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Zombie Queen of Newbury High: 02/07/10

I pre-ordered Zombie Queen of Newbury High in the fall of 2008 at the same time I ordered You Had Me at Halo. I was (and still am) a subscriber to Amanda Ashby's blog and bought both books together on the basis of her posts. Although I read You Had Me at Halo in the summer it took me until December to review it. Likewise I didn't actually read Zombie Queen of Newbury High until my New Year's holiday.

Mia's blissfully happy. She's dating her own special love god, Rob the high school football quarterback. She envisions the perfect prom where Rob takes her and she has the perfect dress. All that comes crashing down when Samantha, aka miss popularity, begins to make a move on the love god.

Love God isn't Mia's term for Rob, I'm borrowing it from the Georgia Nicholson series because the set up is the same until Mia learns that magic is real and the wrong magic can turn people into zombies. Worse yet, she's been tricked into to performing just such a spell and if she can't reverse it, her classmates will all become zombies through a four step transformative process.

So often the zombie stories focus so much on the upcoming total annihilation of humanity as the undead feast on brains and turn their victims that the reason behind the zombie outbreak is never explained nor is any thought on the mechanism for spreading the infestation beyond the ensemble cast given. It's just taken as fact that all the world will become zombied if the heroes can't stop them. Shaun of the Dead thinks through containment and now Zombie Queen of Newberry High answers how zombies are created and gives some thought to why the world hasn't fallen prey to hordes of zombies yet.

All of this happens in the setting of a typical American high school with the prototypical characters played up for laughs. The dialogue and descriptions aren't as over the top as in Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicholson series but it's still goofy, lighthearted and fun with enough underlying pathos of a Mia knowing that if she doesn't succeed in undoing the spell the authorities will have to kill all her friends before they can spread the disease beyond the high school.

Next year her third book is coming out, Fairy Bad Day. I'm looking forward to it.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Sunday, February, 7, 2010 at 15:05:04

Tiny Librarian

Thanks for including me! :) And I didn't know she'd had a book before ZQ and I didn't know another was coming out - exciting!

Comment #2: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 10:42:50


You Had Me at Halo is a cute book. She actually has three books in the pipeline, last time I checked, but only one of them has a title and a release date.

Comment #3: Friday, April, 16, 2010 at 19:34:00


Hi Sarah,

Just got your recommendation. Zombie Queen of Newberry High looks really really good and I have to say you are right to pin point its distinctiveness. It sounds like a fresh change from other zombie fare. I am definitely pickin it up!

Thanks and keep more recs coming,

Nickee aka Fiendishly Bookish

Comment #4: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 16:37:39


If you like Zombie Queen of Newbury High then I recommend also reading You Had Me at Halo. It's not a zombie book but it does have a paranormal twist to it. Another zombie book I read recently and enjoyed (and still need to review) is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

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