Thursday, October 1, 2015

BBReview: "Once Upon A Zombie 1: The Color of Fear" by Billy Phillips

Genre: Middle Grade - Paranormal/Fantasy/Re-telling
Publishing Date: October 1st, 2015
Page Count: 368
Source: Sent for review by the author
Format: E-book

Description from is reporting strange phenomena in cemeteries in Scotland, Germany, Italy, and America. Only one individual knows what's happening - and why! This person also knows the one girl who can prevent an unspeakable and imminent catastrophe from taking place. But will she? When Caitlin Fletcher's mom disappeared (or left?) four years ago, Caitlin began suffering from breathless bouts of anxiety. Her new move to London, with her Dad and her brainiac sister, threatens to lead to more situations that will trigger panic. Now, she's having anxiety over the possibility of having anxiety! Caitlin's life takes a turn for the bizarre when she's tricked into climbing down a "rabbit hole", landing in a wondrous fairy tale universe - except it's crawling with savage, starving blood-eyed zombies. But what's scarier - a blood thirsty zombie, a panic attack....or the painful truth?!
Once Upon A Zombie is the first Middle Grade novel that I have enjoyed and read till the end, as I have always been more of a Young Adult supporter. I’m not saying that this novel has swayed me to start reading more Middle Grade, but I did enjoy the read a lot. I think the reason I enjoyed this book so much was thanks to two big facts: The paranormal element and the fairy tales. Those are two of my loves. One thing you really have to know going into this story is that it sits rights on the border of Middle Grade and Young Adult (perfect for me!). The main character, Caitlin is 14-years-old and a freshman in high school. Normally this would be the setting for a Young Adult novel, but it’s the plot line that makes it Middle Grade. It’s a really good read for those either interested in reading Middle Grade, or those who are Middle Grade age and are about to begin reading Young Adult.

Caitlin has a lot of anxiety issues. The story begins with her having a full blown panic attack and we begin to learn the different fears she has and when they started. It really isn’t until we get to the graveyard that the plot starts to take on that Middle Grade feel. I found the adventure Caitlin and her friends go through to be very interesting and intriguing. I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next and what fairy tale character we would soon become friends with (examples include Rapunzel, Cinderella, and the Little Mermaid).

Since I read an ARC of the book, there were a few inconsistencies in the beginning, but I have been assured by Billy that those were all taken care of in later edits. The other problem I had was that there was a lot of building tension, but then when it was finally time for the resolve, there wasn’t a whole lot of action. Everything is “fixed” in the last couple of pages and it was a little too easy, quick, and neat for me. I was getting to the ending and I honestly thought they were going to climb through the wormhole without fixing the fairy tale world. When it was fixed, it was fixed with personality traits (bravery, confidence, friendship). I had to remind myself that it was because of the age range this story is intended for. When you think of it as a book for kids, it makes sense. I could also see it being a kids TV show or movie. So, really when you think about it my small problems with the book were exactly that: small. I didn't have any big issues with the story except not being used to reading something for a younger age range. This means you should ABSOLUTELY try it out for yourself!

I really enjoyed the story line a lot! I found it to be intriguing, exciting, and fun. I also loved getting to know all the characters. Fairy tales and the paranormal are two of my all time loves, which is why I absolutely HAD to get my hands on this book! I'm not used to reading Middle Grade so, it was a little different for me, but I still really enjoyed it. I will definitely be reading more of this series, and hopefully owning some of the dolls soon too! If you enjoy middle grade, are looking to get into middle grade, OR currently read middle grade but want to transition into reading young adult - CHECK OUT THIS BOOK!

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 4/5

**The books cover, description, and info was all found on Goodreads. A link back has been provided. All other work and ideas are of my own creation. This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.**