Teens’ Top Ten 2011: Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier is one of the Teens’ Top Ten Nominations for 2011.
This collection of twelve short stories seeks to answer the burning question: “Which are better, zombies or unicorns?”
I began this book solidly on team unicorn.  Unicorns are beautiful, mythical creatures that have been around for centuries.  The six unicorn stories in this book shed a whole new light on the world of unicorn, ranging from killer unicorns (“The Care and Feeding of your Baby Killer Unicorn”) to a lover unicorn (“A Thousand Flowers“) to a white and purple unicorn who actually farts rainbows (“Princess Prettypants”).  Unicorns can be your best friend or your killer.  Who would have thought it?
I have to admit to being a lifelong scaredy-cat and did not look forward to reading six zombie stories.  Besides, what is so interesting about the un-dead?  Their body parts fall off and they groan.  Well, the six zombie stories are fantastic!  My favorite is “Bougainvillea” where a young lady is a survivor after the Return but must endure pirates and the walking dead.  Another is a pretty gruesome spin on adoptive celebrities – think Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (“The Children of the Revolution”).   The last zombie story is the one that actually made me lay awake at night.  “Prom Night” is about teen survival after their parents have become zombies.  It turns out that zombie stories can be interesting after all.
The stories are all well written by some outstanding YA authors, including Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfield, and Libba Bray. Explicit language and mature subject matter make this collection suitable for older teens and adults. So, which are better, zombies or unicorns?  Read the book to find out.
To read more about the Teens’ Top Ten, click here.  To request this book from Wake County Public Libraries, click here.  Voting begins August 22, 2011 and ends September 16, 2011.  To vote during these dates, click here.
Reviewed by Laura Herman from FUQ.

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