Tuesday, July 10, 2012
"Dead Is A Battlefield" by Marlene Perez
Publisher: Graphia (Thomas Allen and Son)
From Goodreads: "Jessica Walsh is starting her freshman year at Nightshade High and trying to forget about the tragic events surrounding her brother’s graduation. She wants to have a normal high school experience. But that’s easier said than done in Nightshade.
When a new boy shows up at school, the girls are infected with a case of seriously creepy crushes. But when their obsession turns to violence, Jessica and her friends start to wonder if there’s more going on than just a little friendly rivalry. Are the smitten girls turning into love zombies?
And Jessica has other worries—like her crush on Dominic Gray, the cute but moody new singer for Side Effects May Vary, and the mysterious tattoo that appeared on her arm one day and lets her know whenever there is trouble brewing. Jessica learns she's a Virago, a woman warrior chosen to fight evil whenever it threatens her hometown. But does a lowly freshman really have what it takes to keep Nightshade safe?"
Despite this being the sixth book in Marlene Perez's "Dead Is" series (and a series which has been around since 2008) I must admit that the first time I learned of this series was a few weeks ago when I received this book in the mail from the publisher to read and review. While I ALWAYS read series in order (I can't recall EVER having started a series in the middle of it) I knew that I would be unable to do so in this case due to time constraints, plus, after reading the synopsis' of the earlier books on Goodreads I felt comfortable reading this book without having read the earlier books as each book appeared to be a self-contained book, a book which though has repeating characters has its own individual storyline that is nicely summed up by the end of the book (additionally this book's main character is Jessica where in the earlier books the main character was Jessica's neighbour Daisy)- which, thankfully, did turn out to be the case.
As mentioned, as I had never read any of Marlene's books before I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but it surely wasn't this. This book was a fair bit more juvenile than I thought that it would be- both in the fact that in this book Jessica is four just entering her first year of high school and that I found the plot of it to be more so MG than YA- with love potions, character reactions, insta-love and the likes of (I found the plot to be similar to Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Infinity").
An additional problem I had with the book was that I found that overall it lacked any emotion- Not once while reading this book did I experience any feelings of "SQUEE" at the sappy moments nor heartpounding feelings at the most action-packed moments. Furthermore, after having read the book I don't feel like I truly know any of characters- I found that they were quite flat and one-dimensional (I mean, Dominic Gray is a rockstar, you'd think I would swoon once or twice over him, not unlike Logan from Jeri Smith-Ready's "Shade" series). AND I felt that there were A) far too many characters to keep track of and B) many of the characters had similar names which both resulted in it being difficult to keep track of each and every one of them (for instance Eva and Evan, a potential couple).
That being said, despite the storyline being much more juvenile than I had expected it was fun and lighthearted, a nice reprieve from heavier and darker YA books. Furthermore, the book was an EXTREMELY quick read (I think that I finished it within 2 or so hours). I think that this book would be perfect for fans of Gina Damico's "Croak" and earlier Meg Cabot series, including her "Mediator" series and her "1-800-Where-R-You" series.
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated for said review in any way.