Harris, Carrie. Bad Taste in Boys.
This is possibly the worst book cover I have ever seen. Nothing about this cover indicates that it is an excellent, fairly gory ZOMBIE book. I'm going to have to offer this book to boys open to page 151 and quote "Mike Luzier stood in the doorway. A piece of his scalp had ripped loose and was dangling to his shoulder. Blood dribbled from his mouth, and I wasn't sure whose it was. He wore his football uniform; his body was totally misshapen underneath it. He moved toward me with an uncoordinated lurch."
But the cover? Looks like a cheesy beach read about a girl in L.A. with a drug problem, bad collagen injections, and a violent dating history.
Instead, the story is a good zombie one. Kate is a trainer for the football team because she thinks it will look good on her med school application. In the coach's office, she finds unlabeled drug vials and suspects steroids, but when the football players start vomiting black gunk, looking as if they have died, and then coming back to attack people, she knows that something worse has happened. It's a localized zombie plague, starting in the performing enhancing injections the coach gave the football players, and spread by their bite. When Kate realizes that she is not exhibiting symptoms after exposure, she figures out that her epilepsy medication is keeping them at bay and sets out to try to control the plague before it gets any worse.
Strengths: Zombies. Football. Black viscous vomit. Body parts plinking off. I also really liked Kate. The budding romance between her and a football player is a nice touch. I love Carrie Harris' web site, and I hope that she can translate her love of monsters into some nice, gory, Paul Zindel Rats-like books!
Weakness: Wow. The cover. Really, I have no other objections, but I am either going to have to wait for a paperback copy with a different cover or create a new one myself. Why not a zombie football player on the front?
Sorry about the ranting and gauntlet flinging this week. I said I would stop the personality leakage after the summer, but it only got worse. Next week-- only book reviews!