Tom Leveen and I have a few things in common. For one, we both went to Arizona State University. Well, I still go there. He graduated. For another, we both apparently like zombies. I mean, he wrote a zombie book and my love of zombies – while it pales in comparison to Kylee’s love of zombies – is pretty damn strong. They actually did a book launch with a zombie walk for Sick on campus but I sadly missed it because of a doctor’s appointment. Sad times, yo. I’m sure it was awesome. The State Press was there though for some reason they only have one picture.
For the most part, Sick was an okay book. It’s certainly nothing special and, honestly, I don’t have a lot to say about it. It is definitely not what it claims to be in the dust cover description. The Breakfast Club meets the Walking Dead? Not even close. This book lacks any real amount of depth and doesn’t have even a fraction of the character development you’d expect for someone to make those kinds of high caliber comparisons.
Sick is set in an area with which I am very familiar and so is Leveen. It’s set right here in Phoenix where Therese and I are based and, honestly could have been written about Leveen’s school or Therese’s school or any other school in the Valley (except maybe the Scottsdale schools). The characters in the book all seem like fairly normal kids. They are said to be the misfits and outcasts but, honestly, nothing about them really said that to me. So one kid had a mohawk and his ex-girlfriend has a panic disorder. That doesn’t necessarily scream outcasts – especially when one of their friends was an athlete and his girlfriend was a cheerleader. It’s more of an assortment of high school stereotypes if nothing else.
One random day of school the zombie apocalypse breaks out and Brian and his best friend Chad get stuck in the school theatre building during class. For those of you who aren’t from Arizona or Southern California, we’ve got open air sort of schools where classroom buildings are separated by walkways and students go outside to get from class to class. Brian and Chad and the rest are relatively safe in the theatre building but Brian – in some misguided sense of bravery and duty – decides he has to go find his sister and ex-girlfriend. What ensues is a series of stereotypical zombie film moments and ultimately a conclusion to the story that takes less than a day to wrap up. Honesty, if a zombie apocalypse broke out in Phoenix? You’d be screwed. No one would be coming to save you or help you because there are millions of people ready to turn into raging, sparkly zombies. (Yes, the zombies in this book sparkle.)
Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. It was just predictable. The dialogue was a bit random and occasionally racist but, to be fair, that’s how kids talk and how they joked around in high schools these days. Not just here in Phoenix but everywhere. So it didn’t bother me as much as it did other reviewers. (Seriously, there were a lot of reviewers upset about that.) I just wasn’t wowed by this one. Still, it’s worth a read if just to pass the time.
If you’re looking for something new in zombie literature you won’t necessarily find it here. But if you’re looking for a quick, entertaining zombie read then Sick can definitely deliver. Plus, hey. Gotta support our fellow Sun Devils!