All month long I’ve got authors sharing scenes from their YA and MG novels set at school. This one is definitely unique. I mean, what would school be like if a bunch of the student body were slowly turning into zombies? Thank you to C. A. Verstraete for sharing this fun excerpt from Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie. If you are a fan of iZombie and Warm Bodies (like I am), you’ll need to pick this one up. Links are below.
Going back to school with her cousin, Carm, was something Becca Herrera Hayes had been looking forward to – even as a part-zombie. She hoped it would be even a small spot of normalcy in a crazy, now upside-down life. But well, you know how things always turn out…
About the book:
Sixteen-year-old Becca Herrera Hayes finds her life changed when her cousin comes home, and via an accidental scratch, turns her into a part-zombie. Now she has to cope with a weird diet and changes no teen wants to go through. Her big hope is that she’ll find something, anything, to stop a full transformation… before it’s too late.
Not even the sight of several military Jeeps out front and Guardsmen stationed around the school put me as on edge. This was more nerve-wracking than going to school the first day as a freshman. What would my old friends say once I showed up? Who'd be here?
Who would be different, like me?
Once inside, we waited for what started as a pretty boring half-hour in the main office while my aunt met with the principal. To my surprise, I saw quite a few other kids who'd been changed by the virus, actually more than I expected. I shrank back and watched, my uneasiness growing as some of the usual teasing turned meaner. Only a security guard interfering got several of the boys going their separate ways.
Carm and I glanced at each other when one of the men behind the desk turned and glared at us. Another woman's muttering made it clear she wasn't happy either about the changes, namely, kids like me. The bad vibes in the room grew stronger. I'd almost considered acting sick so we could leave when Tia's voice interrupted my observations.
"Okay, girls, you're all set. Here are your schedules. I'll pick you up at two-thirty. Bec, if something isn't going right, or you need to come home, the principal is making allowances. You should tell your teacher and they'll let you go to the office. They told me that, uh, special students are being classified under federal disability guidelines, so you'll get more consideration if anything is wrong. Have a good day, honey. I'll see you both later."
Carm gave me a shove, (I didn't need to ask why), before she unfolded her schedule for us to compare. "We'll be fine, right? Looks like we have several classes together, English and—."
We both noticed the difference in our schedules at the same time—mine had a big red Z on the top. It wasn't until we turned the corner that we noticed something else new: guards at the end of the hall, metal gates behind them cutting off what used to be the art and band rooms. The guards checked schedules, directing most of the students down the other hall.
My cousin drew a lot of admiring glances, which didn't surprise me, but I stared at the floor when a group of guys laughed and threw crude comments my way. Carm glared at them and pulled my arm, urging me to pick up my pace.
As if everything else wasn't bad enough, since my transformation, I'd started walking sometimes in this weird, loping gait, which, every now and then, left me an embarrassing few steps behind everyone else. I'd become the female version of the Wolfman slinking along on his hairy tiptoes.
Carm pulled my arm again. "Cuz, c'mon, hurry up, ignore them. Ignorant pigs. Don't let them bother you."
We found my locker. My back to the hall, I pretended to fiddle with the lock as a couple other guys passed and stared at us. "Carm, this is harder than I thought. I don't know if I can do it."
I zoned in on a spot across the hall as one of the geeky guys who used to sit behind me in chemistry wheeled around and stared, his face a stomach-turning road map of acne and Z scars. Ugh. I tried not to gag. The Z virus had only made things worse for him.
Carm whispered while she fiddled with her locker. "Bec, don't worry. Things'll get better. It won't be bad. Honest."
I shook my head, feeling even worse when I saw Jimmy Churlin stagger down the hall, heading our way. Holy cow, the virus seemed to have done a number on the guys around here. Jimmy made one ugly being, all drool, and even fewer manners than before.
Grimacing, I watched him make a rude comment to one of the girls who sashayed by, hips wiggling in an attention-getting tight skirt. I'd have thought the virus would have toned down some of his less desirable traits. Day by day, I'd noticed most of my deadened senses had returned even though they stayed at more muted levels. Like I could taste food again (sometimes), but it usually didn't taste like it once did (or stay with me) for long.
Sure I had the wandering eye problem and tripped over my own feet, but so far, most of my problems were somewhat tolerable, considering everything. Not so for most male Zs, I saw. Carm and I exchanged horrified glances as we watched the rude, obnoxious way several of them acted, hoping it was a rare occurrence. Hardly.
The main thing on most teenage Z's brains (the little they had left, of course) these days was food, followed by sex, a horrific combination.
The virus amplified the endless eating cycle teenage boys usually had. Even with all the protein drinks, I watched several stagger down the hall slobbering over packages of raw meat when they weren't slobbering over girls. Ugh. I wanted to laugh, and would've, if it wasn't so revolting.
If this book sounds like fun to you, click on one of these links:
All Amazon Countries
Barnes & Noble
C.A. (Christine) Verstraete likes writing and reading scary books and stories. Her latest work includes two different takes on zombies in the Baby Shoes: 100 Stories from 100 Authors anthology, and coming in the Young Adventurers anthology. Stop by her blog, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com or her website, http://cverstraete.com.
D. G. Driver
Author of Young Adult books Cry of the Sea and Passing Notes.