Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Let’s just admit the cover art alone would be reason enough to read Diana Rowland’s My Life as a White Trash Zombie. Luckily, the book’s content exceeded expectations of a cheeky zombie novel.
Rowland manages to make becoming a zombie a soul-searching event. The book is still filled with snarky dialogue and dark humor, but at its core its about a woman reinventing herself – with a big push from the undead.
Angel was a high school dropout. She couldn’t keep a job, mostly because she didn’t care enough. She and her boyfriend Randy were on-and-off and their relationship consisted of drinking, popping pills, fighting and makeup sex. Her boyfriend’s “help” in getting a new car, lead her to a felony conviction for possession of stolen property. To say things were not great for Angel wouldn’t cover it.
She wakes up in the emergency room convinced she’d been in an accident – complete with memories of blood and broken bones – but there’s not a scratch on her. To make matters worse, the nurse tells her she was brought in naked from an overdose. Angel wants to argue. She doesn’t remember trying to kill herself or taking that many pills, but if someone were going to OD, it totally could have been her.
A mysterious letter arrives telling her she now has a job at the morgue and if she doesn’t want her probation officer to hear about the OD, she better start up her new gig. She takes to the new job with as much fervor as expected, but when she starts craving brains left out post-autopsy, she’s sure she’s going nuts.
While there is a mystery subplot (people are being decapitated), the heart of this story is Angel’s progression. In My Life as a White Trash Zombie, Rowland has given her main character the ultimate wakeup call. This is her second chance. She may have to eat brains now, but she finally has a job she cares about, people who care about her and no interest in drinking or drugs (they only cause her to need to feed sooner).
Equally gross and heartwarming, disgusting and riveting, My Life as a White Trash Zombie is a clever read. If you like to see a flawed heroine pull herself back up, and can handle visceral imagery, it’s a brilliant book. Fans of Carolyn Crane, Stacia Kane and Allison Pang will dig on this one. Big time.
Sexual content: Kissing