Writing Bloody: My Fav Zombie Books

Writing Bloody 3

Long before The Walking Dead TV series, I was a zombie fan. I loved reading zombie stories and watching zombie movies. But I’ll be the first to admit that I might not make it if there’s a real life apocalypse. I’m too slow. Lol!

I do have a bunch of favorites, some of which I’ve showcased on our blog before and some are new ones. I’d love to hear about your favorite zombie reads in the comments below, so post away!

My Top Five Zombie Books

1.  My number one favorite series is written by Jonathan Maberry. I was sucked in by the very first page of Rot & Ruin and didn’t stop reading until the very end. I even went to a few signings to meet him. This is where I learned that there will be a movie!!! This series is YA, but it’s perfect for the teens who love The Walking Dead and even those middle graders who might not yet be allowed to watch.


In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

2.  Coming in a close second is Carrie Ryan’s series, The Forest of Hands and Teeth. It’s amazing that throughout most of this first book you hardly get much of a glance of the zombies. Instead, Carrie Ryan builds a world of devastation without them. In the end, you know what they look like. You feel the tension of the characters. And…there’s some romance. Nobody could have written this YA series better!


In Mary’s world there are simple truths.
The Sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.
Now, she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

3.  Now, I don’t take a lot of time to read adult novels but I do love me some Brad Pitt (Sometimes I’m such a girl!). As soon as I saw the trailer for World War Z and that it was starring Brad, I HAD to read the book first. I was pleasantly surprised by the writing style–which draws in the reader with it’s “fact-like” prose.


The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. “World War Z” is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

4.  This is Not a Test blew me out of the water when I first read it. I had been a Courtney Summers fan well before this zombie novel was released. I thought of this tale as a more contemporary YA with zombies, since it had the age-old issues of a teen intertwined with rotting corpses, which is definitely what drew me in and kept me reading.


It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life–and death–inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

5.  Doesn’t the title say it all???? Alice in Wonderland and zombies? Yes. Please. And the fact that this new twisted world of Alice’s is well-written makes it even better!!


She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. But that’s all it takes. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.

  • seebrianwrite
    October 13, 2015

    Great list! I haven’t read most of those, so I will have to check them out. I don’t read a ton of zombie books, but I enjoyed CELL from Stephen King and the GRACE series by M. Lauryl Lewis.

    • Amy Giuffrida
      October 19, 2015

      Most of my zombie reads have been YA, but I think you’d enjoy Jonathan Maberry’s books. He has an adult series–Patient Zero is the first book I think.

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