Girls Girls Girls

book cover with girl in the title

Bestselling books with ‘girl’ in the title

The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, The Girl with all the Gifts, The Girl in the Red Coat, The Girl Who Lied – all been flying off the shelves, or rushing through the download ether. By the way, I have read them all and liked them.

So if you are an author at a loose end, not knowing what to write about, you should think about a young female lead (she doesn’t need to be a heroine, even though I would welcome it, she can be psychologically challenged or simply an alcoholic, even a child will do) and stick ‘girl’ somewhere in the title. And off into bestselling orbit, you should go. Oh, also make sure it is a page turner. The competition is stiff and you’ll be compared with the other ‘girl’ books.

The Girl with all the Gifts book cover
The Girl with all the Gifts book cover

Why do I go on about this on a dystopian blog you might wonder? Well, I wanted to present ‘The Girl with all the Gifts’ by M. R. Carey, one of the best zombie novels ever written. This is the ‘girl’ novel with the apocalyptic fix (you know what I mean), you really ought to read. It is utterly unique and stands head above shoulders in a genre that seems to attract the most talentless of writers.

More notable dystopian ‘girl’ books

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

And while we are on the subject of apocalyptic fiction featuring girls in the lead, the wonderful Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is another must-read book by an exceptionally gifted writer.

And it is not just me saying it. To prove it, Emily St. John Mandel has a handful of credentials to her name, among them: WINNER OF THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD 2015, as well as, New York Times Bestseller.

And last but not least, there is my favorite zombie book of all times: The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell. I have written a review a while back which you can read here.

If you have written a dystopian, apocalyptic or crime book with or without girl in the title and need a good book cover designer, Jacqueline Abromeit at should be able to help.

Reapers Are the Angels

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell

Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell

For some, The Reapers Are The Angels is the best zombie novel ever written, and I wholeheartedly agree.  Not only is it the best zombie book, but one of the best pieces of fiction I’ve ever read, full stop.  The story follows Temple, a sixteen-year-old girl who has never known a world without zombies, or meatskins  as she calls them. But do not worry – this is not young adult or a coming of age book (not that there is anything wrong with YA) – this is dystopia in its full gory!

Thankfully without gratuitous violence, rape and questionable politics of which I have found more than enough in some other zombie reads. Temple having survived on her own by mainly seeking solitude and keeping on the move when necessary, saves the life of a simple man who becomes her charge. In an effort to find a safe place for her helpless companion we meet a host of characters – some good, some bad, most already dead… I don’t want to give away too much, so best just read it yourself. It is fantastically well written, nicely paced and will blow you away…

Available from Amazon



Day By Day Armageddon

Day by Day Armagedon by J L Bourne

Day By Day Armageddon by J L Bourne


Even though the cover looks like a coal mine disaster, this is a solid zombie read. It originally started as an online fiction journal written in diary form from the perspective of a lone Naval Officer in a post-apocalyptic world with a lot more zombies than living folks. The few people he does meet soon form a small band of survivors having to keep on the move trying to stay alive in a world getting more hostile by the minute.

There is no deep characterisation of anyone in this book, but one still cares about those essentially decent people, wanting them to make it. Oh, and there is a dog! What can I say? I like dog!, I’ve got a dog, how could I not?


Feed by Mia Grant

Feed by Mira Grant

I was completely hooked from page one! Bloggers covering a presidential campaign did not sound all that riveting to me – even with zombies thrown in. Well, I stand corrected. While I would put it on the ‘young adult’ shelve, it still is exciting with interesting characters and extremely well written. I can totally believe now that bloggers are the bee’s knees in a post-apocalyptic world…

ps I am not sure why I didn’t eagerly grab volume 2 and 3 of The Newsflash Trilogy? Perhaps because I am an old adult, or perhaps I was just getting a little tired of that series malarky?

Surviving The Evacuation

Surviving the Evacuation

Surviving The Evacuation Book 1: London: Volume 1 by Frank Tayell

This was a real find. It was dirt cheap (these days it is free) on the old kindle and I honestly did not have high hopes after wading through some awful start-of-a-zombie-series giveaways before. But hey it started off like Rear Window by Hitchcock with a bloke called Bill Wright, stuck in his flat with a broken leg, reduced to just watching as the zombie outbreak happens. He seems to be so ordinary, a fairly decent chap, that you wouldn’t give him 5 minutes ‘out there’. But, of course, supplies are running low and he has to go…

The quality of writing is ace and I gobbled Book 2 and 3 down as well. One of us (Frank Tayell or me?) lost the plot somewhere in book 3 and the story line just became too abstruse for my liking. My guess is that the pressure to publish the next volume got in the way of clear thinking.

I understand that the Surviving the Evacuation Series is currently at volume 7 and perhaps one day I am ready to find out what happened? But for now, I am just content with recommending volume 1 and 2 wholeheartedly.

Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

You know how in almost every zombie novel there is always a destination of promise – here it is what it says on the tin: Red Hill. It is from the school of: ‘a zombie outbreak is the best thing that could have happened’ to its protagonists. It brings out the best in them and they find love on the way. And while it is somewhat predictable at times, Jamie McGuire is an accomplished writer who knows her craft – just as you would expect from a New York Times Bestselling Author. Surprisingly it is not part one of a series. I liked it!

World War Z

World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z by Max Brooks

This one also belongs to the better picks of the genre. The story is told by way of interviews with various protagonists in a pan epidemic of zombies that swept the entire Globe 10 years prior.

It is intelligent, political, scary (a bit like politics today) and a must for any zombie fan worth its salt. Don’t think that if you’ve seen the film you don’t need to read the book – they bare little resemblance to each other, with the book being much better.


Devoured (The Hunger Book 1) by Jason Brant

Devoured (The Hunger Book 1) by Jason Brand

I couldn’t really warm to Lance, the self-pitying anti-hero, with his endlessly hurting feet coming into his own once Pittsburgh is swarming with Zombies-like creatures. Somehow he survives so he can lust after Cass (don’t call me Cassie), the punky, extra fit, double axe sword swinging blonde who saves him around halfway into the book.

If you are really poor and young enough so you don’t mind wasting your time – go for it. It’s free, plods along speedily enough and is not without humour. Not as funny as the author likes to thinks it is, but hey, life is full of flat jokes… On the plus side are the settings which were described so effortlessly that I can still see them in my mind – from hospital to alleyway, restaurant, drugs-den etc.… And the cover is great too!

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor (The Governor Series Book 1)

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor (The Governor Series Book 1)

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor (The Governor Series Book 1) by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga 

Be warned I really did not like this one. I blame Jay Bonansinga, seeing that Robert Kirkman gave us the marvellous Walking Dead.

Never mind the zombies it’s the living you want to run away from screaming. Riding on the well-deserved fame of the walking dead series, this one hasn’t got much to offer. Three unlikable rednecks and a child do the standard zombie fare of fleeing, defending, fleeing etc. What it does have to offer though is gratuitous violence, rape and torture. And compared to the living, the zombies are basically a decent bunch who just lost their way a bit and have an unfortunate hunger for human flesh. The ones with reasoning (of sorts) though are vile beyond the pale.  You know there is something seriously wrong when you want the zombies to win…