This book intrigued and pissed me off all at the same time. I had heard about this book and the movie for quite some time but never had any interest but it was the pick of my book club so I waited to the last possible second to read it. I'm glad I did, although I am SO frustrated. This book is so close to the truth yet so far away all at the same time. It does its best to warm and fuzzy this aching, calling part in the depths of people but then leaves the reader with the only answer this world seems to care about: hormonal, teenage "love" saves the world.
Anyone who is on the other side of teenage love knows that it is intense feeling, to be sure, but lasting? Hardly.
Here's what intrigued me about the book—one little part right towards the end:
"This plague...," Julie says in a very soft voice. "This curse...I have an idea where it came from..."
The clouds are thin and pink overhead, stretched out into delicately textured swirls. A bracing cold wind whips across the roof and makes us squint.
"I don't think it's from any spell or virus or nuclear rays. I think it's from a deeper place. I think we brought it here."
Our shoulders are pressed together. She is cool to the touch. As if her warmth is retreating, curling deep inside her to escape the extinguishing wind.
"I think we crushed ourselves down over the centuries. Buried ourselves under greed and hate and whatever other sins we could find until our souls finally hit the rock bottom of the universe. And then they scraped a hole through it, into some...dark place."
I hear pigeons cooing somewhere in the eaves. Starlings zip and dive against the sky, pretty much unaffected by the end of our silly civilization.
"We released it. We poked through the seabed and the oil erupted, painted us black, pulled our inner sickness out for everyone to see. Now here we are in the dry corpse of a world, rotting on our feet till there's nothing left but bones and the buzz of flies."
So. much. truth. right. there.
But then it all gets solved when the zombie and the girl kiss, because they love each other, and something magic happens—he comes back to life. Let's just mention on the side that the only reason he loves her is because he has memories of her by eating her boyfriend's brain. What? I can't even go into how that is all sorts of wrong or how messed up this world is that this book is so popular with the teenage girls that there is a movie. AHHHH. It's Twilight all over again but with zombies instead of vampires.
And to make it even more maddening is that it hits on truth: the answer to saving the world from such a horrible state IS love. But how can a week-old fleeting, teenage love (that hasn't even stood the test of a seasoned 60-year old marriage) be the answer to a world full of zombies created through centuries of our greed and hate and other SINS? (Let's just make a note that the word "sin" is actually used.) That's like putting a band-aid over an oil spill and calling the problem solved. Will NEVER work.
Only a powerful, incredible, never failing love could possibly come close to fixing the problem. Only a mind-boggling love could bring the dead to life.
I know of a book who has an answer. It's called the Bible. It's been around for a very long time. Long enough for people to take the truth of it and water it down into a teenage hormonal version and call it an answer.
For God so LOVED the world that He gave his only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should NOT PERISH but have eternal life. John 3:16I've "just found" the answer for the zombie apocalypse. You're welcome.