by Jeff Strand
Available March 1, 2016
What's better than a book about zombies? A book about teen-agers making a low-budget zombie movie, that's what! With joke master Jeff Strand in charge, this novel laughs itself of the pages! Get ready for a rowdy good time and bring your sense of humor. There is nothing funnier than three teen-age boys arguing over zombie lore, zombie gore, the effectiveness of blood and how much blood is too much, fast zombies vs. slow zombies--which are scarier? What, thus far, is the greatest zombie movie ever made? How to make a film on zero budget with no money, no actors, no screenplay, no ideas, and no time....hmmm, sounds like a normal day in Hollywood to me!
Best friends Bobby, Justin and Gabe have only a few days to make "the greatest zombie movie ever." They realize that a low budget film can be made, but even "The Blair Witch Project" was made with $20,000. They don't have $20,000. After figuring out they have no money, Justin says, "I'm in an ambitious mood. Don't bother me with reality." Justin wants Alicia as his female lead. The problem is that she has no idea who he is. They go to the same school but share no classes together. He pines for her, just a glance of her because, "Her body was like a goddess mixed with an angel mixed with a female superhero."
Picking a title for their movie proves to be a major sticking point. The boys brainstorm. Gabe offers: "How about 'Zombie Night.' No, 'Dead Night.' No, 'The Dead in Florida.' 'The Florida Dead.' 'Florida Zombies.' 'Florizombies.' Maybe something about humidity. 'Hurricane Zombies'. 'Zombie Hurricane.' 'Zombie Tornado.' 'Zombie Volcano.' 'Zombie Earthquake.'..." and many more insanely comical titles. For their heroine, Veronica Chaos (aka, Alicia), they wonder what her wardrobe should be, "...and wears a---Cloak? Corset? Chain mail bikini?---tattered white wedding dress."
Kudos to Strand for making the boys use a power SAT word: verisimilitude! Justin says, "I know what verisimilitude means....You said it hoping that I wouldn't know what it means, but I do." Verisimilitude is one of my personal favorite words, and teens will love it, too!
Their romantic leading man is the most beautiful Greek god in the entire student body. Justin thinks, "His eyes--oh, his eyes--had such a glorious shade of blue. It was like he had twin miniature earths wedged into his eye sockets (but just the blue ocean part of the earth, not the brown land.)"
Once the camera starts rolling, the action gets even more maniacal. Between injury with a boom mic, a freaked out heroine, a rude clown, buckets of blood, a best friend fall out, a children's birthday party, a pedestrian run over by a car, an on set romance and tons of jokes and laughter, the movie is made. The Greatest Zombie Move Ever. changes the boys forever.
This fast read that will appeal to reluctant readers and zombie lovers everywhere. Whether you like your zombies lightning quick or sluggishly slow, you are in for a treat. Jeff Strand, we love you!
Highly, highly recommended grade 7-up. A delight!
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)