Title: Eat Brains Love
Author: Jeff Hart
Publisher: Harper Teen
Length: 352 Pages
Jake Stephens was always an average, fly-under-the-radar guy. The kind of guy who would never catch the attention of an insanely popular girl like Amanda Blake-or a psychic teenage government agent like Cass. But one day during lunch, Jake’s whole life changed. He and Amanda suddenly locked eyes across the cafeteria, and at the exact same instant, they turned into zombies and devoured half their senior class.
Now Jake definitely has Amanda’s attention-as well as Cass’s, since she’s been sent on a top-secret mission to hunt them down. As Jake and Amanda deal with the existential guilt of eating their best friends, Cass struggles with a growing psychic dilemma of her own-one that will lead the three of them on an epic journey across the country and make them question what it means to truly be alive. Or undead.
Eat, Brains, Love is a heartwarming and bloody blend of romance, deadpan humor, and suspense that fans of Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies will devour. With its irresistibly dry and authentic teen voice, as well as a zombie apocalypse worthy of AMC’s The Walking Dead, this irreverent paperback original will leave readers dying for the sequel that’s coming in Summer 2014.
I like zombies as much as the next person, but this book fell a little flat for me. There were some elements that I liked, and some of the characters I thought were clever, but overall the humor didn’t really do it for me and the romance was more weird than sweet. I will say I loved the snarky tone it was written in- that was the one thing that kept me going.
The combination of the young adult coming-of-age story and eating half the senior class for lunch one day didn’t really jive with me. Jake Stephens is an interesting character, and his motivations and point of view are fresh. The way he was written ALMOST lets me tolerate the weird feelings he develops for his zombie cohort.
Things really started to go downhill for me when the author introduced Cass, the psychic that works for the military in the special zombie unit. She starts to question everything when she touches Jake’s stuff, and it just is too wacky to work. Blending zombies and psychics is just too much, and the author didn’t really pull it off well. Things got confusing with the different points of view, and all the zombie-eating-people action was surprisingly gory for a book geared to teenagers. There were also a lot of vulgarity and sexual references- this is definitely not a book for the young teens…I would give it to someone 17 or older.
One of the redeeming elements of this book was the conflict. I thought the author did a great job at making sure there were enough twists and surprises and hard things for the characters to deal with.