Friday, April 20, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Undead Much? by Stacey Jay

Undead Much? (Megan Berry #2)
Stacey Jay

Release Date: January 21st, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Page Count: 306
Source: Complimentary copy received through LibraryThing Member Giveaways in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

Q: How many guys does it take to make your boyfriend wild with jealousy?
A: Only one, if he's UNDEAD.

Megan Berry had a perfectly average new-sundress-and-boy-obsessed life—until her power to settle the Undead returned. Oh, and then her best friend tried to kill her—and ruin homecoming—with a bunch of black magically raised zombies. At least she got a spot on the pom squad and a smokin' boyfriend (Ethan). But now Megan is in deep fertilizer all over again. Why? Well, let's see...

  • Feral new super-strong zombies? Check.
  • Cheerleader vs. pom squad turf war threatening half time as they know it? Check.
  • An Undead psychic hottie (Cliff) who's predicting a zombie apocalypse — and doing his best to tempt Megan away from Ethan? Yum. I mean, Check.
  • Earth-shattering secrets that could land Megan in Settler prison for life? Um... It wasn't me!!!
Everyone thinks Megan's at fault for the new uber-zombie uprising. Looks like she'll need the help of both Cliff and Ethan if she's going to prove her innocence before it's too late.
What Stephanie Thinks: Vampires and werewolves are overrated in the Young Adult paranormal scene, so it was really refreshing to be able to read a novel about, not only zombies, but zombie slayers, in Undead Much?. The second installment in Megan Berry's dedicated, dangerous, and literally deadly misadventures is one you don't want to miss. Both Jay's easy, entertaining voice, and the multiple dilemmas Megan faces in the life she could only dream was normal, will appeal to all lovers of the genre.

First and foremost, I find this an excellent example of paranormal for teens. Megan is totally kick-ass and gets her job done right—though the Zombie Settler council suspects her of dark magic that she isn't even channelling—but she also remains reserved about it—adolescent maturity at its highest—and has the exact same problems most non-Settler teenage girls have in their lives. As a Settler, her job is to use her powers to return the raised dead back to their graves and seal them in forever. However, she isn't just another Settler; she's one with massive powers that could, if used for the wrong purposes, destroy both her, and the entire magical community as well.

Recently however, her powers have been ineffective in Settling zombies—and they've even failed her a few times during zombie attacks. With powers as immense as hers, she used to be unbeatable, but now, she's a bit disappointed. The worst part is that the Council, the authority, thinks SHE'S the one resurrecting the freakishly strong zombies. She needs to prove her innocence, as well as explain why she, the only one with enough power to even do such a thing, is the one who's in the most danger of all.

This book is also a romance, one I think teenagers will swoon over. The love triangle created between her, her extremely hot and understanding boyfriend, Ethan, and a cute but mysteriously human-like zombie, Cliff, is very pure in relationship terms, yet the tensions sizzle on each page. Megan struggles with regular girl problems—such as dealing with the discomfort of going to second base—and these, alongside her mission to prove the Council wrong, as well as embark on an unwelcome path to discover her own identity, makes Undead Much? an engrossing and, for me, addicting read.

My only complaint is sometimes Megan's problems seem really trivial; she makes mountains out of molehills often. Perhaps Jay was just trying to convey Meg's personality in that way, but it's hard to sympathize with a protagonist and narrator who nags and acts like a four-year-old sometimes. Other than that, I think Undead Much? is a highly successful novel that dignifies and embraces the Young Adult genre by incorporating adventurous, romantic, and moral anecdotes to satisfy readers in every way. I definitely am looking forward to the sequel.

Stephanie Loves: "'I don't want you to ruin your chances to do something you love.'"

Radical Rating: 8 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥