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Practically Paradise
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Rot & Ruin

Jonathan Maberry’s new book Rot & Ruin corrupted me. I couldn’t do anything else on my airplane flight to San Diego but read obsessively. Susan Norwood told me about this book first in the following facebook message:

WE NEED THIS BOOK IN THE LIBRARY.  I just finished a fabulous young adult ZOMBIE book– Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. I sat around for half a day in my nightgown, not wanting to shower til I finished the book–it’s that good– right up there with Hunger Games. Gritty, gory–filled with violence and romance, yet virtually no profanity. Fortunately there is another book in the series. I’m almost sad I finished it.

I thought to myself, okay, Susan is totally into The Walking Dead and everything zombies, but I’ll check out the reviews and see what they say.  (Of course I didn’t want to mention the reason I haven’t popped by her house to watch a marathon of The Walking Dead is because I am a big scaredy-cat, screamer at all scary movies, and might be too afraid to drive home after watching. )

Susan insisted that I take Rot & Ruin with me and I am so glad I did. I couldn’t believe a book of zombies could tell a romance story from a boy’s point of view (definitely not mushy) while being a mystery and paranormal dystopia.

Next Susan told me I have to visit the author Jonathan Maberry’s website. When I mentioned how much I enjoyed Rot & Ruin, she handed me The Enemy by Charlie Higson. Next on the list are In the Forest of Hands & Teeth and Patient Zero. We are looking for some seriously scary books, not Goosebump style for her eighth graders.

Do you think anyone will notice if I keep staying up to read all night and walk like a zombie through school this week?


  1. Glad you’re enjoying the adventures of the Imura brothers, Diane!

    There are thirteen pages of free prequel scenes for ROT & RUIN available on the Simon & Schuster webpage for the book. Here’s a link to the main page; access the scenes by clicking on the banner that reads: READ BONUS MATERIAL BY JONATHAN MABERRY:

    Benny Imura and his friends will return in DUST & DECAY (summer, 2011) and at least two more books beyond that (FLESH & BONE and FIRE & ASH).

  2. susan norwood says:

    I knew you’d like these books! Once I tell kids about these titles, I’ll never see them again. I’ll have to get multiple copies. Note: Many of us walk like zombies. Teaching is hard work. I thought that was normal in our profession-haha.

  3. Lisa Von Drasek Diane Chen says:

    Jonathan contacted me privately to let me know that PATIENT ZERO is definitely not a middle school title. He assured me that he has many other titles out there including graphic novels from Marvel that are fine for teens (DOOMWAR, MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN, MARVEL UNIVERSE VS THE PUNISHER, and BLACK PANTHER: POWER). I’ll be sitting here waiting for the sequels to Rot & Ruin.

    Don’t you appreciate an author who tells you for whom they intended their titles?

  4. Diane, thanks for sharing that bit of info from Jonathan Maberry. As a middle school librarian, finding the right balance between edgy and tween can be difficult. But I have added Rot & Ruin to my wishlist – I know I’ll have readers for it!