“Are you friends with Adam?” asked a soft voice behind me. I shifted in my seat to see big brown eyes peeking over the seat back. All thoughts of the night before were instantly gone.
“Um, uh. Kind of. I mean, not really. Or um, not yet, I guess,” I said, sounding like a complete idiot. Her little white fingers pressed into the vinyl of the cushion and she popped her head up higher. Sitting straighter, I could see that she was kneeling on the bench behind me in order to see over it.
“How can you not know if you’re friends with someone?” She sounded like my sister for a second. I tried to banish the thought.
“It’s not that we’re not friends,” I started to explain, making even more of an ass out of myself. “We just started talking and stuff, so, I guess we’re just not really there yet, ya know?” That was, of course, the dumbest explanation ever. I didn’t even know what I was saying, so why would I ask her if she did? But it was the best I could do under the circumstances. The circumstances being, in the presence of a cute girl.
“Oh.” She paused. Then, “Usually he gets on at the stop after mine, but I didn’t see him this morning.”
She looked worried. “I hope he’s OK.”
“I’m sure he is,” I insisted, not sure of any such thing. “You know Adam—I mean, he’s really healthy and everything. Probably just, uh, probably one of his friends picked him up or something.” I had made that up, but as soon as it was out, I worried I might be right. Our whole potential friendship could be on the line if he stopped riding the bus.
“Maybe,” she said, still sounding unsure.
“Um, I’m Max by the way,” I croaked out, my voice cracking in just the right spot to make it humiliating.
The girl stifled a giggle, covering her mouth with one small hand. “I’m Lily.” The bus lurched into its spot in front of the school.
“I’ll, uh, see you later.”
Lily gathered her things and stepped into the aisle, glancing over one more time before she made her way off of the bus. I stared after her for a minute before grabbing my pack and following the line of kids that had formed in front of me.
Max McKay gets a second chance at life when, after a bizarre accident on his sixteenth birthday, he is reanimated as a new breed of thinking, feeling zombie. To secure a spot for his eternal soul, Max must use his video game prowess as well as the guidance of Steve the Death God to make friends and grow up. As if all that weren’t hard enough, Max discovers that he’s not the only zombie in town. As he enlists the help of his new friends, Adam and Penny, to solve the mystery of their un-dead classmate, Max discovers that he must level up his life experience in order to survive the trials and terrors of the upcoming zombie apocalypse. And, even worse, high school.
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Genre – YA
Rating – PG
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