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Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris

Bad Taste in Boys

by Carrie Harris

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1542177,562 (3.52)4
  1. 00
    This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (jqtrotter)
    jqtrotter: THIS IS NOT A TEST isn't as funny and light hearted as BAD TEST IN BOYS, but they are both fast-pace YA zombie thrillers that don't have too much zombie action.

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Fast and silly read. Homecoming and Zombies......enough said. ( )
  TeamDewey | Apr 29, 2014 |
More zombie chick lit! Kate is a science geek/football team medic, and so is the first to notice that the football coach is infecting the team with an unlabeled vial of...something. And when those injected players start craving human flesh, she is the first and maybe only, one who can stop it.

This is a *very* light zombie-ish story, though it is nice to see a female science geek save the day AND catch the eye of the hot guy in school! ( )
  kayceel | Mar 1, 2014 |
Well, that was just plain stupid fun. It would make a great horror-comedy of the B-movie persuasion, like a lighter, teen-ier version of Cabin Fever or Return of the Living Dead Part II, but much wittier and with better characters and a happier ending (and no nudity). Plus, you can read it in two, three hours. Yes, the entire story is ridiculous and has more holes than the movie Holes, but that's part of the fun. And Kate, the super-zombie-killing-science-nerd, is an appealing, self-depreciating narrator, confident and brave in the face of dismembered limbs and black zombie vomit and doing cell cultures to find a cure, but spazzing out every page over her crush, Aaron. My favorite Kate quotation: "I might not have been great with the romance thing, but no one was going to outscience me. Especially when there was a hot boy at stake." Kate is why this gets four stars.

I don't get the cover, though. It's undeniably eye-catching (I'm not sure I want to be seen with it in public, because close-ups of sugary-coated lips? will get weird looks from people.) but it makes the book look darker than it is. I mean, this is definitely more on the light side of black comedy; it's gory but silly and campy. This is not a book that takes itself seriously, but the cover doesn't show that. Also -- I don't see how the image relates to the plot. Then again, the title doesn't make sense either, really (Aaron is a doll, so it seems she has good taste in boys), so whatever. Now I'm just overthinking it and being too literal. I'm just saying, it doesn't scream horror-comedy. It screams gritty drug-addiction, co-dependent relationship book, to me. But perhaps that's just me.

Lovers of fast-paced, gory, minimally-plotted zombie comedies, take note! ( )
  Crowinator | Sep 23, 2013 |
Speaking of being bad, I'm absolutely horrible because Bad Taste in Boys has been out for OVER A YEAR and I've just read it. Why, why, why did it take me so long to get my act together? The only good thing about my tardiness is the fact that I can now immediately dive into the sequel, Bad Hair Day, and the short companion story, Bad Yeti!

Kate Grable is a smart, butt-kicking heroine who spends her days focused on getting into an awesome school and making medical history as Kate Grable, M.D., dreaming of catching the eye of her quarterback crush, Aaron, and making hilarious observations about the world around her. Little does she know, a virus is about to sweep through her school, leaving many of her peers with zombie-like tendencies. With all the limbs and body parts people keep losing, she'll be lucky if she doesn't end up literally catching Aaron's eye.

It seems impossible that a book could make a reader gag and laugh within the space of a paragraph, but Bad Taste in Boys proves it's entirely possible... and surprisingly likely. Kate's life might be a complete and often gory mess during the novel (ya know, zombies and all), but the reader can't help but laugh as Kate describes the ridiculous things happening around her.

Kate has just the right amounts of confidence and insecurity to make relating to her easy. She's obviously got a lot going for her, but she doesn't see it herself. She's smart and, though she's sure of her abilities, she's not cocky. She doesn't realize she's got beauty in addition to brains, but Carrie Harris doesn't portray this in an annoying, false way. Kate doesn't put herself down about not being conventionally beautiful. I was thankful that I never once thought to myself: I feel like this character is constantly talking about how ugly she is just so I'll think in my head, "no silly, you look great!" Kate might sometimes feel self conscious when she considers her looks, but she doesn't dwell - she's got way more important things to worry about. Like that zombie over there.

When I read that Kate's crush is a popular football player and her best friends are equally popular, I was worried that Bad Taste in Boys would suffer from Horrible Best Friends and This Guy Is Way Too Good For Me Syndrome, but I was wrong! Instead, Kate's friends, though they didn't play a super huge role in the novel, were pretty fantastic, and Aaron was adorable. Plus, he's a super fantastic guy that doesn't suffer from an overly inflated ego. Big shoutout to supportive secondary characters!

In conclusion, don't be a bad, be good! And by good, I mean read Bad Taste in Boys sooner than later! ( )
  thehidingspot | Jan 31, 2013 |
Four out of five stars.

BAD TASTE IN BOYS has been out for a while. For whatever reason, I never picked it up. I don’t know why, I always thought the cover was interesting. I guess it was the title that turned me off. Eventually I actually read the synopsis for it and realized it wasn’t a contemporary romance YA (which, I thought it was for some reason) but it was really about zombies! Awesome, right? I think I’ve mentioned before my weird little obsession with zombies.

The first thing you’ll notice when you pick the book up is how small it is. Including the acknowledgment, dedication, and other necessary pages, it’s around just 220 pages. The story itself is only 202 pages. That intrigued me right away, could an author really put together a compelling story with real characters in such a little word count? Harris apparently could.

Granted, Kate really is the only developed character. All her friends and Aaron (her love interest) are only in the story for short periods of time, since Kate does most of the action/heroing moments by herself. Jonah, her little brother, gets a good chunk of time and he is amusing. Personally, I don’t mind not getting to know the others that well. Kate is more than enough to carry the story. She’s engaging, so clever, funny, and a total geek — which I loved.

The pace in the book is pretty fast. The soon-to-be-zombie-problem is hinted at almost right away and comes into play by the second chapter. The roller coaster ride continues strong throughout the book and once it’s resolved the book doesn’t dillydally around, it gives a nice ending and stops.

There were some dumb moments. Kate keeps a closed mouth about a lot of the weird things that are going on when she could just tell someone (like her dad or the police) and maybe some of the drama could have been avoided but… where would the fun be in that? Harris gives good enough reasons for her not to go telling everything about the problems right away, and there are zombies so you have to pull away from reality a little to enjoy the book. Another thing that bothered me a sometimes was how stereotypical some of the teens were… like the dumb jocks and perfect homecoming queen friend. I know stereotypes tend to be true, hence why they are always around, but still, they’re bothersome. And Aaron doesn’t seem to have a flaw, aside from bad taste in a best friend. I really enjoy it when the love interest isn’t perfect but, like I said, though he was mentioned often he was really only in the book six or seven times. Kate, thankfully, isn’t the stereotypical geek and has a few flaws.

BAD HAIR DAY is out now and the second in the series. Like any strong series, the first book could totally stand alone. It closes with all the important things wrapped up, but it does give the reader a desire to see what happens to Kate next.If you like zombies, or you’re looking for a quick, enjoyable YA read, I’d recommend picking up a copy of BAD TASTE IN BOYS.

More of my reviews can be found on my site YA Book Reviews. ( )
  jqtrotter | Dec 2, 2012 |
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Future physician Kate Grable is horrified when her high school's football coach gives team members steroids, but the drugs turn players into zombies and Kate must find an antidote before the flesh-eating monsters get to her or her friends.

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