Donna of the Dead by Alison Kemper (ARC Review)

Release date: March 4th 2014

Publisher: Entangled

Number of pages: 250

My rating: 4/5

Holy crap, I think this book gave me nightmares. Gory, freaky, and downright awesome, Donna of the Dead has an element of suspense that will keep you reading until it ends with a bang.

Donna (Ohmygod, I am loving my name right now!) Pierce is holidaying on a cruise ship, relaxing with her best friend Deke when a plague breaks out on the mainland. The plague spreads at an alarming rate, and soon the ship is infected with zombie-like victims. Donna and Deke narrowly escape, and hole up at their high school with some of their fellow students. The zombies are very, very hungry, and a mysterious boy in a red hat doesn’t help, either.

Donna of the Dead was so damn exciting. There is action everywhere, but there are plenty of moments without much action to balance it out. It never gets boring, and I never wanted to start skimming or anything. Don’t worry, there isn’t just action; there are plenty of cool characters to go around.

The characters are a mixed bag. We have a classic suck-up, a goth kid, an eight year old, two cheerleaders, computer nerds, etc. Don’t worry, none of them feel overly stereotypical or forced. Even the hardcore goth kid was very realistic and likable. The cheerleaders weren’t the typical dim-witted bitches (thank god, those are so overdone).

Donna is so. Freaking. Awesome. I loved her, and she made my name seem awesome. Donna is an incredibly realistic teenager. She is no idiot or weakling. In fact, she has voices in her head whenever danger is near. She has her faults, and she knows them. She frequently tells herself to stop being a wimp, and often feels shameful for being too focused on her own self-preservation. She has an obsession with a boy called Liam, but don’t worry, the author does justice to this, and it never feels too overdone. Every bit of Donna is completely realistic. She can be brave and very likable.

Donna is the perfect heroine in every way. She isn’t overly strong (come on, not all teenage girls can fight off 10 full grown men with their bare hands), which makes her a great and achievable role model. Add on her snarkiness and humor, and you have a fantastic character. She’s the ordinary girl who turns into someone great, and it’s fricking awesome.

Deke, Donna’s friend is great as well. He is the typical best friend, and he often has his moments of dorkiness. He cares for Donna a lot, and is generally just a great person.

You know, I usually hate zombies. They’re slow, stupid, and disgusting. But these zombies are awesome. Not only are there heaps of them, who become zombies by a scary-ass disease, but there’s a special type of zombie. I won’t reveal what, but it is so awesome and creative.

This book is primarily a survivalist book. Don’t worry, it isn’t repetitive or dull. Some of the ways the kids find to survive are very interesting and creative.
A near perfect book, Donna of the Dead is a refreshing addition to the young adult genre. It is definitely worth a read, whether you love zombies or hate them.

An ARC was recieved from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.



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