Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kiss of Life

Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters
Published by DisneyHyperion Books

Are or have you ever been a teenager? As a teenager, have you ever felt left out or had to deal with trying to fit into the rest of society?

If you said yes to these two questions, then you will most likely feel for the characters in Kiss of Life. However, what makes these teenagers different is that they have died and become zombies. Their story and truly a tough look at our society in general is the subject of this fictional second in a series by Daniel Waters.

My Impressions

As I said, this is the second in a series. The first novel is Generation Dead and the next book is Passing Strange. However, you can read this book and relate to teen angst no matter if you are breathing or newly resurrected.

The good part is that this is not a nasty, zombies-eating-your-brains kind of novel. Instead, what we find are young people who are struggling to make sense of life and how to fit in. Issues of truth, making and keeping relationships and the pressures of society are all highlighted in Waters' book. You do not have to have read the first book to enter into this world and really get a feel for the plot. In fact, I spent so much time trying to remember who did what in the first book that I realized not knowing would have been a blessing. It is good just to enjoy what the characters are doing without stressing on what they did.

The biggest question I found myself asking while reading was this: What part of our society has made teenagers feel totally outcast? In other words, what have we all done to make teens feel as though they truly were the living dead?

The main plot line is that some teens who die are coming back to life as zombies. The series has yet to answer why this is happening and why only some teens. In fact, adults who are trying to answer those questions are really more scary than the zombies themselves. What I find interesting is that coming to life as a zombie is not without difficulties. At first, zombies are unable to move very well and do not talk at all. Eventually, most of them re-learn how to be animated. However, the more loved a zombie is, the easier and faster they can assimilate into a life-like state.

Of course, these zombies are not without prejudiced enemies who are out to destroy them. Some of these enemies are living in their same households while others have some governmental connections. So, not only are the teens trying to fit in, they are also just trying to stay

I recommend Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters. 

From a Faith Perspective

The big question has to do with God. Why is God allowing this to happen to some teens? Has God just totally kicked them out, not even letting them die? In other words, is there a rejection not only by adults but by the creator as well? And what kind of immortality is this? What price does this life after death have? It is noticeable that zombies, unlike the fictional vampires of late, have a harder time adjusting, even though they do not feed on those that are still alive.

It is hard to be a teenager today. I get that. What disturbs me is the thought that perhaps teens today really do feel abandoned by God. Has God so abandoned them that not even death is available?  I find that sometimes my own church is not as accepting of some of our teens and young adults who don't live a squeaky clean life. Do they feel abandoned by God because of this?

It is bad enough being a teenager. Imagine living the rest of your "life" as a teen who happens to also be a zombie. That reminds me that this is just fiction. But it does make me want to see how I can love and accept teens just as they are in my church and in the world.

May you know God's acceptance of you just as you are.


Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

No comments:

Post a Comment