About the Book
Angel Crawford is a loser.
Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she’s a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who’s been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.
That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn’t have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there’s a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it’s an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.
Before she knows it she’s dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she’s hungriest!
Angel’s going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn’t, she’s dead meat.
320 pages (paperback)
Published on July 5, 2011
Published by DAW
Buy the book
I have sat down to write this review at least four times, and each time I either get distracted, or I distract myself. This time I’m not letting myself out of it. I will write this review, and I will do it now. I will do it for you, dear reader, because you deserve to know about what an incredible, unexpected gem this series has turned out to be.
I have heard about this series quite a few times, but my interest in zombies ranks somewhere around my interest in reading about cockroaches, so I just never really got around to reading it. Then I saw the Black Friday deals on Audible, and this book was one of them. I decided to splurge and give it a try.
Best. Decision. Ever.
My Life as a White Trash Zombie is completely unexpected and an absolute surprise in just about every respect. First of all, the audiobook is the only way to enjoy this series. The narrator Allison McLemore is perfect. Apparently she is from this neck of the woods, and she does the accent perfectly. She seems to slip effortlessly into the role of Angel. It’s absolutely unforgettable. I read the second book in the series, and while it was just as wonderful, it wasn’t nearly as much fun as listening to Allison McLemore read to me. It felt like she was born to read these books. Therefore, my first rule of advice is: Listen to the audiobooks!
My Life as a White Trash Zombie is a lot of fun. It’s a bit of a murder mystery, but the real juice in the story is Angel, and learning about her life and experiencing all the ways she is changing as she gets used to life as a zombie and all the things that entails. It’s unusual to read a book about a protagonist who obviously struggles with so much, from drugs, to being on the wrong side of the law, to her abusive dad and her scummy boyfriend. You manage to feel sorry for her, but you also realize that a good helping of her situation she did to herself. Regardless, she is absolutely real and so completely different than a typical protagonist that it is rather awe inspiring.
In that respect, half the enjoyment of the book is about her life as a driver for the morgue, and her effort to figure out the various murders in her area. The other part of the book is Angel’s struggle to embrace her new life. And it’s quite amazing just how effortlessly and excitedly she is embracing her change to her new life. She has to give up her drugs, and alcohol and it really makes her look at life differently. It’s just as fascinating and even a little inspiring to read about her changes. Dying isn’t always a bad thing. In a lot of ways, dying saved Angel’s life.
Each character in the novel is fleshed out beautifully, from Angel and her struggles, to all the secondary characters and the various people she works with. It’s not like a lot of these people she knows before the book starts. She’s getting to know them as the readers get to know them, and it’s a lot of fun to experience. They all have unique voices, and add a nice spice to an already completely different and absolutely addicting story.
Things go really quickly, and there is a lot going on both personally in Angel’s life, as well as around her. There is a lot of fun, a lot addicting, but there is also quite a bit of emotionally jarring, rather painful scenes, for example when Angel’s dad gets arrested by a cop who isn’t a stranger to her anymore. There are scenes where Angel is confronted by trying to change her life, and having to face the painful truth of her past. It isn’t all laughter and fun times, there is quite a bit here that is jarring and emotionally poignant. That’s part of what makes it so grand. While the plot zips forward relentlessly, there is so much going on along the sidelines that it is impossible to find any slow moments. They just don’t exist.
My Life as a White Trash Zombie is quite amazing. It’s a book I never wanted to read, but it’s one of the books that I’m the gladdest I took a chance on. It’s a lot of fun, thoughtful, perfectly written, with a relentless plot that doesn’t give up. I was addicted to this book, and I have a feeling this is a series that I’m going to blow through shockingly fast. I can’t get enough. If you’re in the mood for something light hearted and full of mystery, steeped in a setting that is just as unforgettable and lush as just about everything else in the book, give this one a try. I promise you won’t regret it.
Take Sarah’s advice, dear reader. Listen to the audiobooks! These are so fun and yet so heartwarming as you watch Angel mature into a strong young woman. Growing up doesn’t always mean growing older!
I really want to read these just for the spectacular covers.