12 Following

Leah's Bookshelf

Likes: Horror, macabre, fairy tales, ghosts, hauntings, serial killers, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, time travel, orphans, clones, thrillers, classics, gothic


I like to read anything that tells a good story, duh ;) Genre doesn't really matter much but I tend to read dark fiction and fantasy the most. I skip chick lit and romance novels with a few exceptions for the extraordinary.


My ratings system:

5 stars - ADORED; plan to read over and over and over.

4 stars - ENJOYED; will likely read once or twice more.

3 stars - LIKED; may or may not read again ... someday.

2 stars - MEH; no plans to read again.

1 stars - I didn't enjoy the story and was lucky to finish.

0 stars - I couldn't or wouldn't finish for reasons that may or may not be listed in the review box.

Currently reading

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories
Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Washington Irving, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Ray Bradbury, Charlotte Gilman Perkins, Willa Carter, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stephen Crane, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, Nath
Progress: 225/768 pages

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Zone One: A Novel - Colson Whitehead

Rating: 4 of 5


Zone One is a perfect example of "literary horror." I love stories that dig under the surface of horrific events, like a zombie apocalypse, to show me not just the physicality (running for their life) of the situation but also the emotionality (why they're running, what they're really running from, and so forth) by way of meticulously selected words and expertly crafted sentences.


If you only read zombie or apocalypse books for the fast-paced plot and abundant gore, you probably won't enjoy this book.


If you're easily bored by literary fiction because of its "complicated" style and/or slow-moving or nonexistent plot, you should probably skip this book.


If you loathe expanding your vocabulary (aka having to look up the meaning of a word) whilst reading, definitely choose something else.


If, like me, you relish the [sometimes elusive] hybrid known as literary horror, then you may want to give this book a chance.


If you're not used to prose of this caliber, the first 40 to 50 pages may require some patience, but it's worth it. Whitehead writes beautifully (arguably too much so at times), and I found myself wanting to highlight sentence after sentence, yet I wouldn't put the book down in order to grab a notebook and pen. I should warn you, though: its characters' examination of humanity was a dark one, both before and after the zombies.


My biggest complaint: I wish Mark Spitz could've been as tenacious as Temple in The Reapers Are the Angels (Alden Bell) or as driven as the Man in The Road (Cormac McCarthy). But perhaps Mark's mediocrity was the point. Something to ponder, I suppose.