Grade: 4 stars out of 5
This is a collection of stories about unicorns or zombies from today’s contemporary young adult writers.First off, I’m Team Unicorn before I read the book (look to the side to see my avatar). I noticed this book before, but I didn’t really want to pick it up until I received a poster for it. Because I needed to buy some college textbooks/food, I borrowed this copy from the Philadelphia Free Library. (The library has been one of my best friends for the last 5 years. I support it fully!)
Anyway, this anthology is Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black arguing over whether zombies beat unicorns. Black isn’t as militant as Larbaletier, and I pretty much skipped their conversations before every story. They were all the same (Larbalestier: ZOMBIES WIN! Black: Unicorns are cool too!).
Now, since this post would be too long, I have a selected a few stories and shared my feelings on each one:
“The Highest Justice” by Garth Nix—I love Garth Nix’s stories. I think he has an amazing imagination and I would love to live in his worlds. I read Sabriel and Lirael and I hope I get to finish Abhorsen soon because it’s so good. I also read a story he did for another anthology (Teeth: Vampire Tales) so I was pumped that his was the first story and about unicorns too! All of Garth Nix’s stories have a hint of adult themes to them, which I love, and this one was so… realistic (is the best word I can come up with). I really liked the inter-family struggles and the magic and the dealing-of-the-justice and thought “Hey this is off to a good start”. YAY!
“Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Alaya Dawn Johnson—My favorite zombie story. The beginning was just awesome and gave me a craving for mac n cheese for a week. The middle where everything is explained and Grayson doesn’t eat the girl made me want to eat the book it was so good. I even loved the random hipster bands mentioned. Also, I must add Johnson to my list of authors to read things by. YAY!
“Bougainvillea” by Carrie Ryan—Didn’t even finish it. I tried, I really did. It was 40 pages long, and I was like a quarter of the way through and nothing was happening other than people casually mentioning there were zombies (mudo). I read “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” and it took me a really long time to actually finish the damn thing. I don’t like Ryan’s zombies. YUCK!
“The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn” by Diana Peterfreund—Favorite unicorn story because it had unique unicorns in it! I love the concept of the “evil” unicorn (*ahem* see avatar). I loved the names (Yves, Wen, Aidan, etc.) because I like original naming of characters. I could do without the God-aspect, but the struggle was REAL. “Do I want to spit on my family by taking care of this monster, or do I want to kill this monster in cold blood?” It was so touching, and I want to read more! YAY!
“Inoculata” by Scott Westerfeld—I learned that Larbalestier is married to Westerfeld, so it makes sense that he’d be on her side. I liked the Zombie safe-zone idea, and the endless practices with the dessert points, but the zombies (zees) were weird. I wasn’t aware that there could be a mild form to zombie-ism. It was well-written, but not exactly exciting. MEH!
“Cold Hands” by Cassandra Clare—OMG! So I know Holly Black and Cassie Clare are like BFF’s (I saw them at a Philly Free Library talk), but I was surprised to see Clare go with the zombies. Oh well. Reminds me of Generation Dead by Daniel Waters: acceptance of the dead rather than trying to survive. I liked the romance especially. It was warm, rather than cold. *wink* YAY!
I’m loathe to admit it, but zombies won. I think as soon as I get my paycheck I’m going to go on an Amazon.com shopping spree (Peterfreund, Johnson, etc.) TOTALLY PUMPED!
Also, I realize Yan kinda did a post already, but she didn't talk about the anthology much. :P
Copy: From the Philadelphia Free Library