Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kearsten's Book Club: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, The Graphic Novel by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith, adapted by Tony Lee, illustrated by Cliff Richards

Despite the fact that only 5 book club members finished the book (yes, we readers threw metaphorical shame stones at 'em), Kearsten's Book Club still managed to have a lively discussion about Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: The Graphic Novel!

Our moderator, Michelle, kicked off Monday's discussion of P & P & Z: the GN with a 'Pride & Prejudice in 2 Minutes' clip (PG-13-ish), to aid those of the group who hadn't read Jane Austen's classic.  As Michelle began asking questions, we found that many of us struggled with the same concerns: 

  • Why were all the women drawn to look exactly the same? All the women of a certain age were so similar that we all had difficulty following the story, wondering which sister was talking/fighting/ripping out ninja hearts.(One book clubber: "Actually, they all annoyed me, so I didn't care which was which.")
  • On the subject of ninja hearts: several teens were troubled by Lizzie Bennet's eagerness to do violence. She wants to cut Darcy's throat for insulting her, she rips out a ninja's heart and eats it (poor guy was just following orders!), and constantly reminds EVERYONE that she trained with Shaolin monks this one time at warrior camp. It got annoying.
  • What's with all the innuendo?! The Bennet girls love country dances hosted by well-off neighbors, and properly refer to those dances as 'balls.' Repeatedly. And the graphic novel's letterer bolded the word. Every. Time. Not gonna lie - some book club time was spent reading aloud some of those passages, to many, many giggles.

For the most part, the book club wasn't crazy about this selection, though we had a lot of fun discussing it. I did hear one clubber, who hadn't finished it, say during our discussion, "Wow. I really missed a lot!"

If you enjoyed P & P & Z: the GN for the zombie violence, try out some of these Kearsten-approved titles! (Okay, yeah, so maybe other librarians would recommend these titles, too. Stop trying to pretend that I'm not the only librarian that matters to you. Please.)

Intense Zombie Reads for Teens

Ashes by Ilsa Bick.  Alex, a resourceful seventeen-year-old running from her incurable brain tumor, Tom, who has left the war in Afghanistan, and Ellie, an angry eight-year-old, join forces after an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky and kills most of the world's population, turning some of those who remain into zombies and giving the others superhuman senses.

The Enemy (and sequel The Dead) by Charlie Higson.  After a disease turns everyone over sixteen into brainless, decomposing, flesh-eating creatures, a group of teenagers leave their shelter and set out of a harrowing journey across London to the safe haven of Buckingham Palace.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1st in a trilogy) by Carrie Ryan.  Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.

Monster Island (Monster trilogy) by David Wellington.  It's one month after a global disaster. Manhattan has become Monster Island after a plague has turned all its denizens into shambling, rotting animated corpses, except for a couple who have kept their intelligence and also acquired psychic powers. When an expedition from Africa arrives, composed of teenage girl-soldiers and a former U.N. weapons inspector, the zombie masters mobilize their forces to kill or eat the living humans.

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell.  Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free...She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption.

Rot and Ruin (and sequel Dust and Decay) by Jonathan Maberry.  In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

World War Z by Max Brooks. World War Z  imagines a Studs Terkel-like character traveling the world to assess the impact of a war between humans and zombies. Though humans have survived "World War Z", many are still haunted by those terrible years. Max Brooks sets out to reveal the people's stories, to tell the true history of what happened.

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