reputation for being most supportive of these "living impaired" teens, most of the students aren't happy about the thought of having to eat, study, and socialize in an environment permeated with the deceased. Unlike most of her fellow students, Goth-girl Phoebe finds herself harboring a crush on Tommy, one of the dead teens. A love triangle soon develops when her friend Adam, who is supportive of Tommy and the zombies, realizes that he is also in love with her. A threat by another student to destroy the dead teens ultimately forces Adam to choose between old alliances and protecting the living dead teens he has come to admire. In this debut novel, Waters shows an impressive understanding of the factors affecting teens as they navigate the high school environment. Using humor to lighten a world that is mixed with both violence and horror, he is able to capture readers' attention and sympathy for a group of very complex characters.--Caryl Soriano, New York Public Library

[Page 138]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2008 June
"Differently Biotic" people are American teenagers who inexplicably rise from the dead. Although few in number, their mere existence is causing unrest. When "undead" Tommy tries out for the high school football team, Pete, a teammate, is instructed by the coach to take him out. But Tommy holds his own, fueling Pete's hatred. Adding to the unrest is the fact that Tommy is dating a human, Phoebe. Adam, also human, truly loves Phoebe, but she thinks of Adam as a friend. The three are part of a focus group whose goal is to understand the many issues of the undead. Pete vows to harm group members and starts making good on his promise. When Pete shoots Phoebe at a party, Tommy hesitates to intercede, whereas Adam jumps in front of the bullet and is fatally wounded. It is then that Phoebe realizes she loves Adam, who arises from the dead as Phoebe cradles his body Less would be more in this long story of intolerance. The premise is interesting, but a tighter novel would pack a bigger wallop. Readers will like the main and supporting characters and even empathize with the conflicted Pete, who subconsciously visualizes his deceased girlfriend as undead. Waters nicely explores the wide ranging reactions of parents and friends to the undead. Loose ends, such as the implication that the focus group's organizers have less-than-altruistic motives and why American teens and only teens become undead, are frustrating. Although the book has many positives, it just seems to miss the mark.-Ed Goldberg 3Q 3P J S Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.