Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book Review: Zombies vs. Unicorns


Media Type: Print Book
Title: Zombies vs. Unicorns
Author:  Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: Hardcover; 432
Release Date: September 21, 2010
Source: Around the World Tours
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Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love funny, quick, short stories with zombies and unicorns!

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

I debated for a good long time whether to review this book as a whole, or to break it into story components like I've seen a few others do. I finally decided to just do a general review. After all, half the fun of diving into a compilation like this is discovering each story for yourself! I wouldn't want to take that away from my dear readers. So instead, I'll try to explain what I love overall. Shall we?

Let me start out by saying that I don't generally read many anthologies. As a reader, I'm big on being able to connect with my characters and their lives. I want to feel invested in them as I follow them throughout the story. Anthologies make that a bit difficult to do, since the authors are limited to a short story and therefore limited in the amount of character building that they can do. Make sense? Okay, now take everything that I just said and throw it out the window. Yup, I'll wait. Toss it right out. This book made me 100% love anthologies and I only hope that there are more out there like this!

Each story in Zombies vs. Unicorns opens with banter between Holly and Justine, and that in itself is pure fun! I enjoyed all the stories in this anthology so very much, that it's impossible for me to declare a favorite. However I will say that Maureen Johnson's zombie children gave me some crazy dreams! Some of the stories are slightly disturbing. Some of them will have you giggling maniacally and then wondering why on Earth everyone is staring at you. You might think I'm kidding but I warn you, don't read this book on the bus. (Unless of course you're on a bus full of crazy people, in which case you'll blend right in.) The swap between zombie and unicorn themed stories keeps the book light and moving, and I read straight on through until the end!

In an effort not to ramble on about my love for this book, I'll wrap it up here. Suffice it to say that if you enjoy zombies or unicorns, or "zombicorns" (zombie/unicorn hybrids that a friend and I fully support) then you will enjoy this anthology immensely! The sheer talent on the contributing writers makes it hard to choose what side you are truly on. I've debated this deep question and I think I've come up with an answer. Yes friends, overall I'm Team Zombie. Celebrate or throw tomatoes as you wish, then get down to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of Zombies vs. Unicorns!


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