Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Infects

Title: Infects
Author: Sean Beaudoin
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: September, 2012
Genre/Format: Sci-Fi, Humor/Novel
Goodreads Summary: A feast for the brain, this gory and genuinely hilarious take on zombie culture simultaneously skewers, pays tribute to, and elevates the horror genre.
     Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an “Inward Trek.” As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of “infects” shambles, moans, and drools behind. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They generate “Zombie Rules” almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back.
     Serving up a cast of irreverent, slightly twisted characters, an unexpected villain, and an ending you won’t see coming, here is a savvy tale that that’s a delight to read—whether you’re a rabid zombie fan or freshly bitten—and an incisive commentary on the evil that lurks within each of us.
What Kellee Thinks: Sean Beaudoin definitely has a unique style that you cannot confuse with anyone else. It is like when you see a movie and you know who the director is - that is how distinct Sean's writing is. And what he does so well is keep his style yet still has characters that have distinct voices that you can distinguish between. He actually reminds me of John Green in that way; however, Sean Beaudoin is more of the underground, quirky, dry twisted humor sort of way. This book also reminded me of the humor you found in Libba Bray's Beauty Queens in that it is very much a parody of qualities of pop culture and primarily emulated at zombie flicks such as Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. 
     Once you get used to Beaudoin's style, the story sucks you in. An incomparable cast of characters takes us through a survival guide against those who want to eat you. You lose some you care about, you cheer when some turn and many will dream about one particular female. Between the cast of characters, the humorous plot line and Beaudoin's style, many will eat up this novel.
What Jen Thinks: I agree with Kellee, this is one of the most unique examples of voice that I have ever read. The whole novel exudes voice and energy. I felt like I needed to be running in place the entire time, it's completely an amped up book. I kept making connections with all the zombie stories I read when I read Zombies Vs. Unicorns. Those are some wild stories, it's amazing how unique zombie stories can be and reading all of those really expanded my whole thinking of zombies and of where they come from or what it means to be a zombie. It's an amazing exercise in writing - to think like a zombie and to try to understand a zombies hopes and dreams - they are...well, were...people, too. I love the idea of not simply accepting that a zombie is a dead person who's soul and essence are gone. What if when a person becomes a zombie he or she is still who he or she was....or that some people can become zombies but still act completely normal - like Edward is a vampire but has committed himself to not eating people. Is there a zombie who can withstand diving into a bowl full of brains? Talk about stepping into someone else's shoes and trying to walk about. I'm so impressed with Sean Beaudoin and what he has created with The Infects. I can completely see how readers are going to devour this book. Mmmmm...brains, I mean...books. 
Read Together: Grades 11 and up 
Read Alone: Grades 9 and up
Read With: Gaff by Shan Corea, Zombies Vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbastelier, Never Slow Dance with a Zombie by E. Van Lowe, Beauty Queen by Libba Bray, Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio
Snatch of Text: "But Petal Gazes was a whole other universe, a different orbit, a brighter sun. She was a tenth straight espresso, pure feedback, wet-toe-in-socket beautiful. 
At least to him. 
Which went directly against Nick's long-standing policy: Never Want Anything. 
Treeless Christmas? Eggless Easter? Toastless morning? 
It's hard to be disappointed when you don't give a crap. 
But now he really, really wanted something. 
Petal Gazes." (p. 8)
Mentor Text for: Voice, Style, Humor, Parody, Allusions, Word Play, Vocabulary, Flashback, Dialogue, Making Connections, Activating Background Knowledge, Perspective
Writing Prompts: Write your own short story about what would happen if you encountered a zombie. Write a short story from the perspective of a zombie, show the reader what he or she might not realize or appreciate about zombies. 
Topics Covered: Family, Friendship, Love, Survival, Courage, Zombies
Kellee and Jen *heart* It: 

**Thank you to Candlewick Press for providing copies of The Infects for review**

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