16. Pariah – Bob Fingerman
So gritty. It is very possible that in the event of a zombie apocalypse, people who live in cities with multi-story apartment complexes would be totally stuck and left to decide how they’re going to die. The people in this apartment building were generally insufferable. I can see how people might also become totally insufferable when stuck together for an indeterminable length of time. There’s the juicehead jock, the couple, the older couple, that guy who rarely comes out of his apartment for fear of the juicehead jock, and then there’s Maud. Not really. Anyway, and then there’s this girl who pops out of nowhere and who is obviously not yet dead but she’s running amongst the zombie hordes without so much as a second look from the living dead. Lucky her.
The people of the apartment building see her as their potential salvation to an extent, she brings them things from surrounding stores that they need, she keeps to herself in her locked apartment, and they put off starving to death for another indeterminate period of time. But when there’s conflicting personalities, any status quo will not last. So of course the girl with the headphones’ secret must be found out, the jock must rape her so he can prove he’s not gay (We just can’t get by without someone getting raped in the post-apocalypse can we? That must be the best way to showcase how corrupt humanity becomes when left to its own devices, have to take that out on the female characters, don’t we? Ergh.), and the apartment society must undergo a significant change but still be bereft of hope. I don’t have much hope for the post-apocalypse either, but, this book’s twist left me feeling like it had been created so that someone could produce it as a movie for the Sci-Fi channel (I will not use Syfy, ew).