I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars. It is considered a young adult book, but parents, beware. Read my parental blurb to get a picture of what you are getting into here.
The premise of this anthology is genius. Some top young adult fiction writers all writing shorts stories about zombies or unicorns (a few had both). The way the book was laid out was clever. Justine and Holly introduce each story with a bit of back and forth about the story. Unfortunately, that was the best part of the book. (Other than the cover, which is awesome. If you’re buying this book, buy the hardback copy!)
Unicorns= love. Zombies= love. What could be wrong, right?! (Keep reading.)
The stories just fell way, way short of my expectations. Not everyone can write a good short story. Short story writing takes a different kind of talent than some of these trilogy writers possess, sorry to say. Very few of the stories were even decent. They were, for the most part, lackluster stories. Which is so sad when the topic is Zombies or Unicorns! How do you write an uninteresting story about a unicorn?! Or a boring zombie story?! Maybe that, in and of itself, is a talent.
Carrie Ryan’s story was one of the better of the set. However, her story was simply an extension of her “Forest of Hands and Teeth” series. She wrote a short story into that framework. So, if you haven’t read “Forest of Hands and Teeth”, you won’t understand the short story completely. Her zombies act and behave in a specific way, which you need to understand to enjoy the short story.
Scott Westfeld’s story was another one of the better stories. (Though it left much to be desired.) If it was a complete book, it would have been much, much better. So many questions left unanswered. So much of the story left unsaid.
Diana Peterfreund’s story (The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn) was probably the best story of the whole book. Even in short story form, it told a complete story. (A story you found yourself wishing there was a whole book of to enjoy!)
I’ll admit, even if someone had told me how bad the book was, I couldn’t have resisted buying it anyway. You’re probably like that, too. So go ahead and lower your expectations way, way down before you buy the book. Lower them to the ground, maybe a little below ground. Now that your expectations are so low, you’ll likely enjoy the book. My expectations were way too high to enjoy it. With a name like “Zombies vs. Unicorns” you kind of expect something amazingly stellar. This book isn’t that, just letting you know. I actually don’t recommend it at all, if you’re looking for a recommendation. Just skip this one. (Sorry Audrey, since I bought you this book as a birthday gift before I read it! Sorry to waste your time like that and let you down.)
Parental blurb (since this is a young adult book, supposedly for 14 and up, which I disagree very strongly with): Gore! Lots of it in different and varying forms. Cursing! Lots of it, often not the most intelligibly used. Sex! More than I’d care to read about in a book about zombies and unicorns. (And how on earth can one fit sex into a zombie story?! Or a unicorn story?! You certainly don’t expect that!) No graphic descriptions or anything. Rape! *shudder* Beastiality! *double shudder* Suicide! (And in favor of it.) It is not, at all, what I’d call a 14 and up. If it was a movie, it’d be rated R, and even then I’d send warning to my adult friends about the horrible nature of the R rating. We’re not talking a zombie action movie R, we’re talking a disturbing, twisted, nightmarish, cursing rated R.
I am warning you now, don’t read this book. I know, you may not believe me. You may think, “No way is it that bad.” But it is! There isn’t enough redeeming storytelling to justify the time or effort. Pass it by. If you choose to read it anyway, don’t blame me. I told you it was awful.