The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis
Death was everywhere. They all stared at me, bumping into one another and slowly coming forward.
Sixteen-year-old Zharie Young is absolutely certain her mother morphed into a zombie before her untimely death, but she can't seem to figure out why. Why her mother died, why her aunt doesn't want her around, why all her dreams seem suddenly, hopelessly out of reach. And why, ever since that day, she's been seeing zombies everywhere.
Then Bo moves into her apartment building―tall, skateboard in hand, freckles like stars, and an undeniable charm. Z wants nothing to do with him, but when he transforms into a half zombie right before her eyes, something feels different. He contradicts everything she thought she knew about monsters, and she can't help but wonder if getting to know him might unlock the answers to her mother's death.
As Zharie sifts through what's real and what's magic, she discovers a new truth about the world: Love can literally change you―for good or for dead.
In this surrealist journey of grief, fear, and hope, Britney S. Lewis's debut novel explores love, zombies, and everything in between in an intoxicating amalgam of the real and the fantastic.
I was lucky to meet Britney S. Lewis at the Bookmarks Festival of Authors and Books. I wouldn't have known who she was if it was not for that festival. Britney was so sweet, and listening to her talk about her love for horror, I knew I had to snag her book about zombies.
The Undead Truth of Us had a different spin on zombies than what you would typically expect. That said, I was so confused and had to get through the book because I needed to know what was happening. I loved the characters and their relationships; Zharie and Bo had that sweet teen relationship that you root for. This story also has many traumatic elements for the MC, including the loss of a parent and the lack of a parent. At the end of the book, I was so proud of Zharie and for all she had overcome.
There were a few things that I wish were different about the story, BUT they were pivotal moments that were absolutely needed to make the plot even happen, so I can't be too upset about that! For a debut novel, Britney definitely delivered.
I’ve read The Dark Place by Britney S. Lewis, and I think my initial thought was to expect the same type of story. While her writing is still amazing, and her voice is very distinct, there were not a lot of similarities. Which is NOT a bad thing. However I LOVED The Dark Place, and if you haven’t had it on your TBR, ADD IT NOW. You won’t regret it.
The Undead Truth of Us really digs into love, emotions, and grief. It’s poetic in a sad, colorful, way. It’s hard to describe the unmistakable way Lewis writes. It’s like she’s discovered how to write with colors instead of letters. How to create imagery where it belongs, and emotion when you don’t expect it.
This one really tugged at my heart strings, Zharie is stuck in her life, unwilling to confront her mothers death. Understandably so, as a teenager whose life is inevitably turned upside down. Until…Bo. Bo lives his life loudly, and he slowly brings Zharie into the same volume. He helps her in a way that’s unexpected, without expectations. As a YA novel I loved that even though this story tackled love it wasn’t solely based on a romantic love that ultimately saves our heroine.