Kate Grable is a smart, borderline nerdy girl, and proud of it! She’s the student trainer for the football team (it will help her eventually get into med school), so she knows something is wrong when the coach starts injecting players with unmarked syringes of liquid. Initially suspecting steroids, after an incident at a party Kate knows it’s something much more sinister than that: it’s a compound that turns people into flesh-craving zombies. Now the zombie infection is spreading throughout the school, and Kate will need to use her smarts to find a cure and put an end to the zombies, before the zombies put an end to her.
Bad Taste in Boys is as much fun as a campy B-movie, and much more accessible to a wide variety of readers. Harris writes with the same pacing and tongue-in-cheek humor that you might get in the silliest of zombie films, like Dead Alive. She builds up the action and tension, and skillfully diffuses otherwise terrifying circumstances with absurdity and wit.
Kate is a really great character, and one that girls can look up to. She revels in her intelligence and trusts her own ability to think through problems. Kate is also very secure in her identity as the kind of geeky science fiend, knowing that she’s passionate about science, and that her intelligence and perseverance will someday land her a great job as a doctor.
Bad Taste in Boys might be a bit light on the zombies for those seeking hard-core zombie fiction, but I think this book can appeal to a wide cross-section of readers who want a screwball comedy mixed with action and a dash of horror. This is a zany peach of a debut for Harris, so I can’t wait to see what adventures Kate will have the next time around.