Saturday, August 7, 2010

Passing Strange (Generation Dead, #3) by Daniel Waters

Title: Passing Strange (Generation Dead, #3)
Author: Daniel Waters
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Paperback, 386 pages
Date Published: July 8, 2010
*This is a UK version, so page numbers, dates, etc. may differ

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
Karen DeSonne always passed as a normal (if pale) teenager; with her friends, with her family, and at school. Passing cost her the love of her life. And now that Karen’s dead, she’s still passing—this time, as alive. Karen DeSonne just happens to be an extremely human-like zombie. Meanwhile, Karen’s dead friends have been fingered in a high-profile murder, causing a new round of antizombie regulations that have forced them into hiding. Karen soon learns that the “murder” that destroyed their non-life was a hoax, staged by Pete Martinsburg and his bioist zealots. Obtaining enough evidence to expose the fraud and prove her friends’ innocence means doing the unthinkable: becoming Pete’s girlfriend. Karen’s only hope is that the enemy never realizes who she really is—because the consequences would be worse than death.
Passing Strange, the third installment in the Generation Dead series, was not quite what I had expected. The majority of the novel was from Karen’s point of view, which carries a drastically different tone from the first two. The lack of appearances by the characters that were heavily featured in the last two novels was difficult to get used to at first.

For a zombie, Karen is quite the lively character. She’s feisty and strong, but she hides her incredibly vulnerable and insecure side from everyone. This is entire book is really about getting to know Karen DeSonne, the once in love, once suicidal, once zombie, but always caring person that will go to no ends to protect the people she cares for. Like all teens, zombie or otherwise, Karen really isn’t sure who she is yet. She knows who she wants to be though and that pushes her to figure out exactly what Pete Martinsburg is up to and to figure out a way to exonerate her zombie buddies for crimes they didn’t commit.

To do so, she does a crazy thing. She passes for a human and starts dating Pete. With this, we get to go inside the mind of the sadistic teen and maybe even glimpse his softer side. Karen’s constant struggle with herself keeps the story interesting, but this one certainly has less going on. It took me a while to really get into Karen and want to know what was going to happen to her. I find it funny that she goes on about how much she loves Phoebe and how Phoebe has such a magnetic personality because I couldn’t agree more. Throughout Passing Strange, I found myself missing Phoebe more and more. The story wasn’t the same with such few appearances by my favorite character, but without her, we get to know other characters, like Tak. Before, I couldn’t help but hate Tak, but after reading this, I’m more than willing to give him another shot and Passing Strange won't be my favorite book in the series, but it was a very different and interesting installment. Karen's story is one that needed to be told and I enjoyed the journey she went on to find out just who she is.

While this installment doesn’t quite live up to the others, there were many moments that demonstrated Waters uncanny ability to turn words into beauty and find hope in even the most dire of situations.

Opening line(s): I don’t want to die, I thought. Not again. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line: Where there’s life, no matter how we define it, there’s hope. ~ pg 257
*While this book was provided to me by Simon & Schuster UK, this review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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