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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My So Called Unlife.
You know your a Redneck Junkie when: You need to become a member of the undead to kick your habit.

Angel Crawford was practically born emblazoned with an L for loser in the middle of her forehead. She didn't have much choice in changing her hard knock status with a mentally ill mother, a drunk for a father, and being a high school drop out. Angel seems to be...
Published on July 5, 2011 by Kale

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings..." 3.5 Stars.
Not really. At least, not *this* Angel.

Zero aspirations in life, avoiding getting beat up by her alcoholic father and pretty much just floating by in a drug haze was Angel Crawford's 'normal' day to day existence before an accident, sketchy memories and some weird cravings turned her old life into something to actually live for. Thing is, she and everything...
Published 16 months ago by Katie A. E.


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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My So Called Unlife., July 5, 2011
You know your a Redneck Junkie when: You need to become a member of the undead to kick your habit.

Angel Crawford was practically born emblazoned with an L for loser in the middle of her forehead. She didn't have much choice in changing her hard knock status with a mentally ill mother, a drunk for a father, and being a high school drop out. Angel seems to be hurtling herself into all the pitfalls of her white trash standing, including a felony, a deadbeat boyfriend, drug and alcohol addiction, and a steadily growing resume of former dead end jobs.

And then she dies. Or at least she thinks she did. Angel has some flashes of an accident. But the details of her condition and the events leading up to them are a bit fuzzy. Angel wakes in the hospital without a scratch on her. She then starts to receive cryptic messages and a seemingly too good to be true job. What Angel doesn't know is that she has been changed into a zombie. She looks fine, feels fine, but Angel is going to have to learn quickly that all that can change in an instant if she doesn't get the nourishment she needs. Without the self-induced intoxicated drug haze, it turns out Angel is a pretty clever cookie. And since they've been hauling in numerous headless dead bodies to the morgue, Angels going to have to use all the brains she's got to solve the murders, and keep her strength up.

My Life as a White Trash Zombie was an interesting take on a second chance. Diana Rowland really showed how one incident can change someone's life for good or bad. With Angel's addictions stripped away and a good opportunity to support herself she found her self worth. This is made even more interesting with the vehicle Rowland uses to employ change, zombie-ism.

I was skeptical about this premise. The title was provocative, but the cover art sold me on giving this one a chance. I'm glad I did. This book is filled with rich characters and decent story lines. Reading about Angel's prior decline and present rise, while stumbling through her revelations on becoming a zombie where very entertaining. Rowland created a nice mix of background information, zombie high jinx, and mystery. I loved the supporting cast as well, and the little love story at the end. I think there where parts of the story that were a bit slow but overall a good read with great potential for a sequel.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent new series!, July 7, 2011
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Joseph (MADISON, WI, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I heard about this book last year during during the Romantic Times convention. Diana was talking about the newest book she was working on about a white trash zombie who gets a job as a morgue tech for easy access to brains. I know it's shocking, but the an unpolitically correct story about a zombie is totally up my alley. Also, being a huge fan of the Kara Gillian series by Rowland I have been waiting impatiently for this book to release.

The book opens with Angel waking up in the hospital. She was brought in as a suspected overdose victim. Her scattered memories and the mysterious package left for her at the hospital hint at something entirely different. Now don't accuse me of spoiling the book for you, but she has been turned into a zombie. Of course the reason why she has been turned into a zombie and who her mysterious mentor is keeps you hanging through the ending of the book. In fact the majority of the book is about how being turned into a zombie is one of the best things that has ever happened to her.

Also a good deal of the buildup is world-building. Namely, introducing you to what it means to be a zombie in this book series. It also lays the groundwork for how the zombies abilities and weaknesses work. The author takes the difficult situation of having to make a zombie likable and excels at it. By the end of the story I was really rooting for her.

This brings me to the end of the story. As I insinuated in an above comment, I will not spoil the story. George R.R. Martin may threaten to put a spoilers head on a pike, but the author in question on this series has certifications maintaining her aim and ability with deadly weapons. (According to her own bio she has worked in the police force among other jobs.) That being said, I will say that her ending took me by surprise. My expectation is for an ending (even one with a twist) to be along the lines of the direction I thought the story was going. Rowland caught me on this one, marking it as one of my favorite reads so far this season.

I will over the caveat that this is a story about zombies. Those with a weak constitution should be forewarned. Even if you are a little skittish at the thought of brain-eating zombies, I would urge you to read this as you might very well be surprised at the extent to which you enjoy the novel. Mrs. Zombie (who is ironically not a fan of the gore) is chomping at the bit to read my copy of it.

Easily I will give this one a full 5 dancing zombies out of 5. If you want to go the Slayer route on it, Faith calls this one 5-by-5. No matter what pop culture reference you use, it is easily worth the money. To prove that fact, even with my library budget tight I am going to stop tonight and purchase a retail copy. Normally I would consider this one for a Nook purchase, but that cover art is just to damn good to pass up!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings..." 3.5 Stars., April 27, 2013
By 
Not really. At least, not *this* Angel.

Zero aspirations in life, avoiding getting beat up by her alcoholic father and pretty much just floating by in a drug haze was Angel Crawford's 'normal' day to day existence before an accident, sketchy memories and some weird cravings turned her old life into something to actually live for. Thing is, she and everything else, is far from normal but that's okay. After she gets over freaking out in horror at loving brains like candy, Angel's learning that in death, life is so much sweeter all around. For one, she's trying to clean herself up and just Get Better. Strangely enough, she's succeeding and her new job at the ME's Office and her fellow co-workers, is helping. Not to mention--free brains! But as decapitated heads start turning up, and Angel starts learning about the ins and outs of being a zombie, she soon discovers that she's far from unique or alone. Is that good, or bad, because it seems that zombies are on the menu for someone, and Angel's worried she might be next. And more importantly, who is her mysterious benefactor, and did he or she or they turn her into one of the walking dead?

I have passed by on this series often, despite liking the concept but I got soooo burnt out from reading slapped together or trying-too-hard UF that never hit the mark for me, and yet, manage to get stellar reviews that make no sense to me. Also, I didn't take to her other series and too often, series from the same author tend to have the same voice in a different, lackluster setting. However, I was pleasantly surprised by reading this book, which had a fine balance of UF and very firmly grounded in the present, here and now. It's more character driven than I expected but I liked Angel a lot. She's gruff, she's young, punkish and a self-proclaimed 'loser' but she's also introspective, hopeful and funny. The secondary characters paled in comparison to Angel, who was just really fleshed out and cohesive; she dominated every page with force that couldn't be matched by any other character, including a possible love interest.

Rowland is a good writer as much as a solid story teller; she can show and tell seamlessly and logically. I didn't feel like I had too many unanswered questions but the ending was here and there, then over and left a bit unfinished. She did her research and shows it well, the forensics elements especially, though I have a hard time believing her probation officer not being notified after her accident and being questioned by the police, or believing an off-the-street criminal that is Angel would have landed a job as a morgue tech, which would be a local, government job and convicted felons aren't eligible for employment, no matter how minor the felony was, as well as it being a specialist position. It's fantasy, I get it but it's also half rooted in reality so I expect realistic consequences, responses and reactions. Also, Rowland spent the first four chapters telling us, ad nauseum, how much of a loser, red-neck, trailer park white trash our heorine is. I don't need to read it every third page. I get that she's at rock bottom and what's to come will be better, show growth and give us a more rounded picture of Angel, the girl, as much as Angel, the zombie.

This series has a lot of potential. It relies less on gore and is slower paced, focusing on the everyday things that make Angel seem real and likable, though it might bore readers who are used to heavy fantasy and lots of cutthroat action. That said, while I wasn't bored I also didn't have this immediate urge to read it in one sitting. I just hope it doesn't grow too big for its britches...something that most UF series fall into. In any case, I really enjoyed reading the book, and can't wait to sink my teeth into the next one!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Addition to Zombie Fiction!, July 5, 2011
Angel remembers blood. LOTS and lots of blood, she remembers teeth and bones... when she wakes up in the hospital. But, there isn't a scratch on her, she's whole and in tact with a nurse telling her she overdosed on a pill buffet.

She decided she's had enough of the hospital- she's leaving. She rips her IV out, when another nurse comes into tell her that two detectives want to talk to her about a body that was found not far from were she was discovered... NAKED- OD'ed on the side on the road. But she doesn't remember anything!

The nurse gives her a bag containing clothes, a note that tells her she has a new job driving the van for the morgue and these shake things with instructions to drink one only every other day.

Her first day on the job, while watching her very first autopsy...

"A dead man. Buck *ss naked with his shriveled little junk right there for everyone to see." -Angel upon seeing her first dead body.

Now, Angel can't figure out why she suddenly has the over-whelming urge to scoop this dead guys brains out of his skull with a spoon and eat them like ice cream.

Dude, as you can imagine she is more than a little freaked out by this unusual brain craving- but she fights it and goes on about her day.

The realization finally hits her that she is an actual ZOMBIE after she is out on a call one night and a rotted, gross guy tries to attack her for the body in the back of her van!Now, she has a LOT of questions! But WHO is she supposed to ask? Sure some anonymous person or zombie more likely has been leaving her notes and helping her 'survive' but how is she supposed to contact them?

Then there is Deputy Inanov... Marcus. You know, the same guy who arrested her for stealing a car (that she almost didn't know was stolen when she 'bought' it) Marcus is also insanely hot, wicked sweet, totally caring... hot, kind, sensitive... HOT. But, how can she like him like THAT? But how can she NOT? The bigger question is does HE like her like that? Or is he just a sweet, concerned and incredibly sexy police man?

"Yeah, right. I'm finally getting my life together. Too bad I had to die first." -Angel

The end of this book will totally shock you, I SO didn't see THAT coming!! My Life as a White Trash Zombie is total awesomeness. I loved watching angel go from pill-popping reject, to a mature, respectable brain-eating adult.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll feel differently about zombies after this, December 10, 2013
As much as I enjoy watching zombies on TV, they’ve never managed to work their way into my reading rotation until now. Previously, the very idea of a protagonist eating brains freaked me out but the way that Diana Rowland developed Angel’s character has me singing a different tune. I enjoyed the author’s snarky sense of humor and her unique spin on the standard murder mystery story line. Allison McLemore’s narration also helped make this audiobook an especially enjoyable listen thanks to her authentic southern drawl and the ease with which she donned the heroine’s shoes.

I liked the way the author gradually introduced both her readers and Angel to life as a zombie. Crawford has no idea that her world has been forever changed when she wakes-up in the ER after an apparent drug overdose until she receives the first of several notes from her anonymous savior. Slowly uncovering the mysteries surrounding her new condition made the reality much easier to swallow and I always enjoy reading about the growing pains that new supes experience regardless of whether they turn furry once a month or, in this case, eat brains.

Angel is far from being your typical go-getter Urban Fantasy protagonist; she’s a convicted, drug addicted, high school drop-out who lives with her alcoholic father, in short, she’s trailer trash. And, oddly enough, one of the best things that’s ever happened to her is her new walking dead status. Becoming a zombie forces her to grow up and take control of her life because now she has to make sure she eats right, keeps her job and avoids detection otherwise the consequences could be fatal.

The unconventional murder mystery angle was an unexpected surprise; rather than experiencing this book’s plot line from a cop or P.I.’s perspective, Angel has a unique view of the crime scenes because of her job and heightened senses. I enjoyed watching her interactions with the various law enforcement types and how they slowly welcome her into their club even with her checkered background. The twist at the end caught me off guard but I’m happy that it led to a little showdown which had Angel downing brains like Popeye eats spinach.

One of my favorite accents to listen to is the southern twang and Allison McLemore does a fab job of it thanks to her roots. I don’t mean this as an insult but she makes excellent trailer trash! MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE is a fun listen that’ll make you feel differently about eating brains.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the most interesting reads in quite a while., January 5, 2014
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This review is from: My Life as A White Trash Zombie (Kindle Edition)
This is a VERY entertaining read. It is fresh and from a different perspective. To be clear in the past 2 years I have read over 50+ zombie books. This is one of only two that has made me actually laugh and smile. Not what I expected and I loved it from the first moment. Not a true zombie novel. No stories of the end of the world. Just good old fashioned zombie fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brain Smoothies Anyone?!, January 5, 2013
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My friend said she couldn't get into this book so I decided to give it a try. I finished this book in 3 days and was sad it was over. I have never been a huge fan of zombies, they are slow and they eat your brain big whoop. This book gave me a different way of looking at the brain-eating-undead. I have heard so many people say there wasn't any romance in this book even though it is classified as Paranormal Romance. Yeah it isn't one of those books chalked full of sex and revolves around the couple but I don't really go for those books anyways. It reminded me more of how a couple originally get together, minus the whole zombie thing, they meet, see if there are shared interest and take it from there. I did foresee the love story that unfolded at the end but I do appreciate that there wasn't time for it because when there are gruesome killings who has time for that. If you want a fun read that more revolves around murder than a love story then this is a great book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Loved Angel but bits were just too slow, October 17, 2012
I have wanted to read this book ever since I first saw the fabulous cover on someone's blog. It's really eye catching, isn't it? Talk about a lucky author. And best of all, it fits its main character Angel perfectly. Well, I finally made time to read it and, uh, I'm glad I did but I didn't expect it take so much time to read (nearly a month).

The book starts out when Angel wakes up in the hospital with no recollection of how she ended up there. She's told she overdosed and she figures it could have happened, she really is no angel, and though she vaguely remembers a crash she isn't injured. As she's making haste to get home, she's given a bag with a note and a cooler filled with bottles of some sort of chunky goo. The note explains that she is being offered a job at the morgue and that she must accept it, as well as drink the goo, OR ELSE. She sees this as a bit of good luck since she's a self-professed loser and screw-upper and decides to follow the demands of the anonymous letter. What the hell, her life can't get any worse right?

Angel drinks the bottled "shakes" and realizes it's pretty good, if a wee bit chunky and meaty tasting. At the morgue, she realizes she's going to be driving around dead bodies and assisting in autopsies. It skeeves her out at first but like the shakes, she realizes she enjoys it, especially when she sniffs her first human brain and her stomach starts growling. What is going on? Even though the title does kind of give away the game, I'll let you guess.

So basically the rest of the book follows Angel as she struggles with her new and improved self (the shakes make her feel good, enhance her senses a little and make her stronger), meets some interesting guys, deals with her drunken dad, gets embroiled in a decapitation mystery and gets past her white trash upbringing and realizes life may just have something to offer other than booze, drugs and horrible boyfriends. She grows up quite a bit during this book, yeah Angel.

Angel voice is sarcastic and self-deprecating, she's funny and she's crabby and sometimes she's a defensive bitch but she's also an optimist who takes all of the changes in her life in stride. I liked her a lot. Despite her rough upbringing she still has a soft heart and her relationships are complicated and believable. She doesn't blame her mistakes on the world and isn't a poor me type. She knows she's a mess and knows that a lot of it is entirely her own fault.

But alas, something is off with the pacing and parts of the book are soooo draggy with very little going on that I literally had to force myself to keep going. I'm glad I did because the ending is satisfying and answers many of the questions that came up while reading. But again, it took me nearly 3 weeks to finish this 310 page book so I can't rate it as highly as I'd like to. I think if you're looking for a fun (albeit sometimes slow) zombie tale with edgy charm, decently drawn characters, a wee bit of gore and zero sappiness you'll find a lot to like here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Awful Lot to Love, July 9, 2011
This review is from: My Life as A White Trash Zombie (Kindle Edition)
Quick, clean writing. A mystery with surprising twists. A protagonist who is prickly enough to be interesting, stupid enough to be realistic, and symapthetic enough to be worthwhile. And a whole new take on a supernatural staple.

I didn't expect to enjoy the zombie thing very much. I have enough of a fear of being trapped alive in a rotting body (on par with my fear of being buried alive) that I expected much of the book would be rather uncomfortable for me. And there were moments ...

But while rotting alive is a significant motivator for Angel, it's not played for horror. In fact, I was much more affected by the descriptions of white trash life. (Full disclosure: I'm white trash born and bred. I had flashbacks.)

More importantly, the things we learn about zombies - and the things we don't learn but really want to know - are fascinating. Yes, they are rotting undead hungry for brains ... in the same way that vampires are soulless undead hungry for blood. There's a hell of a lot more going on than that.

And the second book had better come out soon so we can learn more.

That said, my favorite part of this story by far is Angel herself. She's got a complex character that doesn't rely on secret pain or a hidden past to be interesting. No, her pain is all up front. Her complexity stems in large part from her voices, if you will - from her thoughts about herself and her situation.

It's easy to portray a character like Angel as a victim or recovering victim; easier still to portray them as a misanthropic or even self-hating reaction to their situation. But Angel is someone who makes stupid decisions in part because of forces beyond her control and she recognizes both parts of that equation without quite accepting either of them.

Short form: great character.

My only knock against MLaaWTZ, other than the long title, is that the romantic angle is downplayed through most of the book. Angel is in a relationship of a sort and surrounded by good-looking men that she notices enough to comment on. She even makes a tentative coffee date with one.

And while I would expect her explicit thoughts to be focused on brains and not real interested in jumping into a new relationship anyway, I did expect a bit more implicit romance. And I would have loved a bit more canoodling.

[Originally posted at DarkUrbanFantasy.]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want to read this book because of the cover, June 8, 2014
This review is from: My Life as A White Trash Zombie (Kindle Edition)
At first I didn't want to read this because of the cover, but after seeing it everywhere I gave in. I am glad I did. It was a nice, light summer read. I plan to read the rest of the books in the series.
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My Life as A White Trash Zombie
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