What is this about?: Angel is in a car accident and wakes up in hospital to discover among other things that she’s a zombie.
What else is this about?: Angel coming to realise she’s more than she ever could be. Self esteem and self worth growth that’s a joy to see.
Blurb: Angel Crawford is a loser.
Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she’s a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who’s been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.
That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn’t have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there’s a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it’s an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.
Before she knows it she’s dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she’s hungriest!
Angel’s going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn’t, she’s dead meat.
Christy over at Christy’s Love of Books recently reviewed book 5 in this series and as a result I couldn’t resist checking out the series and picking up book 1.
Angel Crawford isn’t a loser
But, she likes to think she is. When the book opens, she wakes up in hospital with no idea of how she got there, or why she was found walking along the highway naked — pressing details she ought to know. Very quickly Rowland establishes that Angel pops pills, drinks far too much and has had a series of low-paying jobs and that she thinks she’s a loser.
Angel is funny, with self-deprecating dialogue that is hilarious, but hides a heap of pain and self-esteem issues, fuelled by her father and their history, and her own choices, like for instance, Randy — the guy she’s been dating for four years, but wouldn’t necessarily call her boyfriend.
When she wakes up in hospital she finds herself with a job at the morgue, and very soon finds herself hungering for brains. The realisation that she’s a zombie comes after going through several other alternatives, and she settles into this life as well as can be expected given all she has are notes from her saviour — one telling her she has a job, and another telling her to give into her cravings.
Interestingly, Rowland substitutes one drug for another — Angel may not need drugs or pills, but she does need brains to survive. The euphoria she gets from it — including the strength and speed are added benefits — is about as close to a high she’s ever going to get.
A loser wouldn’t work as hard as Angel does to maintain the changes in her life being a zombie brings.
The Zombie Life
The zombie life takes some getting used to, but what’s far more interesting is how Angel finds herself changing — thinking that she likes her job — and more importantly, she’s good at it — the possibilities it could mean for her future and the people there. There’s nothing sadder than the delight she gets when she realises her coworkers care for her — she’s never had that before and she realises now she could.
Being a zombie opens her eyes, never more so than with her relationship with her father — he is a drunk and emotionally abusive towards her. This results in more than a few showdowns between the two of them, not the least of which is the last when Angel walks out on him. By that point, I was ready to throw her a party at standing up to him. The relationship isn’t that black and white, but Rowland manages to make that transition work to the point that I understood why Angel would give him another chance.
The zombie mystery
Someone is killing zombies, though everyone else seems to think that there’s a serial killer who likes chopping off people’s heads. Rowland intertwines this story with Angel learning more about the zombie world in her town, and how too survive if she’s running low on brains.
My Life as a White Trash Zombie is funny, thoughtful and has some of the best character development I’ve seen in a long time. You’re going to love Angel, you’re going to cry for her and will her to stand up for herself, and cheer her on when she does.