Friday, February 12, 2010

The Peculiar Superpowers of Eleanor Armstrong: A Zombie Love Story by K. A. Schloegel (5/5 stars)

I got this book directly from the author. I am a bit leery about getting books that way because I have gotten some pretty bad ones, so I was ecstatic to discover that this was a really neat book. It was creative and very engaging!

Eleanor is a high school girl, dealing with feeling in visible to her classmates. She does have one superpower though and that is the power to write. She takes an independent study class and starts writing a story about a pop girl with brains; it's supposed to be your typical high school romance, that is until somehow zombies work their way into the story. Then suddenly the story turns into a non-stop fight for all of the humanity in Minneapolis.

I really enjoyed this book. It switches between the zombie story that Eleanor is writing and blog posts done by her about her life in school. Schloegel does a pretty good job of keeping the two stories separate and the stories are both very engaging separately and together. I liked that Schloegel uses one distinct writing style for the story Eleanor is writing and a different one for the blog posts she writes. This way of telling the story was very creative and it was interesting to see how Eleanor's book was influenced by the actions happening to her in high school.

Schloegel's writing style is sharp, energetic, and enjoyable. He uses a lot of short sentences, but rather than be annoying this helps the scenes seem sharper and the action seem more immediate. The action scenes are down really, really well. I loved the snarky attitude of some of the characters. The wit brought into the story kept it from getting too serious and was really amusing.

Anyone who has read previous reviews knows that I really love a good zombie story, and this one was actually one of the more fun and better ones I have read. Even with all the hilarious zombie mayhem, Schloegel manages to touch on some serious issues around kids learning to be themselves and finding their niche in both life and school. It was nice to have to story carry some weighty topics as well as be lots of fun.

I had a couple minor quibbles. Eleanor bases some of the characters in her book on real-life characters; in Mikey's case she doesn't change the name. This got a little bit confusing because I couldn't remember what the Mikey in the story did vs. the Mikey in the blog post. This may have been intentional and it wasn't horribly confusing, but every once in a while I had to check back to see what I had already read about Mikey. I also found a couple minor typos in the book, nothing huge.

I seriously enjoyed this book and hope to read more books from Schloegel in the future. I hope this book starts getting some more attention because it really is a great book, in fact it is one of the better zombie books I have read.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- The Young Adult Reading Challenge
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
The Peculiar Superpowers of Eleanor Armstrong: A Zombie Love Story 

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