One Tall Tree Press

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Zombies meet high-school romance in the darkly humorous CHEMISTRY

By CL Lynch

Being an unpopular kid in high school is its own special kind of hell. Constant bullying has turned Stella Blunt into a bitter, brash teenager always ready for a fight. And yet, after Stella’s family moves to a new city, she finds herself an object of affection of her new classmate Howard Mullins. Howard is pale, sluggish and a bit unsettling, but seems to really be into Stella. Faced with a prospect of having an honest-to-life boyfriend for the first time in her life, Stella is almost relieved to learn that Howard is, in fact, a zombie. Now there’s love in the air, even if it smells a bit like formaldehyde.

CHEMISTRY by C. L. Lynch begins as a humorous take on Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, but quickly turns into a story of a bullied teenager learning to trust others. Stella Blunt is not an easy character to like, which is exactly why it’s so great to see her lowering her guard as she learns to trust – and eventually love – Howard.

It’s worth mentioning here that Stella has quite possibly the coolest parents in the universe. They take their daughter’s non-stop barrage of sarcasm in stride, seeing it for what it is – a desperate defense mechanism of an angry teen. Stella’s parents remain supportive even when the zombies come knocking on their door. What a pleasant change from all those overbearing or – even more often – non-existent parents in similar stories!

As for the living dead, both Howard and his family manage to come off as both creepy and weirdly sweet which, considering the qualities of people running out there, isn’t half bad. If there’s any big flaw in CHEMISTRY, it’s the way Stella and Howard repeatedly stop the story so that they could discuss some facet of zombie biology. Although these discussions ring true to Stella’s essential nerdiness, they really hurt the story’s pacing.

Despite that, C. L. Lynch’s CHEMISTRY is a breezy, fun read. There are thrills, humor, and romance. That the main character also gets to wield a chainsaw while hacking zombies to pieces don’t hurt it either.

~Danijel Striga for IndieReader