I don't know about you, but I love devouring a good zombie book from time to time. Zombies in popular media have slowly taken over, infiltrating some of our most beloved shows, movies, and even books. After taking a zombie college course (yes, that's a real thing), I developed a greater appreciation for the genre, and, well, the monster in general.
Zombies act as metaphors for a lot of things — the human condition, our obsession with mortality, and the fear of wide-spread illness — and they have changed over the course of 100 years. They're also sort of funny and terrifying at the same time, which is why they're my favorite type of villain. While I love The Walking Dead, and I have a few favorite zombie flicks, like the classic Dawn of the Dead series, I also have a few zombie-filled books I love recommending to people — especially those who don't really like zombies to begin with.
From hilarious to serious, these 13 books range in the amount of blood, guts, and brains spilled, but they are all fantastically written. If you're planning on doing a zombie walk this summer, or just need to fill that gaping Walking Dead-sized hole with some more zombies, here are some books that'll keep you entertained:
1. Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore
Zombie, Ohio is by far one of the best zombie novels I've ever read, mostly because the narrator is a highly intelligent zombie. Peter Mellor, a college professor, dies in a car accident but can't remember why or how, and as he slowly accepts his zombie fate, he tries to solve the mystery of his death. After finding his colleagues and family, he quickly learns he's not one of them any longer, and he must face a rather grim — but funny — afterlife.
2. Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
Joe Ledger, a Baltimore detective, has just killed the same terrorist twice in one week. He knows there's seriously something wrong with the world. With a deadly bio-weapon in the hands of terrorists, Ledger has to stop the zombie disease from spreading.... and it looks like the fate of the world is in his hands. If you like high stakes and fast paced zombie stories, this highly rated and fantastically written book is the one for you.
3. The Becoming by Jessica Meigs
Are you looking for a series you can just sink your teeth into? Lucky for you, Jessica Meigs has just the thing. This series takes place in Atlanta during the spread of the Michaluk Virus, which has turned most people into human cannibals. This is more than just a zombie survival story; Meigs brings you into the characters lives before, during, and after the virus — and you'll fall absolutely in love with each and every one of them.
4. World War Z by Max Brooks
World War Z is the classic zombie book, and no, I'm not even going to compare it to the mediocre movie adaptation. Max Brooks takes on the role as a documenter for the survivors of The Zombie War, a war that came dangerously close to killing off all of humanity. While recording the stories of men, women, and children, Brooks reveals what a zombie apocalypse might just do to humanity.
5. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahme-Smith
When I first saw this book on the shelves, I wasn't sure what to think. It this yet another cheesy Pride and Prejudice parody that I'll read and be disappointed by? Thankfully, that certainly wasn't the case. If you haven't read this amazing, kickass version of a classic romantic tale, I urge you to fix that immediately. The women in this story show their independence and willpower by killing off zombies (and looking awesome while doing so.) It's a fun read, and it also earns a spot as a fantastic zombie story.
6. Feed by Mira Grant
After curing cancer, the common cold, and many other medical triumphs, humanity is facing something new and terrible, something that can't be stopped. As the zombie virus spreads, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the hunt to discover where this illness came from, and how to stop it. It's a modern version of the zombie tale, and has an ending that will truly shatter your heart to pieces.
7. Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
When dead teenagers are no longer staying dead, the administration at Oakvale High attempts to be more welcoming to students who are no longer breathing. But that doesn't fly with everyone, and the undead certainly aren't acting the way they did while alive. This YA series has all the high school drama, romance, and zombie struggles you could ever hope for.
8. My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
Angel Crawford doesn't have much going for her, and living with her alcoholic deadbeat of a father isn't helping. But when she overdoses on pain killers and ends up in a hospital, she wakes up as a new person... a new person who suddenly has a craving for brains. After receiving an odd job invitation at the morgue, she realizes she can't say no, and she begins her life solving crimes and mysteries, all while trying to stay alive but knowing that eating brains is oh-so-wrong.
9. Breathers by S.G. Browne
Andy Warner is a recently deceased human and a sparkling new zombie. His family and friends don't really understand his new existence. When he attends his first Undead Anonymous meeting, things begin to dramatically change for him: he meets a sexy undead women, and he learns the joys of human flesh. This book is full of dark comedy, gory scenes, and surprisingly heartwarming moments.
10. Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield
Speaking of gore, Sophie Littlefeild specializes in bloody scenes in her zombie series. Cass wakes up and realizes that her daughter, Ruthie has vanished along with most people in the world. She sets out to find her daughter in a world inhabited by Beaters, humans turned hungry for human flesh.
11. Monster Island by David Wellington
All of the "developed" nations of the world have collapsed due to a zombie illness, but a group of survivors have managed to hang on to life in the streets of New York City. They think they're prepared for anything, but they have no idea what they're truly up against. Yes, this is a serious zombie novel, and yes, you will love the heck out of it.
12. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Who doesn't love a good zombie love story? 'R', a zombie with thoughts who can't remember his name, wanders aimlessly around an abandoned city with the rest of the undead. But when 'R' meets Julie, a human girl who suddenly brings a palette of color into his dull world, he finds himself changing.... possibly gaining back a heartbeat. Their love story isn't simple, and both of them have a shared enemy — something worse than the undead.
13. Love & the Zombie Apocalypse by Chelsea Luna
If you already read Warm Bodies and are looking for something similar, pick up Luna's YA zombie adventure and love story, Love & the Zombie Apocalypse . Seventeen-year-old Rachel Cole will do anything to save her little sister, Morgan, after a zombie war breaks out. The only problem? Her sister is away at summer camp, and Rachel will have to venture out into the infected streets to get to her. Along the way, Rachel meets Cage Vance, the town's star quarterback, and realizes she's falling for him at the absolute worst time.