Monday, May 26, 2008

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

In recent years, teenagers in America have been mysteriously coming back to life after they have died. It’s only happening in the US and it’s only happening to teens. Oakvale High School has an abnormal amount of undead or differently biotic students as it has a reputation as being a good place for those kinds of students. When Phoebe begins to have feelings for the leader of the undead, Tommy, the whole school is rocked and no one will go unaffected. Everyone from Phoebe’s undead best friend Colette, to Adam, Phoebe’s next-door neighbor who has hidden his feelings for her, to Pete Martinsburg, the guy who has a serious case of hatred for the undead, is going to be involved in what is going to go down as one of the most dramatic years in Oakvale High’s history. And not in a good way. Will the students be able to overcome their differences to unite as a student body or will discrimination and misunderstanding be the defining characteristic of the year?

Although the story was unrealistic, the topic was a little ridiculous, and the characters were not well developed, I still found myself drawn into this book. Yes, I do have quite a few issues with the main aspects of the book, but I kind of think that the whole plot was absurd and strange enough to be interesting. And although I know that something like kids coming back to life would never happen, it made for a very good and compelling story. I really couldn’t stop reading and yet as I was devouring the book, I was cringing at the rough character development and the unexplored background stories of the main people. I wish that I could’ve gotten to know the main characters better than I did. Throughout the book I felt as if I wasn’t really connecting with the story. I didn’t know the characters enough to sympathize with them or feel what they were going through which I think was the biggest downfall of the book for me. I just wish that the author could’ve slowed down and explore the details a little more. There were also some points in the book where I was extremely confused because the characters were talking about situations or events, which were not told about in the book. It felt as if we were just kind of dumped into this story that had already been going on for a while and which we missed the beginning of. But strangely, despite all of that, I really liked Generation Dead a lot. Maybe even enough to overlook all of its shortcomings and just appreciate it for the good book that I think it is underneath it all. The plot is interesting, not predictable, and unique. It’s definitely not a topic about which I’ve read before. And I think it’s good that there are authors out there willing to branch out into new stories or situations that haven’t been written about before. And so overall, although I did find a mountain of things wrong with this book, I’m going to have to recommend it as a really engrossing read that I think anyone will enjoy, just because of the neat plot, and the writing style of the author. And I’m really hoping for a sequel, and soon, because this book left off with a huge cliffhanger. And while I’m waiting anxiously to see what happens next, I’m simultaneously hitting myself on the head saying; you shouldn’t like this book! It’s got so many things wrong with it! But, yet, I think you should read Generation Dead because it is truly a very interesting book by a new author whom I have high hopes for!


  1. I'm reading this right now. I'm about halfway through. I'm enjoying it although I agree with many of your criticisms. I do, however, like the the heart of the story seems to be about acceptance and tolerance. Although oftentimes I'm finding the metaphors quite heavy handed and over done. But so far, I'm enjoying it.


  2. i really liked the uniqueness of the story, but i see where you are coming from. still, i did love it :D


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