Top positive review
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I <3 Zombies!
on January 24, 2014
I was stoked to have received an ARC of Lia Habel's debut Dearly, Departed. It sounded like an incredible read! A mish-mash of dystopian and paranormal and all sorts of excitement! It didn't disappoint either!
First let me get through the teeny-tiny negatives I had about the book, and that was mostly the history lessons we had to have, it is pretty necessary but at times I got a little lost with all the info. It wasn't necessarily info dumping, but it was still a LOT to take in! There's so much history we need to learn and why things are the way they are.
It's the year 2195 and a lot has happened. One thing I found interesting was that some of the people, particularly the group we focus with, Nora and her friends and family, all live in a Victorian way of life. In fact they live in New Victoria. It was kind of odd, in a unique sort of way to see the future being modeled in the form of the past! Plus there was still all this new technology and other gizmos that they still had, so at times I found myself chuckling a bit, just because I would forget that this was a dystopian novel, it combines a futuristic and past-like feeling that was truly extraordinary!
This was a very entertaining zombie novel, not having read too many. There are two sets of zombies, one is our traditional BRAIIIIIIIIIINNNNSS, stumbling about on disjointed limbs and eyeballs falling out of sockets--if they're still there that is! And then we have the zombies who are like Bram, who still have sense--is the best way to explain it. They act like normal human beings, with the obvious differences in appearances and appetites.
The storyline goes that Nora is kidnapped by the good zombies in order to protect her, there are big reasons why but I won't get into that. Despite being a long book at 471 pages, the story didn't really seem stretched or anything, the pacing was good for Nora has to adjust to the fact that there are good zombies and she's among them--along with excepting some other harsh truths!
Bram, oh my! I never thought I would fall in love with a zombie like Nora, but man, he is one in a million! He's a very considerate dude and he grows to care for Nora as she does for him. But there's no insta-love like we sometimes see in YA. Theirs was a gradual romance and I love those the most really! I love it when characters get to know one another and then the love forms. It just reads better for me in some cases!
This story was told from 5 different p.o.v.s all in first person, what was nice that each chapter is labeled with the narrator so there's no confusion. By being in all these people's minds we get to see a lot of what's going down and around. And sometimes that did get a little confusing, but not overly so.
Overall this was a pretty damn good read! I did thoroughly enjoy it despite some confusion in the beginning with the history lessons and what not! The supporting characters were all fan-tab-u-lous too! Nora's BFF Pam totally rocks! She goes from the quiet and meek girl to a total a$$-kicking one! Loved her character development!
The ending was decent, there's no humongous cliffhanger, just one that leaves you saying, "oh daaaaaaamn!" like it was wicked awesome! And it was! True there is a new problem on the horizon but it's one you could see coming all along so it wasn't a total shock! Now there's just the loooooong wait til the next one, Dearly, Beloved!