Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Cellar by A.J. Whitten

It's Romeo + Juliet + zombies in this macabre teen read. This was the book I wanted the most. How can zombies, young love, and Shakespeare go wrong?

The book focuses on two sisters, Meredith and Heather. Their father was killed in a recent car accident. His death tears their family apart. Heather blames herself because she was driving the car. Their mother can't deal and starts compulsively shopping out of grief. The girls' aunt has to move in to take care of them all.

To start the conflict, a new neighbor moves in, and he's a dreamboat. All the girls fall in love with Adrien...all the girls except Meredith. She doesn't see the appeal, and notices strange things about him, things like bugs crawling where his eyes should be. Heather is totally into him, and surprised that Adrien likes her back.

It turns out that Adrien is a zombie, the living dead walking the earth in search of flesh. He is supposed to be finding a new body for his mother, but he falls for Heather. Adrien wants to turn her into a zombie, keep her with him forever.

The Cellar had a little more gore than I would prefer. I suppose that I shouldn't be reading zombie novels if I'm feeling squeamish. Another issue is with the way the narrative is set up. The book travels from Meredith to Adrien to Heather. Strangely, Meredith always narrates in the first person, but Adrien and Heather have a narrator. Other than a few minor criticisms, the book was entertaining enough. There's suitable amounts of teenage melodrama, especially at the end, but it sort of fits the story.

I got a review copy of The Cellar from Net Galley. It's available now.

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