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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars


on 10 September 2017
I've made references to the zombie zeitgeist in my review of The Girl With All The Gifts, My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland I wont cover the old ground in this review but the zombie genre isn't going anywhere just yet.

Diana Rowland's 1st in the White Trash Zombie series, My Life As A White Trash Zombie. Takes the zombie trope and presents it from the zombie's perspective. The best use of this I have seen is the film, Wasting Away, low budget B movie comedy horror at it's best.

Rowland's White Trash Zombie, Angel Crawford is down on her luck, recently woken up in hospital, with no memory how she got there, a hunger for brains and a mysterious note with instructions on how to embark on a new job at the Coroner's office. Angel is turning her life around with a job, a deadbeat father and dropout boyfriend in tow. But someone is on the decapitation, killing the residents of Angel's small tow

Angel's assent in to a normal life albeit as a zombie comes across as rather slapdash in someways it reads as an addict trying to recover only to be replaced with another addiction. It is a vehicle that assists in driving the story but sometimes it becomes over stated short of stating: "Braaaaaaaaiiiiiiins" on every page, Rowland makes sure the reader knows Angel is a zombie, she reminds us every page.

The white trash element of the story seems tacked on and Angel never really comes across as white trash in the true definition of the label. A high school dropout who purports not to be smart as an impressive vocabulary of someone who isn't that well read with an ability to reason and apply logic that would make most chess grand masters blush. This element could have been fleshed out (pardon the pun) . Living in a shack with beer cans in the garden doesn't really explore the white trash condition. And as this is a key selling point of the story, the reader is somewhat sold short on this narrative, maybe I like my stereotypes too much.

The story unfolds as you would imagine and the plot is the standard murder mystery that is often found in the urban fantasy market, "someone is killing our kind" but it is good enough to keep the story on track, there is a bit of background on Angel and her life at home that helps build Angel in to sympathetic character. Angel could have been a lot more sassy along the lines of Anita Blake but Rowland was clever in the writing of Angel and allows the reader to line their sympathy with her.

My Life As A White Trash Zombie paves the way for the series it makes some mistakes along the way and Angel isn't a fully developed character, but if you are a fan of urban fantasy there would be no shame in giving this a read.
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on 23 August 2011
My Life As A White Trash Zombie is zombielicious! Both entertaining and funny Diana Rowland may have converted me to the zombie cause!

Bear with me while I gush about this fantastic cover - it really is one of the best I have seen this year and reflects the humour of the book beautifully. Angel's haircut, piercings and the cigarette loosely held between her lips scream white trash. Then there's the blood and gore dripping from her chin and the gorgeous detail of a tattoo proclaiming I Love Brains that just bring it all together. The artist, Dan Dos Santos, has created the perfect image for the book.

Diana Rowland's writing is uncluttered and easy to read - leaving you to enjoy the story. And I really did enjoy this story! The zombies in My Life As A White Trash Zombie aren't quite your classic shambling undead. Rowland has stuck with the need for human brains, but her zombies are more full of life (if you can excuse the term) than you may expect. I loved it! My only comment on the plot itself is that the murder investigation felt very secondary to Angel learning about her new "situation" until the end of the book. I would have liked to have seen Angel being more involved throughout the investigation so that the story shifts more easily into the climax.

Angel Crawford really is white trash and she makes no apologies for the fact. I really liked Angel and was rooting for her from early into the book. Although she hasn't had the easiest life she makes no excuses for her own stupid decisions and mistakes. And I can respect that. I really enjoyed watching Angel get her life back together and discover that she does deserve better than she settles for. Plus she has a great sense of humour.

My Life As A White Trash Zombie will most definitely entertain you and I have one thing to say to Diana Rowland - more please!
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on 29 July 2013
This is the third book in the White Trash Zombie series, and as with the other books, Rowland starts with a bang and doesn't let the reader go.
Angel is a zombie, a 'white trash' zombie. Zombies are the cleanest 'living' people Angel knows, after all, anything bad for you - drugs, alcohol, cigarettes - tended to use up valuable brain power making the zombie hungry again. And you had to restore the brains somehow!
It was a good job then, that Angel worked in the local mortuary, a moving buffet cart full of delicious brains.
A year ago Angel was 'white trash', living with her alcoholic father, bumming around with no hoper boyfriend and enjoying drink and drugs to excess. Just a few months ago, Angel discovered the zombie virus was actually a parasite that required brains to survive.
Ironically a zombie film is being made in Angel's hometown in the South. On the set, Angel investigates what seems to be an accident, as a truck attempts to mow her down. Until she is rescued by her zombie offspring Philip, a soldier she turned months ago whilst held in captivity by an evil doctor. Injured, Angel downs some of her chocolate/brain smoothie to help heal herself. Her injury doesn't go down well with her zombie/cop boyfriend Marcus, who is getting far too protective of late.
At a swanky soirée, Angel finds herself battling the real thing - a card carrying rotting zombie, who has been mistaken for one of the fake zombies promoting the film currently in the making.
Rowland is adept at what C E Murphy calls 'first person snark', a type of narrative style written in the first person which allows the writer to be snarky, judgmental, witty and annoying without the guilt factor. And Rowland, as Angel, is all of these things. She is a character you can relate to, as despite her bravado she is a little vulnerable and uses the snark as a defence mechanism. Angel also thinks, and says out loud the things we really want to say ourselves.
The supporting cast is also pretty good and very realistic, particularly Angel's father who is battling alcoholism and trying to rebuild his damaged relationship with his daughter.
The actual zombie excerpts are great fun, relatively violent and there are some great witty scenes of brain chomping going on.
A very strong third installment and a great addition to the zombie genre.
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on 27 May 2017
Sigh, there wasn't really anything wrong with this. The writing was fine. It's a bit funny. The editing didn't stand out as problematic. I liked the character all right and the mystery, while not difficult to figure out, wasn't super obvious either. But I was just kind of bored and blasé about the whole thing. Nothing stood out or struck me as particularly interesting. Meh

Note: I borrowed a copy from the library.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 1 August 2015
Angel Crawford is a high school drop out with a deadbeat boyfriend, no job and addiction to drugs and alcohol. Her life is going nowhere fast - until the day she actually dies. Angel remembers a car crash, she remembers fear and blood but not a lot else so she's confused when she wakes up in hospital without a scratch on her. The doctors think she took an overdose but she's sure that's not what happened. Things get weirder when she suddenly finds a job has been organised for her to work with the coroner, she didn't apply for it and she has no idea why she's been given a second chance. She isn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth though and she takes the chance to finally make something of herself and runs with it. It turns out that Angel is quite suited to working with dead bodies, if only she could rid herself of the pesky little desire to chow down on their brains. What's a girl to do when she realises she's turned into a zombie?

I really wasn't too sure what to expect from this story, zombie books don't usually make it onto my to read pile because I'm pretty squeamish & I'm not much of a horror reader these days, but that cover caught my eye and then a bunch of my friends decided to buddy read it so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm so glad I did because I had so much fun reading this story. It's pretty damn gory, in fact there were times when I was almost struggling to hold down my lunch while I was reading it (hey, I told you I'm squeamish!), but the story had sucked me in so completely that I couldn't put it down.

Angel is a loser with a capital L, she comes from a white trash family, her mother had mental health problems and her father is an abusive alcoholic who is more interested in how much money Angel can give him for beer than he is in her welfare. Life hasn't been kind to her and she's pretty much given up on ever finding something better for herself so it comes as a complete shock to her when someone decides to give her a break and arranges for a decent job for her. She's convinced it must be something to do with her parole and since she doesn't want to go to jail she decides she'll do whatever it takes not to mess up. I loved seeing her turn things around, underneath her brash exterior she's actually smart and capable and now that she's set her mind to it she is able to use her brain to her advantage. Life is still hard but she has so much she wants to live for and if that means doing something as gross as eating brains she's going to find a way to deal with it.

I loved Diana Rowland's unique take on zombies, I don't want to say too much about it so you'll have to read the book to find out more but they definitely aren't your typical mindless, murdering beasts who will rip you to pieces on sight. The story alternated between grossing me out and making me snort with laughter and I can't wait to carry on reading the series. It's so nice when a book surprises you, My Life as a White Trash Zombie took me way out of my comfort zone and I loved every minute of it.
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on 11 September 2013
She's ba-a-a-ack. Our favorite li'l punk zombie, Angel Crawford is back in her third novel as she is still trying to figure out her new unlife. Who would have thought being dead would be so complicated?

Angel, along with her partner Derrel Cusimano, is a coroner's assistant for St. Edwards Parish in Louisiana, and her unlife continues its complications as there is a movie being shot in the town. Ironically, it a zombie movie, and it is called "High School Zombie Apocalypse!!", yes, two exclamation points. As the movie is being shot and staged, Angel is called out to pick up a corpse, it seems that somebody has had their brains spilled from an accident. Too bad, so sad, brains spilled means brains wasted. After all, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. While there, Philip, a zombie that Angel created in the last novel turns up and saves Angel from an attempted murder. If this doesn't raise suspicions of bad deeds being done in St. Edwards again, then after Angel is invited to a swanky hoity-toity dinner by Uncle Pietro, head of the local zombie mafia, that will be invaded by a real zombie, not a movie one, and she is attacked this time by Philip, certainly will.

Along with this, there are the mundane occurrences that keep Angel busy, she's studying for her GED, tutored by, big surprise, her nemesis. Her relationship with Marcus, her zombie cop boyfriend, the zombie who turned/saved her back in novel one of this series, is moving into the way serious mode, and, oh yes, she's having to deal with the mysterious coming and goings of her recovering, and sometimes relapsing, alcoholic father Jim Crawford.

As the novel progresses, she finds that there are a surprising amount of real zombies working at the zombie movie, and they have a special, and a not necessarily healthy, interest in Angel, and why do people involved in the zombie production keep dying? You're not paranoid if people, or zombies, keep trying to hurt you, as Angel is attacked, several times, once rescuing Heather, a daughter and sister of Angel and Pietro's sworn enemy.

Even the elements seem to be trying to get on her bad side, as she gets caught in a local apocalyptic event. As the novel progresses Angel feels put upon and lonely; she can't talk to the mundane humans in her life about her problems, and she can't talk to her boyfriend as he is upset over her relations with Uncle Pietro. Then she turns out to have developed a power only zombies five-hundred years old should have.

As the novel progresses we learn more about Pietro's operations, we are introduced to Pietro's zombie operatives, find out who the real enemies of Angel are, we find out who this "Heather" is and why she is important to Pietro and Angel, and her "health" status starts becoming one of the worst kept secrets in St. Edwards.

Rowland has managed to create a character in Angel Crawford that is as entertaining and as original as Mercy Thompson, and let's face it, Angel's universe is only getting more and more interesting, and with the introduction of the five hundred plus year-old Pietro, Rowland has created a universe that she can now explore in both the present and the past. Heck, we don't even know how old Marcus is. Of course, it wouldn't really be a good idea to start reading about Angel with this novel, start with the first novel for a full appreciation of Angel's character. In the first novel, she goes from being a first-rate pill-popping, alcoholic, loser, to her continuing redemption as a, not-quite, respectable and upstanding, albeit dead, citizen. Throughout these three, so far, novels we see how, with help, how she reforms herself, and through that, the redemption of several other others around her. Her father for instance owes her more than he would probably ever acknowledge, and this is the novel that Angel and her father start to heal their relationship.

And let's not forget Daniel Dos Santos cover. Oh my, I'd like to know the model's name and what else that she's modeled for. Sexy and humorous at the same time, Santos shows Angel having been abused, and having given the attempt to kill her again all that they could, and failing, it's now Angel's turn, `cuz baby's got a bat and that's the least of it. Let's face it, I just don't think that the bad guys are going to be able to run fast enough. Of course, it really doesn't illustrate anything, and it's exploitive, I wouldn't be caught reading a book with a cover like this in church, but what the heck, I'm going to give Santos a free pass.

"White Trash Zombie Apocalypse" as a novel really doesn't stand on its own, but it is a great episode of a great series. I enjoyed it. Let's hope somebody decides to turn this into a tv series. Great zombie, brain-eating fun for the whole family.
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on 5 August 2011
What a refreshing change from vampires or angels, if your looking for a change then this book is it! i love everything about this book. The cover looks fab and the style of writing was great.

Angel was a great character, she knew who she was and that she wanted to change. And she got the second chance she needed. It was nice to see her take the lead and the secondary characters were good. Looking forward to reading more about Angel!
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on 24 September 2012
i love an anti hero and angel is soooo that an ex drug and alcohol addict as well as a high school dropout. who suddenly finds herself waking up in a hospital with no memories of how she got there or what happened to her. Shes told she overdosed and may also have been a witness to a murder that happened in the same area in which she was found naked.A mysterious letter is left for her and some weird kind of medicine that looks like tapioca.
Angel is completely likable a little socially awkward and smarter than she realizes she starts a job and begins to get her life in order which it only took her dying and becoming a zombie for her to do.
i loved it what a brilliant urban fantasy a bit of humor,murders to be solved and lots of brains it doesn't get much better than this, and what a beautiful front cover. ive just order the next in the series even white trash zombies get the blues.
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on 4 November 2011
The first time I heard about this book was when another author, Nicole Peeler, posted the cover on Facebook. I mean, how amazing is that cover? It's Dan Dos Santos and it certainly stands out on a bookshelf. From the minute I saw the cover, I started keeping an eye out for the release date and eventually the author tweeted about the first 2 chapters being available and I loved them.

White Trash Zombie is hilarious! Angel tries to cope with her new job and the fact that she has a strange craving to consume brains from the bodies in her morgue. I really, really, really hope that this is a new series and not a stand alone because I loved this. It's the first Diana Rowland book that I've read and her writing style is really enjoyable.
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on 15 October 2015
I love how shamelessly fun these books are. I loved this series since the moment I cracked open the first book, and that's all down to Angel; she jumps off the page and I love her. Seriously, if you're looking for a fresh urban fantasy series then I highly recommend this one!

I have to be honest, I didn't like this one quite as much as I liked the previous two books, but I still really enjoyed it. I fly through these books, and this one was no different; I'm pretty sure I managed to get through this one in just a couple of days, and if I hadn't been working I could have easily read it all in one sitting, that's how readable this series is.

Compared to the previous books, the plot of this one felt a little all over the place and ended up being very different to what I was expecting. A lot happens in this book, and yet I came out of it with more questions than answers. That's not an entirely bad thing, this, after all, is only the third book in what is an ongoing urban fantasy series, and urban fantasy series have the tendency to be quite long; I think of them as the literary equivalent of a TV show, and each book is a new season.

Still, this book felt like a bit of a filler compared to the others, but sometimes we need the fillers and we need to set the stage for the next big story arc. Angel's relationships seemed to take more of a centre stage in this book, particularly her relationship with her father; it was nice to see a little time dedicated to the two of them. I also appreciate that Angel still calls Marcus out when he's being a pain in the backside.

Having said that, I did feel like Angel was a little too forgiving in this book towards one particular character, one who I'm afraid is only going to continue to have a bigger part in the series. He treated her appallingly (not to worry, there's no love triangle in this book!) and, honestly, I really wanted her to drown him.

Something else I'd like is to see Angel have a few more relationships with women. Two new ladies were introduced in this book, one of whom seems to have the potential to become a good friend of hers. For the most part, however, all of Angel's relationships are with men and I'd like to see some more positive female relationships around as the series continues; particularly as two of the big antagonists of the series so far - Dr Charish and Angel's mother (granted, she's dead, but we know from what we've learned that she wasn't all that great) - are women.

So I didn't love this one quite as much as the others, but I still really like this series and I'm looking forward to picking up How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back soon!
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