**(2) out of 5 stars
This story of 16-year-old Hank begins with her ordinary life in dust-filled, post-zombie-infected Florida. She faces another normal, boring summer with her brother Ben on their Aunt Marty’s farm. Or so she thinks. Things change when an itinerant preacher and his followers rent a field from the family and set up their tent revival freak show. From there, things take a turn for the worse and just become more and more sad and bizarre as the tale progresses.
The account is basically broken up into three distinct sections: Hank’s life at home, during some travels, and when she reaches a temporary destination. The only trouble is – nothing happens in this book. And I mean – nothing! The narrative is almost entirely comprised of Hank’s thoughts and feelings, doubts and insecurities, musings and suspicions. But there is basically no action for the entire length of the tale. The inertia of things is especially pronounced given that this is supposedly a zombie book. There are only a couple of zombies in the whole story, both present just for a few moments, and one is in a cage. The only true action does come from one of these zombies – but it involves him eating a live squirrel, which is sad, gross and disturbing, but nevertheless does not seem especially meaningful. And we do get to hear all about Hank masturbating one time, but that definitely has nothing to do with anything, although I found it too rather weird and somewhat troubling.
None of the different segments of the story seem to belong together. Although there is some little-understood or figured-out, but much-thought-about, conspiracy theory that Hank concocts to explain everything. This is an idea that may or may not actually be true, but that nonetheless doesn’t seem to be very coherent, let alone have any purpose or meaning. This book is apparently the first of a series, so perhaps everything will tie together and make sense later on. However, for now, it just seems like a confusing mess for no apparent reason.
Basically, I just did not like this book, didn’t find it entertaining, and couldn’t wait to be done with it! Yet… the writing was quite good and did make me continue reading, hoping for more. The author’s words just flowed like molasses across the page, pulling the reader along into the story… that basically went nowhere. It might be enough to convince me to try another book in this series, and I would definitely consider other works she might produce in the future.
I received an electronic copy of this book free from Curiosity Quills in exchange for an honest review.