I received this book for free from Disney Books and Rockstar Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis
Published by Disney Electronic Content on August 9, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction / Zombies
Format: ARC, Audiobook, Hardcover
Source: Disney Books and Rockstar Book Tours
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Bookshop
Death was everywhere. They all stared at me, bumping into one another and slowly coming forward. Sixteen-year-old Zharie Young is absolutely certain her mother morphed into a zombie before her untimely death, but she can't seem to figure out why. Why her mother died, why her aunt doesn't want her around, why all her dreams seem suddenly, hopelessly out of reach. And why, ever since that day, she's been seeing zombies everywhere. Then Bo moves into her apartment building—tall, skateboard in hand, freckles like stars, and an undeniable charm. Z wants nothing to do with him, but when he transforms into a half zombie right before her eyes, something feels different. He contradicts everything she thought she knew about monsters, and she can't help but wonder if getting to know him might unlock the answers to her mother's death. As Zharie sifts through what's real and what's magic, she discovers a new truth about the world: Love can literally change you—for good or for dead. In this surrealist journey of grief, fear, and hope, Britney S. Lewis's debut novel explores love, zombies, and everything in between in an intoxicating amalgam of the real and the fantastic.
I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US by Britney S. Lewis Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
Love, grief and Van Gogh. This book is both a trippy, emotional heartbreaker of a ride. The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis takes you in Zharie’s world where she sees zombies every she goes after her mother’s death.
I’m going to be honest and say the zombies were what hooked me to start reading this book. But I quickly realized that zombies were not the scariest thing in the story. Grief took that medal.
A Starry Night
I have read many books where the teenage girl main character is a writer or book nerd. They have a favorite author that they reference and that inspires them during their hardships. The Undead Truth of Us was the first book I’ve come across where the muse was actually an artist, in this case Vincent Van Gogh.
Not only does Lewis set Zharie’s character up to relate to Van Gogh’s work and life, but her writing is extremely beautiful and lyrical. It’s almost a reflection of some of Van Gogh’s work.
This book has layers and metaphors. Zharie has to deal with both grief and love. She has to come to an understanding of how these two emotions are linked in so many ways. When speaking of layers and grief, you have to look at the death of Zharie’s mother from Zharie’s perspective, which was by the way a heckuva way to start the book, and the ultimate cause of her mother’s death. No spoilers, but that one is a doozy.
Love & Zombies
Bo, the cute and slightly broken love interest of Zharie is a perfect setup for Zharie to explore the relationship between grief and love. Skater boy Bo, in Zharie’s eyes, is in mid transformation to becoming a zombie. Which is lowkey gross, but she sucks it up and engages in the relationship anyways.
Also, because love in a book wouldn’t be interesting without some dramatic betrayal, it’s interesting to see how Zharie navigates the betrayals she discovers along the way from both friends and family. This book takes a dive into examining how the ending of relationships and unhealthy relationships affect people. Do you remember Bella in New Moon?
The zombie thing will get you in the door, but the language and plot (especially the second half) will make you stay in the room. Zharie was an interesting character, a ballroom dancer trained by her mother who is in desperate need of family both related and found. It felt like the second half of the book moved much faster than the first half. My favorite part of the book is the camping section when she is with Bo and his friends. Loved that they were all BIPOC kids engaged in activities (skating, ballroom dancing) that you don’t usually get to see.
HAVE A SIP OF COCOA ☕…
I came for… the zombies and sunflowers of course.
I stayed for…. beautiful language and imagery, the doozy of an emotional plot
Hot Cocoa Moments: My real hot cocoa moment is a super spoiler…but my safe one is the camping scenes when Zharie is starting to fit in with her new friend group and things get romantic with Bo.
Would I Read it Again: I might, with a focus of exploring the metaphors and the Van Gogh connection more. Also to see if I missed any clues.
Educator Recommendations: This book touches on grief in a major way. Grief from heartbreak, from the death of a loved one, from betrayal. There are lots of opportunities for discussion embedded in the plot. This is also an awesome mentor text for creative writing! Have students select an artist and write a story where the artists and/or their work plays a role in the story.
About Britney S. Lewis:
Britney S. Lewis was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas where she fell in love with storytelling and the idea that magic moved and breathed in our world. After getting her Bachelor’s of Arts and Science, she worked in the world of marketing and communications for a few years before accepting a position as an editor for greeting cards where her job is to make sure to get the best words on paper. When she isn’t daydreaming about new stories, Britney can be found binge-watching TV shows with her husband and pup or practicing West Coast Swing in one of her local dance studios. The Undead Truth of Us is her debut novel. For more information, you can follow her on social media @britneyslewis or visit her website at https://www.britneyslewis.com
1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US, US Only.
Ends September 6th, midnight EST.<a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba21508/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="e2389ba21508" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_iy0hlclk">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script>
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