Carrie Harris Bad Taste in Boys
201 pp. Delacorte Press (Random House) 2011 ISBN: 978-0-385-73968-9
Interest: 2011 Debut Author
Summary (From Goodreads): Someone’s been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe–not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate!
She’s got to find an antidote–before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town. . . and stay hormonally human.
I’m sure I’m not the first person to say this, but I never thought I’d like a zombie book, let alone love one. Zombies simply aren’t my thing. When I bought Zombies vs. Unicorns I already knew I was Team Unicorn. I adored unicorn books when I was growing up. Zombies just gross me out. But then I heard about Bad Taste in Boys and read a ton of positive reviews. Plus, Carrie is signed up to be interviewed by my students so I wanted to get the book for them to read. I gave it a shot and loved every minute of it!
Are the zombies in this book gross? Yes, but I was still laughing even though body parts were falling off and guys were puking some seriously stinky stuff. Carrie has written a hilarious cast of characters that kept me laughing even as Kate was carrying around a man’s foot. Her dorky brother, Jonah was one of my favorite characters. He reminded me of my brother because even though he’s younger, he still looks out for Kate. He becomes a bigger part of the story once the zombie mayhem really picks up, and he had me giggling in all of his scenes. The “sword” from the game he plays with his friends cracked me up–plastic pipe and duct tape. Such a protective brother 🙂
Kate has become another favorite of mine as well. I love how geeky she is! She’s a science whiz, very witty, and awkward around guys, but she really holds her own. She’s worried about her guys (the football players) and wants to make sure they’re not being harmed when she discovers the unmarked vials in Coach’s office. She puts her knowledge to work and tries to keep everyone safe and from becoming a zombie. The fact that she’s pretty rational when she discovers what’s going on is really impressive. I’ve been hearing quite a bit of grumbling about female characters in paranormal YA being too wimpy. This is simply not the case with Kate Grable. She can kick zombie butt, uncover a mystery, and get a guy’s attention all at the same time without being the “damsel in distress.”
When I bought Bad Taste in Boys I was excited to find out that it isn’t a 400+ page door-stopper. I don’t have anything against long books, but it’s refreshing to read one that isn’t. Carrie Harris did a fantastic job pacing this story. Nothing felt rushed or like information was missing. It’s a fun, campy, well-written story. The characters and humor were by far my favorite things about the book.
I can’t wait to add this book to my classroom library this fall. I know I’m going to earn some major brownie points when I tell my students that I loved a zombie book and that I think they should read it too.