Grimes & Rowe Read a Book: Zombies vs Unicorns

Title: Zombies vs Unicorns
Author: Multiple
Series: N/A
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publish Date: September 21, 2010
Genre: YA Short Stories
Pages: 432
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Zombies vs. Unicorns

Description: It’s a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths–for good and evil–of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn? (via Amazon)

Story Carnivores started as a tiny little YA book club. Since Brian and Shaunta both write YA novels, we wanted to read more of them as well. Our September book club book was Zombies vs Unicorns.

Brian: I was completely taken by the idea of this book as soon as Shaunta and my good friend Leanne Howard (a guest writer on the blog!) recommended it to me. I believe she did so before we even really knew each other, before she was aware I was writing and in love with YA fiction. I had never heard of anything like Zombies vs Unicorns, so when Shaunta suggest we do this book as a Book Club Book (mere weeks ahead of Halloween, no less!), I jumped at the opportunity. This is such a unique, creative enterprise, that it almost feels like it should be in its own separate category from everything else YA. It’s not just twelve short stories about zombies and unicorns, which would have been entertaining and innovative enough. Instead, the two editors–Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier–also duke it out for the title crown throughout the pages. Holly Black is Team Unicorn, and Justine Larbalestier is Team Zombie, and both think they’re way better than the other. Each have six YA authors writing a short story about a unicorn or a zombie, and we the reader have to decide which team we’re on. I enjoyed some of the unicorn stories to be sure, but I don’t know about you, Shaunta, but I’m definitely Team Zombie!

Shaunta:  I had favorites among both the unicorns and the zombies, so I think I’m a switch hitter. What I loved most about this book was the opportunity to be introduced to a whole bunch of fantastic YA authors. Even though this is a good sized book, and I sometimes struggle to enjoy short story collections, I read right this one looking forward to each new story and never disappointed. I really loved the conversation between the two editors that started each story. Team Unicorn or Team Zombie, it doesn’t matter. All of these stories are a lot of fun. I loved that the zombie stories, especially, each took a different view of the genre. It wasn’t all Walking Dead brain-eating monsters. There was even a gay-zombie love story that was brilliantly good.

Brian: I too liked the variety of zombies, how they weren’t all the same. Each zombie story really felt like it was in its own separate world. I too of course loved the gay-zombie love story, that one was really unique and fantastic. It was written by Alaya Dawn Johnson, and it makes me want to check out some of her work. Scott Westerfeld’s story was awesome, too, and now that copy of The Uglies sitting on my shelf is looking a lot more attractive. Meg Cabot’s unicorns story was interesting, and I liked The Third Virgin, by Kathleen Duey. But my favorite of all had to be the last story, Prom Night, by Libba Bray. It was so strange and weird and entertaining, and was the perfect way to end the debate. Team Zombie all the way!

Shaunta: The unicorn stories were really good, too, though. I loved Meg Cabot’s story. And I really loved the one with the serial killer unicorn. Overall, I just really enjoyed this book. It was fun to read. It has one of the best covers ever. For anyone wanting to know more about YA, its a great place to start because it’s full of some of the best authors in the genre. Whoever came up with this idea was genius.

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