A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
This book imparts messages about keeping hope alive, and fighting for a better world -- even if it means chopping off some zombie heads.
Positive Role Models
Mary is a positive role model who never gives up. She is tough, strong, curious, adventurous, and brave. Her brother and friends are also loyal and compassionate people who try to do the right thing as they can see it.
Violence & Scariness
Life in a primitive village surrounded by wire fencing is pretty violent for those inside trying to stay out of reach of the zombies living outside it. Gruesome deaths of both zombies and the villagers are everyday occurrences; parents are left to die, children are infected and become zombies if they're not killed first.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a great read for teens who love horror. Expect the gruesome deaths that come with any zombie story -- it's kill or be killed, and kids are taught at young ages to use weapons and show no pity for the undead. But even teens that don't usually read horror will find this dystopian romance compelling.
Is It Any Good?
Very well crafted with compelling narratives, this is a complex novel that reveals its secrets slowly. The post-apocalyptic setting among the undead will resonate with teens who find escape in dystopic tales. Mary is a teen surrounded by despair who never gives up hope, and dreams of a better world even when everyone around her gives up. Readers who don't mind some gore will find it hard to put down. Even the romance has twists and turns without easy answers. Ryan creates some unforgettable characters and world-blending here.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.