Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Zombies VS Unicorns - Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier

Title: Zombies VS Unicorns 
Author: Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier 
Publisher: Saga Press 
Pages: 415 pages 
Published Year : 2015 
Rating: 3.5/5
Paperback Synopsis:
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?


The book was started with a unicorn story called The Highest Justice by Garth Nix. The story was set in the medieval era and there was something about it that made me think about the zombie instead. At some point I even forgot if it was supposed to be a unicorn story or a zombie story. And because this was the first story of the book, I somehow lost my interest to continue reading. I was afraid I would not enjoy the book. But thank God the next story titled Love Will Tear Us Apart by Alaya Dawn Johnson hooked me back with its Twilight-esque story, except it was about zombie. We—well, I—had always thought that zombies were rude, disgusting, and mean. But this story gave me new perspectives about zombies. I got to know their feelings better, how it felt when they fell in love. And the descriptions of zombie virus as a psychophatic disorder were awesome. I loved the “I-love-you-but-I-also-want-to-eat-you” kinda thing.

Of course not all the stories got me hooked. This time, another one of my favorites was from the unicorn side. It was titled Purity Test and written by Naomi Novik. The story revolved around the unicorn/virgin mythology but the writer approached it in such a funny way. The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn by Diana Peterfreund also made me re-think about the image of unicorns I had known before, because apparently not all unicorns were kind. They also had this wild instinct to hunt human but still I couldn’t make myself hate them. The third and also the last unicorn story that became my favorite was Meg Cabot’s Princess Prettypants. See, the thing is, we’ve always known unicorn as this soft, beautiful creature who brings happiness with its colorful horn. But, what if one showed up on your doorstep? Would you still let it come into your house? Would you turn it away? Or would you use its magical ability to intimidate your ex-boyfriend? Meg Cabot really knew how to create such a cute and funny unicorn story.

Right before I read this book, though, I was so assured that I was more into unicorns rather than zombies. I was also very convinced that this book would only make me love unicorns more. But boy was I wrong. Of all 12 stories, my favorites consist of 3 unicorn stories and 4 zombie stories. LOOK WHO’S TEAM ZOMBIE NOW! Besides Love Will Tear Us Apart that I have mentioned before, my personal favorites from zombie stories were: Carrie Ryan’s Bougainvillea, it was about the zombie apocalypse and the twist at the end of the story really caught me off guard. It was just very angsty; Maureen Johnson’s The Children of the Revolution, a satire about celebrity-adopted children who were “saved” from death by zombie virus; and Cassandra Clare’s Cold Hands that talked about the sweet side of zombie’s love story. And the zombies in this story were not the brain-eater types, just “dead” people who returned from grave seeking out the company of their loved ones.

There were stories who shined more than the others, which I think was usual for a short stories compilation. But zombie stories just felt more intriguing for me, although the unicorn stories had some humor that the zombie stories did not have. So, yeah. Based on this book, I think I am team zombie. And also team editors because their introductions were—hands down—the best.

P.S: I got this book for free because Periplus gave it to me and they asked me to write the review. They also posted this review first on her website, whick you can find it here. But they allowed me to post it on this blog too.