Jennifer’s Book Segment: Zombies vs. Unicorns (Review)

Cover courtesy of
Margaret K. McElderry Books 

About the Book: It’s a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths–for good and evil–of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, like Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

Jennifer’s Review:

When I first started reading this book, I quickly realized that it was going to be very different than what I was expecting. I make a habit of not reading book descriptions because I do not want any hints about the book before I read it. Based on the title alone, I thought I was going to be reading a book about an epic battle between zombies and unicorns.

Zombies vs. Unicorns was not about an epic battle between zombies and unicorns, but instead contains short stories focused on each individually. I have always enjoyed zombies and unicorns, and I always thought unicorns to be beautiful, magical, happy creatures. However, in this collection, the contributors defy the reader’s expectation by making unicorns both magical and murderous. (But don’t worry; with the zombies, there are no surprises.)

What will undoubtedly be a selling point for potential readers is that this is an anthology that offers short stories written by many popular Young Adult fiction authors, including Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments), Scott Westerfeld (Uglies and Pretties), Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), and Kathleen Duey (A Resurrection of Magic). Each of these authors brilliantly combines horror, magic, and romance, all focused around zombies and unicorns.

While I am not usually a fan of short story collections, I did enjoy this book. There were a few stories I could have done without reading, but there were some that I absolutely loved. My favourites include “Bougainvillea” by Carrie Ryan, “The Children of the Revolution” by Maureen Johnson (Little Blue Envelope), “The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn” by Diana Peterfreund (For Darkness Shows the Stars), and “Princess Prettypants” by Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries). This YA collection offers a unique take on both zombies and unicorns and fans of each fictitious creature will thoroughly enjoy it.

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