Last year I was a little late to the party. This year? READY.
Last year I got back on GoodReads.com after a prolonged absence. I started reviewing books again, and tracking my reading progress. It also helps me keep track of books I want to read, or have read with my brother as part of our two person book club.
In any event, I set myself the lofty goal of reading 79 books by the end of this year. Since I got such a late start last year I only projected 9, but wound up reading 59 since I count graphic novels as well. So far I’m off to a good start. As of right now, I’m at 15/79 books. They range from authors I just discovered to authors that I’ve been reading for years. There are graphic novels as well as regular novels represented. I’m sure that I’ll also be adding in some young adult reads, since Phoebe likes when I read books that she’s read. She’s super into Superhero Girls and Disney’s Descendants, so I know those will be among my titles for this year. (Speaking of which, I need to catch up on Descendants! I think I’m about 2 books and a movie behind.)
Honestly, the young adult books are really good. I read a Descendants book last year (Wicked World Wish Granted). It wasn’t bad – there’s many lessons to be learned about friendship, identity, and the consequences of your decisions. It was in graphic novel format, but there are several tie-in books that are in the series too.
I’d also like to get back to Jonathan Maberry‘s Rot and Ruin series. I’m anxious to see what’s happened with Benny Imura and his longtime crush Nix Riley. I also want to get back to Alessia Giacomi‘s Zombie Girl Saga, because the last Eve Brenner book I read left a really interesting cliffhanger. There are other book series that I want to work on, too many to list, in fact! Not to mention, I am woefully under-read in the world of comics. My plan is to change this up this year. I don’t want to be a superhero fan only based on movies. I’m ready to go full nerd.
If you’re on GoodReads.com too look me up! Let’s be friends! (Feel free to send recommendations my way, either books you’ve liked, or books that you’ve written.)
Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl is the book I’ve been waiting for without even knowing it. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s the debut book for author Alessia Giacomi. She brings more to the table in terms of character and plot than seems fair for her first book. In short, this book blew me away.
The story begins in Egypt, where Eve and her friends, Cam and Alex, are at a dig site looking for artifacts with their favorite professor. Tenacious Eve disobeys their professor’s wishes and ventures into a tomb, looking to find something remarkable and life-changing. She gets more than she and her friends bargained for, and right out of the gate the reader is drawn into the chaos that ensues.
Throughout the book the viewpoint changes. The reader is given the story through Eve, Cam, and Alex’s eyes. In many ways, this allows Giacomi to sidestep the pitfalls of having to provide background information, since the friend’s memories fill in the gaps. In this way, the reader understands that the three friends have been through several traumatic life events, and their friendship has always remained strong. But is it strong enough to survive Eve’s eventual transformation into a zombie?
Giacomi is patient, and draws the reader deeper into her book with each page. The transformation into zombie is slow at first, but rapidly picks up speed. Giacomi is likewise patient with the obstacles that Eve and her friends face. As Eve changes, so do the types of struggles they encounter – and there is never an easy way out for anyone. Eve and her friends also change, and so does the dynamic between them. Giacomi masterfully navigates all of the simultaneous changes in a way that is seamless. It feels organic, and adds a layer of believability to what is an otherwise clearly fictitious story.
Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl serves as the pilot book for a series that I will be following extremely closely – and you should too. Giacomi’s origin story is a great standalone book, but also sets the tone for the rest of this unique series. My only wish is that someone, somewhere would make this into a movie. We have movies about slow shambling zombies. We have movies about running zombies. We have movies about zombies in love. Why not a poignant and scary zombie story about a girl coming to terms with her transformation?