Thursday, November 29, 2012

Supagurl Blog Tour Stop - Barely Alive, by Bonnie R. Paulson - A Dual Review

Welcome to one of four (!!!) stops on the 'Barely Alive' tour. Our tour stop today will feature a double review of 'Barely Alive', by Bonnie R. Paulson. We were both really excited to read the first book in this collection, Erin included, who never reads anything zombie! Cool huh? 

Join us Dec. 7th for review of Book #2, Dec. 11th for Book #3 of the series, and Dec. 15th for an interview with Bonnie herself!

In twelve weeks, seventeen-year-old Paul Ledger will be dead. At least he hopes so.

Paul is trapped in the worst cult the United States has ever seen. Infected with a zombie virus, symptoms culminate in a dead body but thriving mind over a course of twelve weeks. If he doesn’t earn the final death he longs for, he’ll be chained in a basement facility, moaning for human flesh for eternity.

Sent out to kidnap girls for food, toys, or whatever the boss wants, Paul nabs Heather McCain. He’s not a fan of humans as a general rule, but even his graying skin and insatiable hunger for her flesh don’t stop her from reaching out to him. Give him the second chance he doesn’t know he needs.

Overcome by his cravings, Paul bites her delectable skin. Amazingly, she doesn’t develop the zombie-like side effects. When the boss discovers Heather’s immunity, he gives Paul an ultimatum – deliver up Heather and her family to continue the research or watch as Paul’s brother suffers the zombie fate.

Paul has a chance to endure his short zombie existence knowing his brother is safe. But he’ll have to sacrifice Heather to do it.
The Reviews:

Erin's Review

My Rating:

Those of you who know anything about me know that I don't do Zombies - never have. I can honestly say I have never picked up a book about Zombies in my entire life. Whereas Lily can't get enough of them. When this book came across our e-mail from Supagurl Blog Tours I thought 'Hmmm...this one sounds interesting' so I grabbed it and here I am today.

I actually liked it! Now, I don't know if it was because it was a YA zombie book, with some romance (because I certainly am a sucker for romance)...but regardless I actually liked it! I am so impressed with myself!! In saying that...I am not completely changed. I don't think I would pick up an adult zombie book...there would have to be some aspect to draw me to it because blood and guts just is not my thing!

The story line was awesome, very intriguing. Character development was very strong, and I grew to really like the main character, Paul. As a 'zombie virgin' I didn't really know much about them...just that they ate human flesh and brains. I really appreciated that the author helped me fully understand what a zombie was. Told from a teenage boys point of view, what he saw, thought and felt really helped connect the dots for me.

There was a little bit of the gory 'zombie' type scenes, but not as much as I would imagine a more adult zombie book would play out. (From what I have read from Lily's experience with Zombie books...there is usually little left to the imagination).

Unfortunately I didn't pick up the next two books in the series for the tour as I am a new first time Mom and didn't want to commit to reading something within a certain time frame until I get myself into a routine with the little one...but you better believe I will be picking the last two books up as soon as I can!

Lily's Review

My Rating:

When we got the invite to join this tour, there was no second thought in my mind to jump on this bandwagon. Zombies? Come on! I will read them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But then I got the most surprising note from Erin. She thinks it sounds interesting and wants to read it too!


Erin's first zombie novel... sniff sniff... so happy!! I am so glad she liked it!

Moving on to my thoughts...

I read Erin's review before posting, and she mentioned ".. told from a teenage boy's point of view" I actually took a mental pause.. A teenage boy? And sure enough, after re-reading the blurb, I realized that Paul was the tender age of 17 years old when he got caught up in this whole mess and turned into what he is.  As I read the novel, he seemed so mature and adult to me that I just naturally thought of him as an adult male and forgot the age mentioned in the blurb. He seemed to me to be quite a seasoned soldier, and his survival instincts just screamed maturity and years of experience. But I guess getting injected with a nasty virus that will kill you in a few weeks, and being ordered to do some pretty nasty deeds for the really sadistic guy in charge can age a person.

I also really enjoyed Heather's character because she is a strong female individual and a survivalist in her own right. In fact, in the middle of this crazy situation she finds herself in in the beginning of this story, she brandishes a knife and threatens Paul. Even when her female girlies are getting eaten by a really dead (and I mean, dead!!) zombie, she, though in obvious shock, fights for her life. How can you not want to take a bite out of her like her? 

A little romance adds a little spin to this zombie story, which I usually don't encounter in books of this genre, but was quite enjoyable. Paul's constant internal battle with Heather's flesh, and whether to literally eat it, or kiss it, was pretty comedic for me and added a fun spin to the story.

What I enjoyed the most about this book was the originality spun into a genre that has its hard coded stereotypes of what zombies are, look and act like. This was not centered around a mindless horde that operates on the most basic of survival modes, looking to fill empty decaying bellies with living human flesh and brains. Yes, ok, there are a couple of those on the side of roads, and shambling in some buildings due to some unfortunate effects of said virus, but Paul is not one of those. He is the pre-dead kind of zombie, that still has his humanity left, and though there are some very familiar zombie like tendencies, his mental and emotional faculties are still in working order. He is believable and a character you want to sympathize with, and even crush on. And I must say, as the story progressed, I am hoping he finds the cure he is wishing for, not just to save the infected of his world, but so that maybe he can get the girl. 

I am happy that I get to continue the series through the generosity of this author who supplied the collection as part of this tour, to read and review. I didn't waste a lot of time getting to the second novel, and looking forward to hitting the third book of the series!

Author Bio

Bonnie R. Paulson mixes her science and medical background with reality and possibilities to make even myths seem likely and give every romance the genetic strength to survive. Bonnie has discovered a dark and twisty turn in her writing that she hopes you enjoy as much as she has enjoyed uncovering it. Dirt biking with her family in the Northwest keeps her sane.

Find the Author:
Twitter: @bonnierpaulson 
Goodreads: Bonnie R. Paulson

 Amazon Purchase Links

Barnes & Noble Purchase Links


  1. Hi Lily and Erin!
    I hope it's okay that I stop by and say thank you so much for having me on this tour. And can I say how beautifully you both write? So much personality in your words. I got a kick out of your reviews - and not just because they were so kind!
    Congrats on being a new mom, Erin. We're expecting #6 next summer. I love it and I know you're going to have a blast! And Lily, have a mug of braaaaain on me. I'm a zombie freak now, too. Lol.
    Thanks again for having me. I look forward to seeing you again in the next couple of weeks.

    1. Absolutely it's ok. You can drop in anytime :)

      Thank you for your kind words. Erin is bringing her little one home today. Everyone is doing well and very happy.

      #6??? WOW! Congratulations!



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