Eat Your Heart Out

Hey, hey! Do you like zombies? Bad-ass girls who get creative when it comes to weapons? Then buckle up buttercup, because this book is for you!

First, let’s get our zombie apocalypse survival checklist out:

Vivian Ellenshaw knows who she is and what she wants. And she doesn’t need to go to fat camp. So when she’s forced to go with her ex-best friend, she’s really not thrilled. To make matters worse, they arrive in the middle of the worst blizzard in Flagstaff’s history.

She barely has time to meet the rest of her pod when a camper goes missing. And then the camp director. With the camp in lockdown, Vee knows something is off.

Rather than being force-fed some strange new “cure” for obesity, Vee takes matters into her own hands. What started as a mission to expose the truth of the camp quickly turns into the fight of their lives as the camp is overrun with zombies. And not every camper will survive.

There is a lot to love in this book. I mean, A LOT! First, one of my favorite things is how deVos opens the book. She gives us seven character tropes from horror movies with a brief explanation for each, and then weaves these tropes into the awareness of her characters. I loved this so much! Trying to figure out who is who, while the characters are trying to figure that out at the same time is sheer brilliance. And such a fun way to bring those tropes to life in a non-cheesy way.

With six character POV’s, you bounce around a lot from chapter to chapter, but each character is so vividly rendered, I never got confused when switching. This broad character perspective was also perfect to build the tension inside of an already tense story. What could make a zombie apocalypse in a once-in-a-lifetime blizzard at a shady pharma-run fat camp even more terrifying? The fact that almost every single person in Vee’s pod has a secret that threatens their survival.

I know. It’s delicious.

Let’s meet the characters.

There’s Vivian Ellenshaw. Even though there’s six POV’s, Vee is the main character. And I love her. She’s tough, badass, and definitely knows who she is. I wish I had a fraction of her confidence, both as a teen and now, frankly. That’s not to say she doesn’t have her own demons to wrestle with, because she does. I also especially adore her ability to turn almost anything into a weapon. It’s a skill we should all have.

Allison DuMonde is Vee’s ex-best friend. She has a plan, or well, several plans while she’s at Featherlite. And she can’t let Vee know about any of them.

Steve Miller needs money. Maybe he can get that baseball scholarship after the semester starts, but he has to get there first. So paycheck first, weird feelings and clarifying questions second. If there is a second.

Paul Fannon, er, Lewis, needs to do a good job. He isn’t really a camper, he’s just there for his dad. Their new investors need to know how their program is going and Paul is going to give them a piece of his mind. Well, unless something eats his mind first.

Rachel Benedict is a good girl. A pastor’s daughter, she’s always done the right thing. Except for once. And look where that got her. She needs to make some decisions, and fast. But maybe something else is going to make those decisions for her instead.

And finally, there’s Sheldon Smentkowski. The only thing Sheldon didn’t count on was having his electronics taken away from him. But it’s fine, his plan to go home should work just fine. Or doom them all.

It’s important that readers are aware this book is satire. The author has a note at the beginning reminding us of that. It takes our diet culture and fatphobia to an extreme to highlight how damaging these things truly are. They’re insidious, creeping into our daily lives in terrible ways. And the effects are heartbreaking. So many pieces of this book give us a glimpse into just how awful these mindsets and beliefs truly are.

The combination of themes, characters, and plot make this book simply explode off the page. It feels cinematic as you read, but also so vivid and real. These characters are people we know, hell, they could be you. It’s not just a fun read, it has layers that crawl around your brain and make you want to talk to someone about them.

While this book is on the lighter side of horror, it’s still a slasher zombie story. There’s gore and dismemberment and some seriously intense moments. It isn’t overly graphic, but if the idea of being ripped apart makes you squeamish, well, be warned. Of course, as I mentioned, this is a very layered story. So while it will have you reading through the cracks of your fingers in some parts, you’ll be so connected to the characters that you have to find out what happens next. It’s impossible to put down.

Four very gory stars.

Thank you Turn the Page Tours and Razorbill Books for including me on this tour and sending me a copy!

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more reviews, interviews, and more!

Shaun of the Dead meets Dumplin’ in this bitingly funny YA thriller about a kickass group of teens battling a ravenous group of zombies.

In the next few hours, one of three things will happen.

1–We’ll be rescued (unlikely)

2–We’ll freeze to death (maybe)

3–We’ll be eaten by thin and athletic zombies (odds: excellent)

Vivian Ellenshaw is fat, but she knows she doesn’t need to lose weight, so she’s none too happy to find herself forced into a weight-loss camp’s van with her ex-best friend, Allie, a meathead jock who can barely drive, and the camp owner’s snobby son. And when they arrive at Camp Featherlite at the start of the worst blizzard in the history of Flagstaff, Arizona, it’s clear that something isn’t right.

Vee barely has a chance to meet the other members of her pod, all who seem as unhappy to be at Featherlite as she does, when a camper goes missing down by the lake. Then she spots something horrifying outside in the snow. Something…that isn’t human. Plus, the camp’s supposed “miracle cure” for obesity just seems fishy, and Vee and her fellow campers know they don’t need to be cured. Of anything.

Even worse, it’s not long before Camp Featherlite’s luxurious bungalows are totally overrun with zombies. What starts out as a mission to unravel the camp’s secrets turns into a desperate fight for survival–and not all of the Featherlite campers will make it out alive.

A satirical blend of horror, body positivity, and humor, Kelly deVos’s witty, biting novel proves that everyone deserves to feel validated, and taking down the evil enterprise determined to dehumanize you is a good place to start.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound 

Kelly deVos is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart, amazing teen daughter, and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a BA in creative writing from Arizona State University. When not reading or writing, Kelly can typically be found with a mocha in hand, bingeing the latest TV shows and adding to her ever-growing sticker collection. She is the author of  FatGirl on a Plane, Day Zero, Day One and Eat Your Heart Out. Visit Kelly online at kellydevos.com.

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