Review: Patrick Freivald – Twice Shy

 Twice Shy
Patrick Freivald

Ani is dead. That’s nothing new to her or her mom, but the rest of her classmates can’t know or she’ll be incinerated. As a carrier of zombie virus, she won’t ever grow old.

What attracted me to this YA novel was the front cover. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the black corset (just my type of style) and then the boots with the strange feet (which once you read the blurb of it being a zombie novel make sense) and then finally you notice the little white thing sitting next to her.

The concept of Ani being a zombie is introduced slowly and subtly, but if you’ve already read the blurb it’s a bit lost. Something that wasn’t clear to me was that Ani had been infected with zombie virus since she was a baby, yet she only started showing zombie symptoms in the last two years.

The author goes for what seems like sarcasm most of the time, but it just doesn’t do it for me. The humour (is there any?) is just highschool bullying, and I suppose I was supposed to think it was funny that Ani’s mom is dating Mike’s dad.

I wasn’t convineced by Ani’s interactions with her mother at all. The superficial hugs and so forth didn’t really show me that Ani loved her mother – it seemed like her mother was doing everything humanly possible for her, but yet Ani didn’t care. Also Ani’s mother fears becoming a zombie so much that she would kill herself first – which doesn’t fit in with constantly keeping Ani alive.

The ending was pathetic. As I was reading this on a Kindle app, I noticed that at 90% read there was still a lot of story that should have been told. The ending, complete with ‘THE END’ printed on it, was such a let down. It was obvious that it wasn’t going to be a happy ending and I actually found myself hoping she would be incinerated because Ani was so damn annoying.

I thought the point of being a zombie was that they couldn’t feel pain. I didn’t understand how a cut on Ani’s forehead needed extra special attention while she’s cutting herself with razors frequently.

The initial image painted of Ani screamed opposites to me. I had no idea what was happening most of the time. She’s happily pretending to be emo, and then the next minute she wants to rock out to pop music. It seemed to me like music was the key to who she was, as as art, but there was no feeling of backstory – perhaps being creative was linked to being a zombie?

I didn’t like the use of abbreviations by the author, including FML. ZV for zombie virus. Ugh, it seems like an attempt to seem ‘hip’, but it just didn’t work for me.

I would recommend this book for older teens, as it involves mentions of self-harm and foul language that are not necessary for a younger reader to encounter. The self-harm is particularly disturbing, as it’s painted as a release for Ani. The drug use is also not great.

I did not enjoy this book, and I’m not sure I would actually ‘recommend’ it at all. It took me around 3 hours to read, and I wish I could have those 3 hours back. If it had been a book I had bought for myself, not one that I was expecting to review, I probably would have stopped reading after the first chapter or two.

I received this ebook free for an honest review. My review has not been influenced by my correspondence with the author’s management company.

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