Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Abducted by Zombicorns

Yesterday, I finally finished Zombicorns by John Green!

I got the short novella months and months ago, and it is only like 38 pages long, so I really should have read it a long before now! In the end, it took me two sittings to read it but there was about a week and a half in between them.

The story introduces us to a young girl named Mia. Mia was forced to kill her father when he became infected with a virus called d131y. Her sister has now become infected as well, Mia is still doing everything she can to provide for her...from a safe distance that is.

When we meet her, Mia is alone with her dog (Mr. President) and is reminicing about her recent friend, a girl named Caroline. At this point corn has taken over the world and infected humans with the virus that turns them into...okay, basically it turns them into something like "zombies". But don't call them "zombies" because Mia doesn't like that! Her definition is that the people are still people, they are just infected, but of course that is where the whole discussion of; what happens to a person's soul? comes into play.

A John Green story (novella, novel, or otherwise) wouldn't be a John Green story without having the characters contemplate what it means to be human, what it means to feel, and struggles with defining a person's soul.
"Being a person, I had come to realize, is a communal activity. Dogs know how to be dogs. But people do not know how to be people unless and until they learn from other people." 
Then again, it also wouldn't be a John Green story if it wasn't infused with moments of self reflection that seem absurd and yet 100% accurate at the same time, and also that make you laugh. For me it was a small rant that Mia goes on about the love between a person and their chair;

"...say a guy who works for the Social Security Administration or something...he spends all day in the same chair that he's been sitting in for twelve and a half years or whatever, all day every day in this very same chair, and the guy sometimes thinks...about how this chair is technically his most intimate acquaintance, about how he and the chair have shaped each other. There's an indention forever in the chair where the guy's wallet is and the guy long ago changed his posture to meet the needs of the chair. He and the chair, they are these two symbiotic creatures locked in a decade-long love affair..." 

Absurd right? However, maybe, somewhat accurate? I don't know why, but when I read that part about how "he and the chair have shaped each other", I'm not even kidding it kind of gave me chills.I just really liked the idea of that.

The novella does begin with a message that warns readers that the novella they are about to read is not a finished or polished piece. I think that was one of the things that most intrigued me to read it. John Green is always saying that if we nerdfighters ever got a hold of one of his original copies of Looking For Alaska or Paper Towns that we would probably vomit all over the place. I was very interested to see just how bad his writing was before it's polishing.

And I'm sure this wont come as a huge surprise, but really, it wasn't too bad at all. I probably struggled more with this story then I have with his previous works, but I was still able to follow it okay and as you saw above, I could still recognize his style of writing. The phrasing and the structure of the sentences was a little rough, the words didn't flow as lyrically as they have in his other work, but that was the only thing that I noticed. Oh, and there were parts where words were repeated (one paragraph started out with the word "but" three times) but that just made me smile. It wasn't like any of these obstacles took me out of the story or made it difficult to process.

I would give Zombicorns by John Green an abduction rating of...


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Oooooh... I may have to read this for my A-Z challenge. Do you think it counts even though it's a novella? Hmm...

Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

I second Kate and I think this would go great for my A to Z challenge, and I don't care that it's a novella, it's making my list, Z books are really hard to find!

Great review, especially for a novella! :)

fakesteph said...

I totally want to read this one!!!!!! This review made me smile. :)

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

Yeah, I think John just has that natural talent for writing. I'm sure his stuff does go through a lot of edits, but I'm sure he's gotten to a point where even his first drafts are ten times better than most writers'. Great review, Courtney - I'll have to check this one out to round out my John Green collection! Well, that plus the short story compilations...

Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Winds of Change kit by NatashaNaSt Designs