Vivian Ellenshaw is fat, but she knows she doesn’t need to lose weight, so she’s none too happy to find herself forced into a weight-loss camp’s van with her ex-best friend, Allie, a meathead jock who can barely drive, and the camp owner’s snobby son. And when they arrive at Camp Featherlite at the start of the worst blizzard in the history of Flagstaff, Arizona, it’s clear that something isn’t right. Vee barely has a chance to meet the other members of her pod, all who seem as unhappy to be at Featherlite as she does, when a camper goes missing down by the lake. Then she spots something horrifying outside in the snow. Something…that isn’t human. Plus, the camp’s supposed “miracle cure” for obesity just seems fishy, and Vee and her fellow campers know they don’t need to be cured. Of anything. Even worse, it’s not long before Camp Featherlite’s luxurious bungalows are totally overrun with zombies. What starts out as a mission to unravel the camp’s secrets turns into a desperate fight for survival–and not all of the Featherlite campers will make it out alive.
A book about a fat girl being badass. That was pretty much all I needed to be completely on board for this book. But, this book was about a fat girl who got sent to fat camp, and is not being badass fighting zombies. Heck yeah, that sounded like a book I wanted to read! Trigger warnings: fatphobia, gore, blood
This book is batshit, balls to the walls nuts. It was so not what I was expecting and I’m trying to see if I mean that in negative or positive way.
Going into this book, I thought it was going to only focus and be told from Vivian’s point of view. But, there is actually six POVs! I enjoyed most of the stories of all the characters, but it created a very, very chaotic overall storyline.
There were positives to these POVs. It made me want to race through this book, because it seemed like things were happening back to back to back. The dramatics are high, as are the stakes. It gets intense, and all these POVs only heighten this.
Though, on the negative side, there is so much going on at the same. I felt like certain themes were picked up, and then dropped. Or randomly pop up, only to drop off into the background later. I would have liked for certain things, such as Rachel’s relationship with religion or Vivian’s relationship with her stepdad, to have a thread throughout the entire story. But, they seemed to only pop in here and there. And because there is so much happening all the time, even from the beginning, there are so many names to keep track of. On top of this, sometimes last names are used, sometimes they are. Nicknames too! Then, there were so many relationships to keep track of. Because there are so many, there were some that felt like they happened so fast. Even with the heightened emotions of the experience, the romance especially seemed like it kind of came out of nowhere. I think the book would have even benefitted with no romance subplot. Vivian’s storyline, I think, would have been a lot stronger and her actions at the end would have spoken to her character a lot more, which would have been cool.
The zombies of this book were really, really well done. I loved the lore behind them, and I thought the science to their creation was really smart. I know there have been so many different kinds of zombies done, but these felt so original!
Another thing I enjoyed was that this book was filled with fat characters being badass. Not in spite of them being fat, just because they could be badass. Yes, they are at a fat camp, but that gets turned out its head very quickly. I think Vivian’s relationship with her body could have been fleshed out just slightly more, but overall, I really, really loved how this book depicted fatness.
One of the things that this book did really well was depict teens reacting to a zombie outbreak realistically. They’re freaked out. They want adults. They get hurt, and scream, and freak out. They throw together plans and things catch on fire. This book gets absolutely wild and it does not hold back.
Really, I’m trying to decide if I liked the nutsness of this book. It created a book that was completely nuts, but I felt like there were things that could benefitted from a plotline that was a bit less nuts. Overall, I thought this book was really good! There were just a few things I didn’t completely fall in love with.