Give Brains a Chance: Five Reasons Why You Should Check Out the White Trash Zombie Series

Several years back, I found myself burned out on one of my favorite genres: urban fantasy. Sure, there were certain reliable authors that I could depend upon (Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, etc.), but it felt like whenever I picked up a book by a new author, I would come up disappointed. Everything I read either felt like a low quality copy of a book I had read before, or more like erotica than what I considered urban fantasy (not necessarily a bad thing, just not for me). After several books that ranged from “meh” to downright awful, I found myself wondering if urban fantasy as a whole had run out of stories to tell. Because without the familiarity of beloved characters and worldbuilding, nothing I ran into was doing it for me.

And then I picked up Diana Rowland‘s My Life as a White Trash Zombie.

My Life as a White Trash Zombie introduces the reader to Angel Crawford and her mess of a life. A high school drop out and addict, the novel opens up with Angel waking up in an emergency room after being found half-dead on the side of the road. Then things start getting… well… weird. She receives a message ordering her to take a job at the local morgue (with dire consequences if she turns it down). Then her typical pill popping habits suddenly have zero effect on her. But that pales in comparison to the first time she opens up a human skull and discovers that she has a craving for brains.

I was immediately hooked on Angel’s story, and you can be too! So here are five reasons why you should give the White Trash Zombie series a chance.

1. A Heroine You Can Route For: The main reason I keep on coming back to the White Trash Zombie series? Angel herself. She’s the perfect underdog hero. A woman who begins the series at her lowest point and must claw her way to the top. And, ironically, it’s becoming a zombie that first puts her on this positive path. It’s hard not to admire her for her sheer tenacity and feel for her when she makes mistakes. If you’re looking for a flawed heroine that’s easy to route for, you’ll certainly find one here.

2. Not Your Typical Zombies: I’ll admit it, every now and then I enjoy a typical, shambling zombie storyline (especially when it’s mixed with comedy a la Shaun of the Dead), but for the most part, I like my monsters to be more complex. And that’s what you get with Angel and the other zombies you encounter throughout the series. Starve them off of brains for too long, and they do become the stereotypical braaaains-type zombie, but for the most part, they’re just people with weird diet restrictions (and some super powers!). Only unlike being gluten-free, these restrictions are a lot less socially acceptable. I really like how the author has continued to develop this world, as well as the consequences that come with being zombies, throughout the rest of the series.

3. Shades of Gray: As you might expect, living off of human brains and the lengths you need to go to to keep one’s zombie identity a secret will result in some morally complex characters. But this gray characterization goes beyond our zombie cast to the human characters in Angel’s life as well. I was surprised at how often I had written someone off as a complete waste of space only to realize that there was more to them then just that. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the series is devoid of bad guys, but some do end up surprising you.

4. Not all Doom and Gloom: You might assume, from the point above, that this series is something akin to Game of Thrones, where everyone is morally complex, and the books are, as a result, super grim. But that’s not the case in all! The White Trash Zombie books (as you might get from the title) are first and foremost fun page-turners. Sure, they have their serious moments to anchor them, but they’re mainly written in shades of awesome. Don’t believe me? The latest book, White Trash Zombie Unchained, has zombie alligators! How can you beat that?

5. That Cover Art! Okay, so maybe this one is a little superficial, but I think that the White Trash Zombie cover art (done by cover artist Dan Dos Santos) wonderfully encapsulates the fun and energy of the series while playing on the gory zombie bits as well. As a result, you really know what you’re getting into when you pick up a White Trash Zombie book, which is the sign of a well designed cover. Comicbookgirl19, the model for Angel starting in White Trash Zombie Apocalypse, has a pretty good youtube channel as well.

BONUS REASON: It will give iZombie fans something to do in between seasons: Some people may notice some similarities a certain CW show. In fact, these similarities are so strong that had some White Trash Zombie fans yelling plagiarism when the comic book was first adapted to TV in a very White Trash Zombie-like way. But now that the dust has settled, I think that the best we can do is to have both sets of fans co-exist peacefully. So if you’re an iZombie fan who finds themselves hungry for more undead content, then check out the books. I think you’ll love them.

If you’re someone who enjoys fast-paced urban fantasy books filled with fantastic characters and worldbuilding, then you’d be remiss not to check out the White Trash Zombie series, even if you’re not typically into zombie books. And if you tend to marathon your fiction, you’ll be happy to discover that there are already six books out there for you to devour. So I urge you, don’t shamble, run to your local book store/library/online retailer and pick up this series. Don’t know where to start? Here’s the complete series listed in order.

1. My Life as a White Trash Zombie
2. Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues
3. White Trash Zombie Apocalypse
4. How the White Trash Zombie Got her Groove Back
5. White Trash Zombie Gone Wild
6. White Trash Zombie Unchained


  • Shara White October 26, 2017 at 8:00 am

    i enjoyed the hell out of the first book, and I think the only reason I didn’t continue with the series was because I was waiting for the second book to show up for grabs in my Paperback Swap queue. I was really impressed with the world-building, which is one of the reasons I initially gave the television adaptation of i,Zombie a side-eye. Still do, actually, even though it made itself quite different in that first season.

    • Nancy O'Toole Meservier October 26, 2017 at 9:00 am

      It’s not a bad time to get caught up. In fact book six, which revolves multiple major threads, is pretty much the last book in the series right now, although the author has said that there’s a good chance we might get more books (just not for a while).

  • Weasel of Doom October 26, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I need to catch up on this series, too! According the GoodReads, the last one I read was “White Trash Zombie Apocalypse”, way back in 2013…

  • Kelly McCarty October 28, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    I read My Life as a White Trash Zombie (I think Shara recommended it) but I didn’t realize that it is a series. It’s one of my favorite book titles of all time.

  • Ronya FM October 29, 2017 at 12:00 am

    I actually own the first two books… I think I need to move them to the top of my December TBR pile. Nothing says Christmas like zombies!

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