Hello there, friends! ✨
My apologies for vanishing for two weeks! I finally started feeling the effects of being stuck at home for over four months now and got hit by an unexpected wave of depression that rendered me useless and unmotivated for a couple of days. Fun stuff! 😃
But I am feeling way better now. It’s still hard but having books and some really amazing friends by my side keeps me going. So now that I’m back on my feet, I’m very excited to share some pretty cool content over the next couple of days, starting with an ARC review of Girls Save the World in this One by Ash Parsons, which came out this past April 14th!
I actually finished reading this one just in time for release, but life kicked me in the ass, lol. But that’s fine cause I’m here now ready to share my thoughts on one of my most anticipated releases, which disappointed me greatly, yeehaw!
Shaun of the Dead meets Clueless in this hilarious YA horror comedy set at a local zombie convention–featuring a teenage girl gang that has to save the world from a horde of actual zombies. Perfect for fans of Geekerella, Undead Girl Gang , and Anna and the Apocalypse .
June’s whole life has been leading up to this: ZombieCon, the fan convention celebrating all things zombies. She and her two best friends plan on hitting all the panels, photo ops, and meeting the heartthrob lead of their favorite zombie apocalypse show Human Wasteland.
And when they arrive everything seems perfect, though June has to shrug off some weirdness from other fans–people shambling a little too much, and someone actually biting a cast member. Then all hell breaks loose and June and her friends discover the truth: real zombies are taking over the con. Now June must do whatever it takes to survive a horde of actual brain-eating zombies–and save the world. This is a hilarious and heartfelt horror comedy, an ode to zombies, friendship, and girl power that readers are going to love.
You know how everyone has this mythical creature they love? Whether it’s werewolves, fae, vampires, witches, or something in between, we all have that one weakness. And ladies, gentlemen, enbies, and gays, mine are zombies. Yes, I’m weird, I’m a weirdo, and I kinda love blood and gore, so when I heard this book was about a group of girls who go to a zombie-themed convention and stumble upon an actual zombie apocalypse, I was fucking IN. And when I saw the stunning cover by one of my favorite artists, Jen Bartel, I was prompted to pick this up even more.
The first third of this book was very solid. The setting was super cool and we really got an amazing look at the main characters’ personalities and their dynamics as a friendship group. Although I wasn’t into the writing at first, the atmosphere was vivid and lively, and as a massive fan of cons and novels set in cons, I was into it.
But when shit hit the fan, I mean it. Shit HIT the fan, but not in a good way.
I’ve been trying to figure out if I was actually disappointed by this novel or if I’ve simply outgrown zombie media, but yep, I’m disappointed and I’m still devastated by that fact.
Never did I think that a zombie apocalypse would worsen the quality of the book and yet, here we are. But before I dive into my thoughts, lemme explain a little bit more what this book is about.
Girls Save the the World in this One follows best friends June, Imani, and Siggy as they attend ZombieCon! during their senior year of high school. They’re all obsessed with the same zombie TV show and they’re set to make this day the most amazing one of their lives. But the girls are also dealing with some hurt, as the fourth girl from their lifelong group, Blair, betrayed their trust a week ago. They’re set to escape and meet their favorite celebs, until the zombies they love so much begin taking over the con and they must do all it takes to survive.
Everything about this book was good (just not great), I mean it, and this is one of those novels that I definitely see myself recommending, as the concept is pretty unique and unlike anything I’ve seen in YA before, but I feel like the execution fell a little short and it wasn’t for me.
There was a ton of potential, especially for the friendship dynamics and the romance. At first, I was happy with Imani’s characterization, because I very often find myself disappointed and upset after reading a book with a white MC and their best friend of color, but I appreciated how she was written. At first. And then when the zombie apocalypse hit, it’s like the focus completely shifted to the plot and the characters were forgotten, and once again, we saw a POC be pushed to the side and transformed into a prop for the main character. Dammit, the whites are back at it again!
All their emotions were very surface-level and I feel like we didn’t really get to see how they were feeling about the chaos. I am a character-driven story stan, and as cool as a plot is, if I’m not engaged to the cast, there’s a big chance I won’t care. The thing is that I cared about these characters but it all became about the conflict and I didn’t like that.
The writing was a lot of telling and not showing, which after a certain point just became super annoying. I am a huge fan of descriptive writing, but it was overdone here. EVERYTHING was described to the point that I started getting confused about all the useless details and directions that were given.
Plus, the romance could’ve been really nice, but a thing some YA writers need to understand is that two characters who like each other don’t always have to end up together at the end. Trust me, you won’t die and us, readers, definitely won’t. Slow-burn makes everything so great and the insta-love here could’ve truly been awesome, but it was butched to the max cause there was zero development. I definitely felt a twinge of chemistry between June and her love interest, but it was rushed and forced for the sake of a cute kiss and a happy ending, and blegh. Not into that, fam.
And I don’t wanna be mean, but this would’ve been way better if it had been put through another round of editing or simply been written by somebody else. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go curl up into a ball and cry forever about the fact that this zombie YA novel I was highly anticipating was a complete let-down.
Rating: 2 stars ⭐
Thank you to Philomel Books for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review and to Emmy @ Books Beyond Binaries for helping support this post!