On Publishing: The Literary Agent Process, Told Through Memes and GIF’s

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

–  Robert Collier

 

First things first: the concept of using GIF’s to explain a process wasn’t originally my idea. By all means, before you read my take on this, I’d highly recommend checking out Nathan Bransford’s hilarious blog post, The Publishing Process in GIF Form. Mine is a bit different because it uses mostly different images, has a few paragraphs between each one, and focuses specifically on the process of getting a literary agent rather than the entire publishing cycle.

(In Star Trek villain voice): Shall we begin?

So I talked last time about the process of writing a query letter, which is one of those you-get-there-eventually tasks. Once I got there, and edited said query letter to death, it was time to look for a literary agent. I turned to the 2013 Guide to Literary Agents. I was hoping that flipping through that would be something like this:

anigif_enhanced-buzz-27969-1361551443-1

But instead it took me a solid few days to read the advice in the first half (what? Yes, I’m a teenager and I actually read advice!) and then another week at least to carefully scan through the agent listings, highlighting those that seemed like good fits.

agenttime

(In case you’re wondering, I made all of the non-animated memes myself).

Once I had a highlighted book full of potential future agents, I typed up said agents’ names and agencies in a document on my computer. That may be a little too organized for most people, especially seventeen year olds, but I’m not most people.

So then it was time to start reading over the submission guidelines for each agency, and I started to feel a lot like:

anigif_enhanced-buzz-21641-1361553914-25

And then I learned that I’ll need to include a synopsis along with my query letter and sample pages, and my reaction was:

anigif_enhanced-buzz-29954-1361553931-1

and

arguecat

But I researched the best way to write a synopsis, hammered out a rough draft, then let it sit for a few days before revising it until it was in the best possible shape. And now everything was finally, really done, and I was just about ready to prepare everything for hitting ‘send’ to the first of the agents on my list.

That’s the stage I’m at now. Everything is all ready to be sent. And I wish I could tell you I’m all like:

come_at_me_bro

But in reality, I’m feeling closer to:

anigif_enhanced-buzz-28420-1361551925-9

Okay, I promise I’ll actually write a bit of a blog post now.

Being the way that I am, I feel the need to break down every process into smaller steps. So, for my own personal organization, I’ve broken down the process from query to representation into three ‘battle rounds,’ if you will.

 

Round 1: The agent reads over your query.

So you send off the letter, completely prepared for the worst:

bracerejections

And you can only imagine what the agent is thinking as they read it:

querycon   grumpymanusc

I should clarify that these memes are meant to be a parody of how people perceive agents to be, not how agents actually are.

Admittedly, no one’s odds are good here. As Nicola Morgan wrote, “Be prepared to be rejected, often. It’s not a lottery but a very difficult game.” All I can say is that every author will get their tsunami of rejection slips. Myself included.

BUT. It should be well noted that agents aren’t heartless, bloodsucking leeches whose mission in life is to destroy prospective authors. Their mission is to find the truly good ones. And though this is a tough part of the fight for aspiring novelists, the reward of survival is valuable: an agent asks for a partial manuscript.

 

Round 2: The agent reads over your partial.

What’s unfortunate about this stage of the process is that your stress level will probably jump up. I can only imagine being at the point where an agent loved my query letter enough to ask for some of the book, then I’m left praying I don’t get rejected for a lack of writing in the manuscript itself. I wouldn’t call this the hardest part of the process, unless you’re someone who can write a decent letter for a terrible book. That’d be an interesting skill to have; I’m pretty sure I have the opposite problem.

This round is hard to survive, too, but the prize is grander still: an agent asks for your entire book. Eeep!

 

Round 3: The agent reads over the entire manuscript.

I don’t know from experience, but I would guess this is the most nerve-wracking point of the journey. On one hand, you’d think the author would feel good, because they know their work is enough to attract significant interest from an agent…but, on the other hand, now is when it gets down to a generous chunk of the luck involved with this. The agent hopefully likes your writing as well as your story, but now is the time for them to decide if they would be the best agent for it. And there is a scary plethora of reasons as to why it might not work for them.

But, if you survive this round, the prize is metaphorical wealth beyond the young writer’s imagining; the Holy Grail of storytelling, the Triwizard Cup of the typed word: an agent’s offer of representation.

Which, I can only imagine, goes something like this:

tumblr_m8rxioybpK1r9rdxs

But, for now, I’m just getting ready to send off my query letter. So, for now, I’ll say the same thing to every prospective novelist that I’m saying to myself, as I dive into this great (and terrifying) industry:

oddsfavor

I think that about sums it up. Best of luck, authors.

5 Things People Need to Stop Doing on Twitter

“Some people tell me I have a short temper. I prefer to call it ‘A swift and assertive reaction to B.S.’”

 

This post was easy to write. I haven’t been on Twitter that long, but I’ve been on long enough to notice that there are some common behaviors that give me the urge to high-five a lot of people. In the face.
With a chair.
Sorry to sound so bitter…hopefully not too many of my readers demonstrate the behaviors listed below. If so, please stop.
Things people do on Twitter that annoy me the most:

 

1. Having stupid bios

For anyone unfamiliar with the general structure of Twitter, a bio is the blurb you write about yourself under your profile picture. After spending even a little time on Twitter, you can safely draw the conclusion that no two bios are created equal. Some are full of hashtags of their interests, some just have the Twitter name of their boyfriend or girlfriend, etc. I’ve seen ones with Bible verses tacked on, rhetorical questions (“bio like biology?”) and in quite a few cases, simply, “Everyone follow me!” along with a heap of profanities.

To further my point, I found some bios of Twitter celebrities that are real gems:

  • Bobby V.—“CEO BLUKOLLADREAMS! 4GET THE WAGON COME JOIN DA BAND! UPS 2 ALL MA HATERS! NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE NOW!”
  • Macy Gray—“I want to be as famous as midnight as powerful as a gun as loved as a pizza”
  • Chris Bosh—“The coolest dude alive”
  • Shaq—“VERY QUOTATIOUS, I PERFORM RANDOM ACTS OF SHAQNESS”
  • Miley Cyrus—“Im a dime. best top of the line. cute face slim waste with a BIG behind”
  • Draya Michele—“I am not her, she is me! *blowin’ kisses and flippin’ the bird*”

For the record, mine is “I apologize in advance.”

 

2. Whining to a mystery person about how they act

I know a few people who do this. The majority of tweets will all be things like “why don’t you grow up?” or “fine, I hate you too” or anything along that line. Except for the tiny glitch that the tweets aren’t ADDRESSED to anyone.
I understand that Twitter is a venting place. But there’s a difference between venting and directly yelling at a person who isn’t there. Maybe a lot of people reading this are thinking I’m a cold and heartless person who doesn’t care about the problems of others. If my friends have a problem they want to talk to me about, just let me know! Heck, tweet about it; I did say Twitter was a venting place. But as soon as you start throwing out the messages to no one, I won’t know if something’s wrong. I’ll just wonder if you’re crazy.

 

3. Tweeting unintelligible nonsense

To quote Liam Neeson from Taken, “you’re telling water not to be wet.” I get it; Twitter is a place to say whatever you want. Go ahead. But there are some things I’ve read that no one could possibly decipher or derive any meaning from. Examples include tweets such as “what’s shakin bacon” which is sadly a real example. I don’t know, sir…what is, indeed, shaking?

 

4. Excessively tweeting at celebrities

First of all, I get where you’re coming from. It’s cool to be able to message famous people. I’ve done it myself, and I even got a direct message from the lead actor of—you guessed it—Super 8.

JCDM

But there are some people who create Twitter accounts specifically to constantly bombard the members of One Direction with tweets about how awesome they are. This isn’t a mortal sin, but if you’re going to do it, please warn me so I can unfollow you pre-emptively.

 

5. TWEETING CONSTANTLY

According to a study in 2009, the most active person on Twitter had a total of 1,560,818 tweets, with an average of 2,268 tweets per day. And this was in 2009, four years ago. Does this gentleman have a problem? Yeah, I’d say so. Granted, he only had twenty-eight followers at the time, but that contradicts my point. There are lots of people who tweet literally every thirty seconds, yet they still have hundreds of followers. I don’t understand the point of following someone who spills their thoughts every second of every day.

But then again, I don’t really understand Twitter, either.

On Publishing: Writing a Query Letter

“Sometimes the fall kills you. But sometimes, when you fall, you fly.” 

–  Neil Gaiman

 

All my unpublished novelists in the house, put your hands up!

I understand that today’s post—much like a lot of my writing posts lately—is for an extraordinarily select audience. Most people, even bloggers, have better things to do than write a novel and actually try to get it published. I personally…well, don’t. Publishing is my main goal at the moment, and I’ve come to realize that for those writing query letters, hearing (reading) about the struggles of the few others in the same boat can be immensely reassuring.

First of all, to get everyone on the same page, what the heck is a query letter, anyway?

Let’s go back to the stats I mentioned in my last post. The average agent gets around thirty proposals every day. If every single one of those was a full or even partial manuscript, they literally wouldn’t have time to read them all and still be able to function. At best, they’d be able to glance over the first page or two, then move on.

Fortunately, somebody came up with the brilliant concept of query letters. Now, instead of agents getting thirty or so novels dropped on their desk or in their email inbox, they receive thirty or so one-page letters (they should be one-page, at least) giving a brief overview of the proposed book, much like the inside flap would if it was published.

And so, that’s the final test for an aspiring novelist. Okay, not the final test, but certainly one of the most daunting. Now that the author has finished their brilliant book, they need to write a brilliant letter talking about it so as to hook every agent who lays their eyes upon it.

Not as easy as it sounds, let me tell you.

 

This is how the professionals do it, right?

This is how the professionals do it, right?

At first, as an optimistic writer who had already had to handle many problems with this project, I did the rational thing: after picking through the Guide to Literary Agents, I turned to Google.

A fine example of a time when Google worked too well. I realized that there are hundreds of thousands of sites (and people running them) giving advice as to how exactly to format a query letter, and what you must do and what you must never do and if this isn’t included you automatically fail and never forget this and aah I need to go take a nap while my brain explodes.

Yes, it’s that painful.

But I managed to make sense of it. I came up with a list of “ironclad rules,” which included the tips I read in GLA as well as the rules that came up frequently in my search, such as how to format the letter. Not to mention, I looked up the submission guidelines of agencies in which I was interested.

So, while you might not much care, I’ll put them up anyway: my personal ironclad rules for writing a strong query, pieced together from other ironclad rules.

  • Address to “Dear Mr./Mrs. Last Name of Agent”…always better to err on the side of formality
  • Personalize the letter, either at the beginning or end. Tell the agent why I’m querying them specifically.
  • Mention that the full manuscript is indeed available, and give word count along with genre
  • Keep under 350 words
  • Make sure contact info is in the letter
  • Avoid redundancy like the kind in the image below

 

You don't say?

You don’t say?

Anticlimactic, I know. Those are all probably things you’ve heard a million times already. But the thing is, there isn’t really one way to write a query letter. Its job is to convey what the book is about, and it’s the author’s job to figure out which way works best. Other than that, it’s really in the writer’s control. The agent wants to see that a potential future client can write well, and there’s no web sites that can give instructions for that. A lot of them try, but in the end, the query comes from the author’s core. The letter-writing process is unique for each novelist.

I’m a senior in high school, and most of my classmates spent New Year’s Eve 2012/2013 at friends’ houses partying. Me? Well, first I watched Iron Man and The Avengers, but that’s not the point. After THAT, I sat watching the Times’ Square celebration with my laptop in front of me, blasting MC Hammer’s “Too Legit to Quit” in my headphones (they played it during the celebration!) all while trying to write the query letter for my manuscript. Well, technically not the entire query letter, but the plot summary portion of it. I worked my way through the stack of young adult novels next to me, reading their inside flaps and hoping for a burst of inspiration.

And it sort of came eventually.

I had the structure of my summary done by the time 2013 hit. The writing was awful, but the structure was there. I went to bed, woke up a few hours later in the morning, then got the other half of my inspiration burst (I guess it was delayed?), and I finished off the summary portion.

That night, January 1st, I emailed it to my ideal readers and watched the season one finale of Criminal Minds, a heck of a way to celebrate the end of winter break. Then one of my IR’s emailed back their official approval while I listened to my favorite song, “The Riddle” by Five for Fighting.

And that’s how I got my query letter written.

Three in Ten Thousand (On Publishing: Intro)

“Keep a light, hopeful heart. But expect the worst.”

–  Joyce Carol Oates

 

Yes, I made the meme myself.

Yes, I made the meme myself.

Though it may have escaped your attention, I’m sort of a quirky individual. I have a few strange habits. One is remembering every date of every social event I’ve ever been to. Another is my occasional tendency to drop the phrase “no pun intended” when I’ve just said something that really isn’t punny, just to screw with people. But perhaps my strangest habit is my consistent fixation on getting my manuscript published.

Make no mistake: this blog post isn’t supposed to hold advice. None of mine really were, though I slipped into preachy mode a few times…something I had no right to do. Yes it’s my blog and my internet space, but in the end, I’m here to share my thoughts on a subject. And, when it comes to the subject of publishing, how I plan on at least lasting longer in the battle if not surviving it.

So yes, I’ll be posting on the various stages of publishing, and you’ll have to put up with my instruction-manual-esque approach to them. Make no mistake, readers: I’m probably as lost as you here.

That being said, let’s get cracking.

Here are the stages of publishing, assuming you’re going the traditional publishing route, which I’d highly recommend:

  • Finish the manuscript (see, erm, all of my previous posts)
  • Write a query letter
  • Send to literary agent(s)
  • Agent likey likey; agrees to represent you in the big bad world of publishing
  • Agent eventually—hopefully—gets publishing deal
  • Roll in stacks of money together (just kidding)

So those are the blog posts you have to look forward to from me, at least for the immediate future. Starting with the dreaded query letter.

I’d now like to take the rest of this blog post to drive something into all of my readers’ brains, whether they’re aspiring authors or innocent bystanders:

The odds of getting a book published are nearly impossible.

I just wrote what will probably be one of the biggest understatements I’ve ever written in my life. The odds of getting a manuscript published are literally three in ten thousand.

Let me break down the process, since I probably don’t have you convinced yet.

Take any given literary agent in the United States. Assuming they live by average statistics, they get around thirty query letters a day. So, to whip out my math wizardry, that’s about 11,000 query letters a year, give or take. And of those 11,000, statistically speaking, said agent will sign on eight of them.

Now do you see why it’s so hard to get a book published?

No? Alright, I can keep going.

Assume you have indeed gotten signed on by an agent. You now have to wait for said agent to contact various publishers, and one of them has to agree to publish it. On top of taking anywhere from a month to a year (and perhaps longer), this isn’t guaranteed to happen. Yes, your odds are astronomically better with an agent than without, but there’s still no certainty in getting a book published until you’re holding it in your hands.

The most solid statistic I have is the one I started with: your odds at publication are three in ten thousand. As are mine.

Which would be great if I was an adult.

But I’m not. I’m a teenager. Which means my odds plummet down to…let’s see…has any kid ever actually gotten an agent?

I’m sure some have, but I don’t know of any. Plenty of kids have self-published, but anyone can do that. Getting an agent, then a publishing deal? Yeah, not so much. Statistically speaking, what I’m trying to do here is impossible, or might as well be. The publishing industry is one of the cruelest in existence. It doesn’t slow down, and it doesn’t wait for anyone. It just spits them out.

And now do you see why it’s so hard to get a book published?

I know what you’re thinking here, especially if you’re an adult: kid, you have plenty of time to do this, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you, wait until you mature a little more, blah blah blah.

As clichéd of an answer as this might be, I need to say it: I don’t need to do any more growing up. Or at least, I don’t think so. I’ve been working on this manuscript, this story, since I was thirteen. The story has been in my head since fifth grade. And honestly, the time feels right. For the first time in six years, it feels right.

So, just to recap: the publishing industry is one of the most insanely difficult industries in which to survive. Yes, I’ll most likely fail. And yes, the odds I have of even getting the attention of an agent are hilariously low, to the point where no sane person would ever take them. But luckily, I’m not completely sane. Never have been.

No pun intended.

This Is (Silent Pause) Awesome

“Today is the youngest you’ll ever be, start appreciating it. It’s also the oldest you’ve ever been, start acting like it.”

–  Unknown

 

I feel like anyone who reads my blog posts knows which ones to filter by now, but I still feel I should tack my usual warning on: my Boy Scout troop goes camping once a month, and it’s time once again for me to post about my most recent adventure. Caution: contains subject material filled with boring droning and random spells of nostalgia. Has been known to cause extreme lethargy and the robust urge to close internet browser/engage in other activities, such as playing Temple Run 2.

That being said, here we go.

As I’ve said before, my troop’s campouts operate on a cycle. Every October we go to the same campground, every December we go to the same lodge…and every February, we go to the same military base. We drive up Friday night, sleep in barracks, then spend Saturday touring a few cool ships.

Okay, so not technically a campout. Sue me.

This trip was, as with my other camping posts, the last of many I’d done in past years. I believe this was my fifth time going, and it was probably one of the best.

The drive up was uneventful, more or less. I mostly listened to music and thought through chapter one of my manuscript, which I was almost finished writing. I thought about completing it, but my lazy gears kicked in, and I ended up just relaxing. We stopped at a gas station on the way up, and I bought mega candy dots to share amongst our carful of scouts. Then we stopped again at McDonald’s. I didn’t eat meat because of Lent—which I was fine with, considering the documentary my AP Bio class watched earlier that day on Mad Cow Disease—so I went with medium fries, a small Oreo McFlurry, and one apple pie. Which totaled 1190 calories, in case you were wondering.

Once we got to the barracks, I jumped in a conversation with the other scouts comparing famous alumni from local schools. I tried once again to finish chapter one, but didn’t make any progress. My brain was bent on relaxing.

??????????

The beds: comfier than they look.

Saturday morning started off with two great things: getting to look at a tank, and having the most solid breakfast I’ve eaten in a while. This breakfast included fruit loops, eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast, and a huge cup of chocolate milk.

The fun part, though, was getting to sit with three of my friends in the troop—one who might be going to the same college as me, and twins one grade younger—and getting to talk about random older scout stuff, like our favorite parts of A Haunted House and the strangest Urban Dictionary words we’ve seen, and the music video for the song “Thrift Shop,” which I reviewed in my last blog post. We all concluded by singing the refrain obnoxiously loud: “I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket…I-I’m huntin’, lookin’ for a comma, this is (silently paused for cuss word) awesome!”

And it was indeed pretty awesome.

Time until lunch was spent touring a destroyer ship, which was cool, though I got nervous when they let the younger scouts play around with the controls that fired missiles. I would post pictures, but everything had a sticker on it that said “top secret,” including the hole punch sitting on the desk. I can only assume it was reserved for punching holes in secret papers.

The afternoon was spent touring a carrier, which was equally cool. But honestly, as cool as the ships were, I’d seen ones similar to it for the past five years. What I hadn’t been doing for the past five years was eating breakfast with some really close friends, all older scouts, talking about older scout stuff like college and AP tests and arguing over which girls at school we thought were hot. Lunch was spent doing the same thing, talking and enjoying our last year on this campout, eating so much that we got close to throwing up. Just hanging out, singing the refrain to “Thrift Shop,” which got stupider each time.

Then, on the drive home, I finally finished chapter one. Which means everything I can do to prepare my manuscript for send-off is done. It’s out of my hands now, which is a relaxing feeling. I kept it in mind as we drove home that night, with me driving over the bridge and looking over the brightly lit city while listening to Maroon 5’s “Daylight.”

And it was pretty (silent pause) awesome.

“Thrift Shop,” Valentine’s Day, and My Experience Watching “Honey Boo-Boo” (Not In That Order)

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”

–  Johann von Goethe

 

There are certain things we (I) stumble across in the world on which I feel the need to comment. I’m not exactly sure what I want to say at the time, but I tell myself that it would be a crime to not even acknowledge its existence.

I have three of those tonight, and while each of them could be their own article, I don’t want to waste time by drawing the subjects out. So I’ve mashed them together in one post, just for my readers. I hope you enjoy.

 

1.  “Thrift Shop”

To be clear, I’m talking about the song released back in October, though it’s only recently gotten real attention. For those who aren’t familiar with this song, I’ll summarize it for you: in the music video, the lead singer—Macklemore—is walking through a thrift shop, rapping about all the cool stuff in it.

I’m not going to lie: when I first heard this song on the radio, I was sure it was a joke. It’s quite out there, and the lyrics…well, there aren’t any jaw-droppers, but still a few quirks amongst the highlights (which I’ve cleaned for language):

  • “Ice on the fringe, it’s so darn frosty. That people like, ‘Dang! That’s a cold honkey.’”
  • “Rollin’ in deep, headin’ to the mezzanine, Dressed in all pink, ‘cept my gator shoes, those are green. Draped in a leopard mink, girls standin’ next to me.”
  • “Pissssssssssss!”
  • “They had a broken keyboard, I bought a broken keyboard”
  • “I could take some Pro Wings, make them cool, sell those. The sneaker heads would be like ‘Aw, he got the Velcros’”
  • “Is that your grandma’s coat?”

And keep in mind, this is all rapped to a more-or-less-catchy saxophone beat.

I’m not sure whether to like this song or be totally weirded out by it. On one hand, it’s got a nice rythym and a unique music video, if a man in a fur coat dancing on used furniture can indeed be classified as “unique.”

On the other hand, when the middle of said music video features a woman this scary-looking lip synced to the male rap voice, I have the strong urge to re-evaluate my music choices.

Thrift Shop Lady

 

2.  My Experience Watching “Honey Boo-Boo”

In the publishing world, there are certain books referred to as being “high concept.” What this means is that as soon as you hear what the book is about, in one sentence, you automatically want to read it. I theorize that this logic is what keeps the world of television shows going, except instead of cranking out shows that people want to watch because they’re ridiculously good, we’re instead producing shows people want to watch because the shows are ridiculously awful.

Jersey Shore, for example. Yes, I know there are people out there who legitimately enjoy watching Jersey Shore, and I’m not criticizing. It’s totally fine if you want to sit there absorbing Snooki quotes such as, “That’s why I don’t eat friggin lobsters or anything like that. Because they’re alive when you kill it.”

Let’s get back on track. In my humble opinion, the queen bee of awful TV shows has to be Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo. Which is why I still can’t figure out the reason behind my decision to sit down this past Saturday and watch it for two hours.

But oh, dear reader, did I watch.

And words cannot describe how broken I am.

I’m not even going to tell you which parts were the most horrid. It was all awful. Like, seriously awful. Want an example? Two minutes into the show, I was reading a book (I made the mistake of trying to multitask) when I caught this quote from my television set:

“That there’s the weirdest thing I’ve gotten since my butthole piercing!”

My reaction:

HBB Reaction

As I said: words cannot describe it.

 

3.  Valentine’s Day

Well, at least you can give me credit for ending this post on a somewhat upbeat note.

Valentine’s Day has always been a fun holiday for me. Though I usually celebrate its alternate form, Singles Awareness Day (SAD for short), this year was a particularly happy exception. My girlfriend and I didn’t do anything especially fancy—stuff like carrying around a life-size stuffed red bear isn’t exactly my thing—and still it was a great day. With the exception of my computer software and printer teaming up against me last night to keep me up three hours finishing a card.

I ended up making a Harry Potter one, for the record. I found a few—my favorite being one of Bellatrix Lestrange, eyes wide, with the words “I’m CRAZY for you” above her head—but I decided to make one myself. It cost me two hours, and another to print the thing out.

And it was so worth it.

As a side note, here’s a bit of general advice to anyone for next year, if you got caught this go around:

Valentine Trap

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

Movie Review: Warm Bodies

“Why can’t I connect with people? Oh, right, it’s cause I’m dead. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, I mean, we’re all dead. This girl’s dead. That guy’s dead. That guy in the corner is definitely dead. I have a hard time piecing together how this whole apocalypse thing happened, but it doesn’t matter. This is what we are now. This is a typical day for me.”

–  R

 

Warm Bodies PosterI think that before I review this movie, I should (re)describe who I am, so you know this isn’t a review from some love crazy teenage girl, nor a cranky adult whose favorite movies are historical documentaries. Nope, this analysis is brought to you by a teenage guy who saw the movie mostly because his female friends brought him along, but who ended up liking it more than he expected to. So here’s my objective opinion, more or less, of it. With minor spoilers attached.

The setup: zombie apocalypse, in a nutshell. Zombies have taken over almost everything, and amongst their ranks is R, a young adult who can’t remember any other letters in his name and can do little more than grunt or shuffle around. A few people from a healthy human colony go zombie hunting, including Julie, who is captured by R and brought to his makeshift home.

And then she eventually starts to like him, they run away, forbidden love, etc.

In terms of plot, it’s what you’d expect. Some movies, like National Treasure or Pirates of the Caribbean 1, use up their trailer footage by the first twenty minutes in and spend the rest of the movie surprising us with twists. Those are examples of good movies. This movie isn’t in that category, though that doesn’t necessarily make it bad. I’m just saying, don’t at all expect to be blown away by the storyline.

So what, then, is the value of this movie?

Well, it’s a good concept. The whole ‘zombie apocalypse’ premise isn’t exactly new, but the telling of it from a zombie’s perspective is a unique spin on it. And the minor touches such as the abandoned houses, the flash of a newspaper reading “President Infected,” or the concept of zombies acquiring their victims’ memories when they eat their bodies, are all good. If nothing else, I have to admit that this was quite well-made, adaption-wise.

And of course, the humor. No, I wasn’t laughing out loud the whole time; there were probably two or three lines that were more than snort-worthy. But please believe me when I say that it takes a lot for a movie to make me laugh (okay, except for Vampires Suck, but we all have our weaknesses).

In each of my reviews I try to include what my favorite part of the movie was, but nothing especially comes to mind here. As I said, the plot is nothing to faint in awe over. There are no scenes in particular that I would be tempted to re-watch, if given the chance. It was what I call a one-time watch, if not a quite decent one.

Sorry for the short review, but I’ll close it out by directly addressing those who are probably wondering most if they should see it: other teenage guys.

Hmm. I’m not quite sure what to say. If you were to ask me, my immediate response would be “no,” but I want to give that careful thought before I put it down on my blog. I mean, as I said above, this isn’t a bad movie. It just isn’t all that good. If you’re into zombie apocalypse flicks with interesting narrative voices, this is your ticket. But just know that you’re getting exactly what the trailers make you think you’re getting.

So I guess that’s my conclusion. If you saw the previews and liked them, go ahead and see this movie. And while I can’t really call it good, no movie that delivers on its promise can be considered ‘bad’ in my opinion.

Rate: 5 out of 10.