The Reapers Are the Angels - Alden Bell
From the beginning this reads like an author trying desperately to write an intelligent and literary young adult book. If only the execution had worked. It read like a clumsy attempt at so-called beautiful writing in that way where you're envisioning the people who write with a Thesaurus open on their lap and change every other word to make their writing something it's not. The story was weighed down by the purple prose. It was a clunky read, only made worse by the "style" the author adopted in which those pesky quotation marks really only get in the way of dialogue. So the reader must wade through the excessive, flowery writing only to be taken further out of the story by having to figure out if the characters are talking to each other or if the protagonist, Temple, is thinking/talking to herself.Yet, in all of this, attention to detail was lost. This is set some 25 years after the zombie apocalypse. Nevertheless, Temple is able to find gasoline at gas stations? And there is still running electricity? There was a lot of basic science that was ignored in this book. Early in the story the blaring lights of a nearby city prompted Temple to investigate and she found a well-formed society of survivors that welcomed her. Of course, safety and comfort are not meant to be and soon she is on the run again only now she has a man, Moses, chasing after her to kill her in vengeance after she killed his brother, who was attempting to rape her at the time. These are the way things go in a dystopian society. But I was still enraged by the way the other adults simply shrugged at what happened. And found no real problem with this grown man's grudge against a child.There is nothing really wrong with Temple herself. She is 15-years-old, has lost everyone who meant anything to her, and is imbued with the fierceness one must have to survive in the zombie apocalypse. The biggest issue I had with her were the names she called a companion she picked up along the way. Although, her actions after she had to flee the first group – joining up with a couple of shady men camped out for the night, and drinking the alcohol they gave her after their simple promise to not touch her, all after having almost been raped the day before (not to mention eating zombie meat, ewww) – had me screaming, "Oh, my God, what is wrong with you?!"On the run from her stalker she ends up in yet another unlikely situation. This was my breaking point. Already frustrated by the writing, grammar, and ridiculous plot elements we're hit with Temple having sex with a 25-year-old man. I don't care what kind of society I'm reading about, that will never be okay with me. I'm sure it's fine for many people, since we seem to live in a time where "young adult" really means "children characters in adult stories." That's simply not how I roll.So here is where I parted ways with this book. I did go looking for a synopsis of the story to see what happens and I was incredibly happy that I did give up on it. She ends up in one unlikely and ridiculous scenario after another (and keep in mind this is a zombie book, so it broke my already suspended belief). And the ending, especially Moses's over-wrought philosophical view of what had occurred, would have had me tearing my hair out.