Warning: There be spoilers ahead!
Dead Girl's Blog by Donna Burgess
Meet Audrey Scott. She has it all. She’s the most popular girl at Lincoln High and dates Tommy Barker, the cutest boy in the senior class. She has a credit card with no limit, is head cheerleader and was probably going to be homecoming queen again this year—until she was bitten by a Deader. Worst part of it? He ruined her best jeans. But that’s just the tip of the putrid iceberg.This story is exactly what it sounds like. It's a collection of blog entries from a self-involved, image conscious brat with no sense of responsibility who get bitten by a zombie. The blog is her account of her last few days as a human before the virus takes over.
I didn't enjoy this short story. While it was an interesting idea, chronicling the virus as it takes hold, there was no character growth. Audrey was a spoiled brat when bitten, and she was a spoiled brat when she turned. There was no inner realization, no sense of the brevity of life or what it means to be human, no character development at all unless you count the physical change from living to undead. Audrey was angry that her popularity declined as she started rotting, and remarked that the rejection she felt must be how she made "losers" feel when taunting them, but there was no sense of regret on her part. No understanding that, just like her, those she taunted deserved better treatment. There was no sense that she regretted her actions or grew as a person. Overall, while an interesting idea and format (I enjoyed the use of blog entries to convey the narrative), it felt rather pointless to me.
Burgess's writing and concept were solid. This story simply wasn't my cup of tea. Perhaps fans of straight YA horror would enjoy it more.
Under a Blanket of Blue by Donna Burgess
Sam Clark is a loser. He spends his days immaturely passing the time and pissing off his wife, until the undead rise. When he happens upon his wife eating their toddler, it's time to hit the road. Journeying to his family home away from the coast, he runs into his first love. But are they really safe?I enjoyed this short story far more than Dead Girl's Blog. Sam is self aware. He knows his limitations and weaknesses, and he accepts them. He knows he is not the kind of guy who can make it on his own in a zombie apocalypse, so he does what he has to. The story has an open ending, allowing the reader to decide what final action Sam has taken.
This short story collection (is it a collection with only 2 stories?) is available on Nook and Kindle for only $.99 cents. Buy it for Under a Blanket of Blue. I would like to read more from this author.