I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US by Britney S. Lewis Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis
Published by Disney-Hyperion on August 9, 2022
Genres: YA Contemporary Romance, YA Horror
Source: the publisher
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.
“Britney Lewis has really nailed it with this one. I loved this striking, suspenseful, and deeply heartbreaking debut about a Black girl named Zharie on a quest to discover the truth about her mother and the darker parts of life and family! Spooky good.”―Jay Coles, author of Tyler Johnson Was Here and Things We Couldn’t Say
“Deeply healing and impossible to put down, The Undead Truth Of Us, is an affecting portrait of grief’s many shades, and an affirming reminder to live.”―J. Elle, New York Times best-selling author of Wings of Ebony
“The perfect blend of emotion, sweet romance, and creepy imagery, The Undead Truth of Us is a journey you won’t soon forget.”―Lauren Blackwood, New York Times best-selling author of Within These Wicked Walls
“THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US is a revelation of a story, both macabre and magical, full of heartache, hope, and the infinite mysteries of love. I adore this book.”―Rebecca Podos, author of Lambda Award-winning novel Like Water
“The Undead Truth of Us is unlike any book I’ve ever read before. In this eerie and otherworldly story, Britney Lewis layers explorations of grief and love on the page like bright colors of paint on a canvas.”―Elise Bryant, author of Happily Ever Afters and One True Loves
“A devastatingly poignant tale of grief, healing, and the monsters we make of ourselves and of others. In American popular culture zombies have been used to represent our greatest fears and what do we fear more than losing the people we love? In Zharie, Lewis has created a perfectly imperfect character―someone who is learning to navigate grief and love and friendship all at once. Her moments of vulnerability feel familiar as do her moments of healing and joy. This story is an emotional and gripping take on the classic zombie archetype. A must read for lovers of genre bending horror.”―Kalynn Bayron, best-selling author of Cinderella is Dead
“A lament, but with fireworks.”―Nafiza Azad, author of The Wild Ones
“A wonderful book full of lyrical prose, but also grief―and the painful, sometimes beautiful, steps we take to get through it.”―Jessica Lewis, author of Bad Witch Burning
“Britney S. Lewis explores love and death in a debut that is tender, poetic, and wholly original.”
―Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of Labyrinth Lost
So the first thing that was so neat to read, was that this book was set in Kansas City, Kansas, and the main character was attending Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, which is the school where I worked as a librarian before my current job! While having visited places like NYC and Chicago, and it is fun to read about places I’ve been, reading a book set in a city that I actually know like KCK made for so much connection and enjoyment for me. But enough about that one aspect of the book.
While it’s probably not actually a book filled with zombies, and probably more in the main character Zharie’s mind, it definitely kept a bit of creepy/spookiness with how she was seeing the different decaying people walking around. I laughed at the bit where she said she googled what seeing zombies meant, and only found dreaming about zombies, because I’ve actually googled that dream. All the reasons she said it listed were the same I found. And they all definitely matched up what was going on in her life. As she began to actually notice them at certain times, I kind of realized what she ended up concluding on her own later in the book. Especially when the zombification actually hit her personally.
I loved how the author used the zombies to symbolize certain things with love and feelings and such. In fact in the acknowledgements at the end, the inspiration the author said for this story actually hits close to my own feelings about love and relationships. Even if that’s not the way the story actually panned out in the end. Bo was such a great love interest. Cute, corny, and sweet. I think I fell in love with him a bit myself, maybe even before Zharie realized she was doing the same. Zharie’s Auntie made me angry, even though I knew that she was probably grieving in her own way, and the way she came across to Zharie was how any teen would feel after losing their mother. And her dad, just wow. All the emotions and anger with him, but I loved how Zharie handled that!
And then all of the different art aspects. The way Zharie saw things from van Gogh’s art, as well as the colors and the paintings in her surroundings. One reason that really stood out to me as it was woven through the story is that if she really was a Sumner Academy student, there are some great artists that attend that school, and I could just see one of them and their artwork every time it was described in the story. While I wondered if it was meant to be something she was seeing like the zombies, I also wondered if it was supposed to be a hint that she had some kind of synesthesia.
Such a wonderful debut novel, and I can’t wait to not only promote and share this with my own students at the high school library where I work, but to read more by her in the future!
About the Author
Britney S. Lewis was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas where she fell in love with storytelling and the idea that magic moved and breathed in our world. After getting her Bachelor’s of Arts and Science, she worked in the world of marketing and communications for a few years before accepting a position as an editor for greeting cards where her job is to make sure to get the best words on paper. When she isn’t daydreaming about new stories, Britney can be found binge-watching TV shows with her husband and pup or practicing West Coast Swing in one of her local dance studios. The Undead Truth of Us is her debut novel. For more information, you can follow her on social media @britneyslewis or visit her website at https://www.britneyslewis.com
1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US, US Only.
Ends September 6th, midnight EST.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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