Friday, December 3, 2010

Zombies vs Unicorns by Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier

Title: Zombies vs. Unicorns: The Anthology
Author: Holly Black, Justine Larbalestier, Garth Nix, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Naomi Novik, Carrie Ryan, Margo Lanagan, Maureen Johnson, Diana Peterfreund, Scott Westerfeld, Meg Cabot, Cassandra Clare, Kathleen Duey and Libba Bray
Publisher: McElderry Books
Publication Date: Sept. 21st, 2010
Pages: 415 (Hardcover)
To Buy:

I'm not usually a fan of short story anthologies and normally wouldn't bother to write a review for one, but Zombies vs. Unicorns was so much fun to read that I couldn't help myself. You'll have to forgive me for not writing a proper summary like I normally do, but really, its pretty straight forward. The title says it all. But for those of you who would like a little more background... Zombies vs. Unicorns started out as an internet argument between Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier over which was better: zombies or unicorns? Black argued in favor of unicorns and Larbalestier argued in favor of zombies. Then some of their author buddies joined the debate, and they decided to write a bunch of short stories to try and prove which of the two creatures was better. Thus, Zombies vs. Unicorns: The Anthology was born. I'm not going to summarize every single short story that shows up in the anthology because if I did, you'd be sitting at your computer all night, and we don't want that. Especially when you could be spending your time reading them.

The quality of writing presented throughout the anthology was top-notch, and it was interesting to see how some of everyone's YA fiction authors tackled the short story format. (Personally, I was really excited to read Scott Westerfeld and Cassandra Clare's stories.) Many chose to put a unique spin on the traditional conception of each creature, creating a smörgåsbord of tales that will delight readers with any kind of taste. Not into brain-sucking zombies? Well, maybe you'll enjoy reading about zombies falling in love. Think pretty, rainbow-farting unicorns are lame? Well, maybe you'd prefer to read about killer human-eating unicorns. Really, as I mentioned before, there's a story in here for everyone. In addition, the narration in between the stories by Black and Larbalestier was hilarious. They pretty much created a new definition for the term, "inside joke." Really, listening to (er, technically, reading) them argue about zombies and unicorns was probably the best part of the book, and, believe it or not, both teams made very convincing arguments to support their case.

Because there were some stories I liked more than others I'm not going to rate this book. But just know that from page 1 to 415, I couldn't stop smiling. I highly recommend Zombies vs. Unicorns to anybody who's seeking a good gut-clenching laugh.

Oh, and as a side note, I'm totally Team Unicorn. Anybody care to challenge me? I'll gladly take you on!


Must Love Books said...

I've been seeing this book everywhere and keep telling myself I need to read it! Great review :)

Jessica said...

I was a fence-sitter, waffling between the two teams, but by the end of the anthology, I was more inclined toward team zombie. Though not definitively, 'cause that last unicorn story? The penultimate story in the collection? That seriously blew me away and made me remember why I like unicorns so much.

And after this anthology, how could someone NOT like rainbow-farting unicorns? ;)

I'm here via the Hop, by the way. Hi! *waves*

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

I probably wouldn't challenge you, because I'm inherently terrified of zombies and therefore will side with Unicorns regardless. :P In fact, I wouldn't normally even give this anthology a second glance because of the word "zombie" in the title.

But you know what? I love you and trust your awesomeness, and you say the anthology is great. Therefore, the zombies aren't that bad. So I MIGHT pick this up. Might. :3

Pepper Ink said...

Great review! I really enjoyed it too. Though I'm team Zombie all the way, I can see why one would like the Unicorns so much. ;)

I'm just wondering : which were your favourite stories?

Emi said...

@Must Love Books: Oh man, late response is late. Sorry! xD Anyway, thanks for the comment. I hope you get a chance to pick up this anthology! :)

@Jessica: Thanks for stopping by (two weeks ago)! I totally agree. That story made me tear up it was so emotionally intense. Rainbow farting unicorns are pretty cool, when you really think about it. I mean, rainbows=happiness, so they fart happiness. Who doesn't love that?!

@Kristina: Even though you'd be safer on Team Unicorn than on Team Zombie, you might have problems anyway because there are killer unicorns out least, according to Diana Peterfreund. ;~;

@Pepper: A CHALLENGER APPROACHES! SOUND THE HORN! Haha, no, just kidding. That's totally cool that you're Team Zombie...even if you do crave brains. ;D

Hm...that's a tough question. I definitely enjoyed Purity Test, Children of the Revolution (I agree with you--it was a bit generic, but I love the parallels to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt), The Care and Feeding of your Killer Baby Unicorn, Princess Prettypants, Inoculata, The Third Virgin, Cold Hands, and Prom Night. The rest were just ok. Which one was your absolute favorite?

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