Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Debut Graduate: Zombie Queen of Newbury High

Zombie Queen of Newbury High (Amazon USA, UK, Canada)
by Amanda Ashby (website - blog - myspace)
Paperback - $7.99
Puffin (Penguin)

This is the adorable cover for Amanda Ashby's adorable new book, Zombie Queen of Newbury High. Regular readers of this blog will be raising their eyebrows in shock. Tia, reading a zombie book? I had a few reasons for reading this novel. One, is that Amanda Ashby wrote it. I cannot resist anything that Amanda writes. And the other is that I was assured by the blurb that none of the protagonists were zombies.

Speaking of blurbs, here it is:

Quiet, unpopular, non-cheerleading Mia is blissfully happy. Rob-super hot football god-has asked her to prom! Life couldn’t get any better. Enter Samantha -cheerleader queen and Miss Popularity-who has made it quite clear that Rob should be her prom date. Mia is desperate to make sure she doesn’t end up dumped in front of the whole school. So with prom in just a few days, she turns to Candice-her holistic, hypochondriac best friend-and decides to try a love spell to make Rob stay with her. Unfortunately, she ends up inflicting a zombie virus on her whole class instead, and she is their zombie leader! At first she loves all the attention. But when she learns from zombie hunter hottie Chase that her classmates will actually try to eat her in a few days, she’s not too thrilled. She’s sure she and Chase can figure something out, but in the meantime, she’s suggesting that no one wear white to prom, because things could get very messy.
Yes, the whole book is like this. It's great fun and a very fast read. Puffin sent it back in January and I read it then, but I wanted to put up my review close to the release date so you wouldn't forget all about it by the time the release date got here. It comes out tomorrow in the United States.

The book is quirky, loopy and hysterical. I don't want to give too much away by writing about all the funny lines, but I'm having to restrain myself. Let's just say that I love Chase's job title. And I really loved the title he gave for the woman who sold Mia the "love spell". And I love, love, love what she did with Google searches. The Google search engine is much more powerful than you might think! The novel is also filled with all kinds of how-is-she-going-to-get-out-of-it moments.

And it had an Amanda Ashby trademark, which is what I'll call a Moment of Reconciliation. Plus, none of the leading men or what you would expect at first. Both are very nicely done, elevating this book from Pure Fluff to Fluffy With Substance.

The only thing I was left wishing for was that Mia would end up a part of the same organization that Chase belongs to. Mia turns out to have more magical ability than she should have, and I would have liked to see this explored a bit more.

That, and the novel was way too short! Add another 25,000 words and I would have been perfectly happy.

This novel is perfect Saturday reading. Get it on Friday night, and you'll be done with it in time for brunch on Sunday. Highly recommended for those who enjoy fun, quirky books.


SciFiGuy said...

I have no problem with "fluffy with substance". I plan to give this one a whirl.

Amanda Ashby said...

Hey Tia

Thank you so much for the fabulous review - it's going straight into the pool room (sorry, if you haven't seen the Australian movie The Castle that won't make sense but I can assure you it's a very good thing!!!)

And if I ever get to write the next book, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with what Mia gets up (and Candice for that matter!!!!!)

Tia Nevitt said...

Ooh! I didn't know there would be another book--it read like a standalone. But you have intrigued me!

Pat Posner said...

Zombie Queen of Newbury High is a fantastic read. Even people who 'think' they aren't into anything zombie (I thought I wasn't) will love it, too.

I really, really hope there will be another book with Mia, Candice & co.

Tia Nevitt said...

You're right; I wouldn't call this a zombie novel. Not the usual blood and gore you expect from zombie novels.