|The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home
Margaret Atwood & Naomi Alderman
3.5 / 5
"Sometimes it's difficult to do the right thing. But Okie and I tried; we did everything humanly possible."
Okie's fifteen. She lives in New York. She's got a few problems: she's failing geography, her dad's a wimp, and her mother, Sumatra, is a stone cold bitch. But things get a lot worse when Sumatra turns into a zombie and eats Okie's dad.
Clio, Okie's grandmother, lives in Toronto; but since the zombie apocalypse, Toronto's a lot further away than it used to be. Clio suggests that Okie transport Sumatra across the border, because family is family. But coaching Okie by cellphone isn't easy, and Clio has some zombies of her own to contend with. Luckily she has some garden tools.
Naomi Alderman and Margaret Atwood team up for this unusual two-hander. Encompassing love, death, sex, and the meaning of family, The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home will surprise, delight, and convince you of the vital importance of keeping ready supplies of rhubarb and mini-wieners in your freezer at all times.
(Description from Wattpad)
This was a super quick read (although let's ignore that I read it in such little chunks that it took me a couple of weeks to get through! haha). It is available ONLY on Wattpad, so don't look for it in any other format (believe me, I tried!). It must be read either in a browser or using the Wattpad app (which is available for Android or iOS). NB: All reading options are free!
In any case, this was a lighthearted and interesting take on the whole zombie apocalypse. I know, I know, it's been done 2,000 times already. But this story takes a different tack, and I really liked its ideas. For one thing, it posits the possibility of somewhere (NYC, in this instance) being able to build back up post apocalypse. This means that there are "safe zones" which are relatively "back to normal" (albeit with a bit more awareness & caution - mostly) and then the kind of no-mans-lands which exist outside of the city's gates. Life still goes on relatively normally within the safe zones: people go to school, "normal life" has returned. However, many choose to remain outside of the walls, but they know that they do so at their own risk. Clio, a fairly cool grandmother who resides in her marital home in Toronto, is one of those. She knows how to be safe with the wild creatures outside her garden walls. And she is an especially interesting character, because her late husband is perhaps the cause of the zombie plague! (Another thing I love: how the authors imply that it could be overconsumption of a fictitious energy drink which could have caused humans to turn into zombies.) So when her granddaughter calls with the news that "mom ate dad" (with the grandmother initially misunderstanding in a hilarious way), Clio tells Okie that she ought to hire a "Z-Liner" to transport both the kid & zombie mom to her place in Canada.
The book isn't long so I don't want to give too much away, but I will restate how I enjoyed the light (but not silly) take on the zombie situation in this book. It was sweet and would be easy to gobble up in an afternoon (no pun intended!). I certainly recommend this for any zombie fans out there, particularly if you are of the belief that zombie behavior can be interpreted in various ways. This being just one humorous take.
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