State of Emergency by Mary Hallberg

Hey everyone back again really quickly! I'm taking a brief break from the absolute hell-scape of homework, presentations, and papers that are all due on the same day. I haven't had time to read or to do any of my writing, which is the saddest part of all of this to me. But I need a break and I promised I would do a review for this book, so I shall.
First things first, this is a zombie book. By far my favourite genre of books (if it can be considered its own separate genre). When I do get brief moments at school when I decide paying attention is for people going somewhere in life I like to reread a variety of different zombie novels. If there's anything I've learned from studying them it's that to stand out among the many out there it has to be unique. And this book is unique in the way that it draws off the classic zombie story.
Let me tell you about it:

Dallas is just your normal teenage girl. She's in high school and dreams of being a singer when she grows up. Her and her younger sister, faithful church goers, are visiting an old friend who had achieved their dream years ago in New Orleans. Dallas and her stopped getting along when she became power hungry and abandoned her friends, rubbing it in that she had reached her dream first.
It is while they are visiting that they hear news about a chemical truck that overturned near a cemetery. Their friend shows up with a cup of water she got from the cemetery there and her friends all instruct her not to drink it.
Despite there being a boil water warning in the area many people are not taking it seriously. It doesn't take Dallas long to realize that maybe there is more to it than the news is leading on.
When she walks in on her old friend a zombie, eating her agent, she doesn't hesitate to aim for the head. Despite her friends' hesitation she drag them across the state, insisting that they make it to her uncles fortress house in the mountains.
For the first few days everything continues as normal and her friends start to doubt that she was telling the truth. And when the dead finally do come, they come in great numbers, taking them all by surprise. They are left limping across the rest of the states, fleeing from the hordes that chase them relentlessly.
It's a race against the undead clock as they try to get to her Uncles house, where her parents are hopefully waiting. Sadly, not all her friends will be able to make it, and those who do will never be the same again.

This book's main problem is actually the opposite of most books; it's too short. Everything happens way too fast in some parts and at a perfect speed in other parts. I think this book could have been way better if it were drawn out a bit and things didn't just happen. There was also elements introduced to the story that I felt could have been explored a lot more.
That being said, I did like a lot of this book. The parts that were a little more drawn out, such as the scene from the freeway, were very enjoyable to read. The characters may not have always been the most clever, I called many things right from the beginning that didn't come into play until the end, but it is possible in such a situation that they might not have been thinking clearly.
Plot: A-
Pace: C+
Setting: B+
Characters: B-
Ending: B-
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Have a great day everyone and happy reading!
- K


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