My So-Called Death

Stacey Jay, Author . Flux $9.95 (229p) ISBN 978-0-7387-1543-8

Unlike Jay's You Are So Undead to Me and Undead Much , the heroine of her latest novel doesn't beat zombies—she joins 'em. After an accident cracks open her skull, 14-year-old cheerleader Karen discovers that she is one of the “Death Challenged,” and she agrees to attend DEAD High (“Death-Challenged Education for Adolescents and the Deprogrammed”). Adjusting to lunch menus that list “Popcorn pig brain bites” and being wary of maggots (“a zombie's only natural predator”) isn't easy, but the story takes off after the illegal brain harvesting of a student. For the death-challenged, brain removal can lead to permanent death if the brain is not restored within days, leading to a race to find the thief. As the brain thefts continue, Karen suspects sexy swimmer Gavin, but the murder of Karen's closest friend somehow leads her to team up with him. Though not for the faint of heart, the premise and gruesome details (“the back of my skull burst open like a pomegranate seed”) should appeal to those with a dark sense of humor. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/08/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 258 pages - 978-1-5025-0171-4
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