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Living With the Dead #1

Married with Zombies

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A heartwarming tale of terror in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.

Meet Sarah and David.

Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they're on the verge of divorce and going to couples' counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things -- the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client's throat.

Meet the Zombies.

Now, Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn't mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don't eat their brains, they might just kill each other.

272 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published September 1, 2010

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About the author

Jesse Petersen

27 books528 followers
A Facebook application once told Jesse Petersen that she'd only survive a day in a zombie outbreak, but she doesn't believe that. For one, she's a good shot and two, she has an aversion to bodily fluids, so she'd never go digging around in zombie goo. Until the zombie apocalypse, she lives in the Tucson with her husband and two cats and writes snarky urban fantasy about monsters and zombies. Find out more about the author at www.jessepetersen.net.

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5 stars
1,779 (25%)
4 stars
2,495 (36%)
3 stars
1,937 (28%)
2 stars
515 (7%)
1 star
189 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,046 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,994 reviews171k followers
May 12, 2021


as an aside- i really hate that bee, and it would make the site look like one for doofy toddlers, not bookish adults. i can stand to lose to a hedgehog, but that bee has got to go down (LGM)

so but zombies.

this book was much more enjoyable than i had feared. humorous zombie books are tricky to pull off. on the one hand, a creature that only wants to eat your brains is funny. on the other hand- seriously - it really wants to eat your brains. that's not funny.

but i found myself reluctantly charmed by this couple and their struggles to maintain their relationship and not get turned into zombies, all in the same day. thankfully, they had seen some zombie movies (which they were not afraid to reference). the "figuring out" part of zombie movies and books is always a real downer. "what are these creatures?? what do they want???" please. if i go outside today and see someone shuffling down the street, head cocked, moaning a little, i am going to crossbow it in the head. and if it is simply a stroke victim - well, mea culpa. you would have been thanking me if it had been a zombie. but when characters waste too much time scratching their heads and wondering "what do we dooooo?", it just frustrates the audience.

this book had good ass-kickery mixed with actual humor (i.e. - humor that made me laugh, not just cheap placeholder humor) and a bonus cult situation. the surprises never felt contrived - there were some genuinely intense moments, and i ended up rooting for the pair to rekindle their love and shoot some corpses in the head. good times.

on halloween, i was read-walking this very book down the street, and i saw the saddest thing: a little princess had rung the doorbell of an old man's house, and he opened the door and bellowed "no trick or treaters!!!" dude! just don't answer the door, no need to be a jerk about it. i kind of wish she had been a zombie, and had eaten him. then i wrote a story in my head where all the trick-or-treaters were zombies and i walked a little more quickly to escape them.

in summary:

bee= bad
this book = good.

also - just for the record - i do not like how this book tore the rbrs apart into two factions. can we come together again for next month, pleeeeeze??

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Misty Marie Harms.
559 reviews577 followers
January 17, 2022
Sarah and David are on their way to marriage counseling when the world goes crazy. The zombie apocalypse is upon them. They must find a way to survive the zombies and being with each other. This book is hilarious. I laughed from beginning to end. I loved the characters and was invested in their survival quickly. Not only that, but I couldn't put it down!

Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,589 reviews8,819 followers
November 5, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

When this popped up on my feed awhile back I immediately went to the library to see if it was available on audio – while simultaneously wondering how I had missed reading it back in my Zombies4Eva phase. Well, turns out I had read it but since I am a moron I had completely forgotten all about it. So unlike me, right? It also turns out back in the day I was even worse at reviewing than I am now because I straight up compared this to Zombieland. I’m surprised a hoard of townsfolk and their pitchforks didn’t show up on my front yard for that one! I guess it’s because they were both funny approaches to the undead? Or I used to smoke crack and have forgotten all about that too . . . .

Whatever the case, Shady’s back – back again – this time listening to a story I already read years ago. So what is the story, you ask? Sarah and Dave show up for their weekly marital counseling only to discover the “perfect” couple that has the appointment immediately before theirs nom-nomming on the good doctor. The two decide to call it a day and head home to . . . .

Plans change, however, when their neighbor tries to eat them. It’s then they realize that they’re going to have to go from passive aggressive to aggressive aggressive . . . .

And do whatever it takes to make it to their family . . . .

In the process? They might just save their marriage . . . .

This ended up being 3 Star fun the second time around. My only complaint? I HATED the narrator and it turns out she reads a shitton of audiobooks so now I’m sad for eternity.
Profile Image for Buggy.
522 reviews688 followers
July 15, 2011
Opening Line: "David and I became warriors in the zombie plague on the first day, but I don't think that means we were front line soldiers or something."

Touted as “romantic comedy with…brains.” this was a fantastic, super fun read that had me laughing from page 1 and just didn’t stop. Alongside all the gore and zombie mayhem there’s also a well written, action filled, story here which I think anyone who’s been in a long term relationship or seen Sean of the Dead will be able to relate to. Following average Seattle couple, Sarah and David as they try to save not only their crumbling marriage but struggle through the first few days of a zombie apocalypse. With only each other to rely on it becomes as much of a struggle not to kill the other as it does to battle the rising undead.

I loved the way this was written, I loved that Sarah and David live in the real world, they talk like we do, they bicker, they swear at each other, they drive a crappy car, they figure out how to kill zombies from plotlines they’ve seen in movies. And the chapter headings are hilarious too, consisting of *helpful relationship advice quotes*, altered to take into account the whole zombie issue. Married With Zombies takes a light hearted look at marriage while kicking major zombie ass and it was a blast.

Sarah and David are on the verge of divorce so it’s no wonder they don’t notice a few strange sightings on their way to couples counselling. However when they find Dr Kelly eating the previous clients it gets their attention. Suddenly which radio station to listen to, or how much time David spends playing video games is the least of their concerns. Which piece of office equipment best disables a zombie is the new normal. As it turns out a letter opener, high heeled shoe or even a well aimed Dr Phil book will work in a pinch.

Learning as they go Sarah and David return home only to find their undead neighbour in their bathroom, -turns out you can also kill a zombie by crushing his head with a toilet seat, however this does make things a little awkward when his girlfriend shows up. Luckily she’s got a stockpile of guns and ammunition (never can tell about ones neighbours can you) Because Sarah and David are about to leave the city, I mean things have got to better in the suburbs, right?

You’ll be cheering this dysfunctional couple along as they stumble across plagues of the undead, religious cults, a visit to a zombie casino, looting (another new normal) first drives in luxury cars, broken limbs and a visit to the country fair (zombies on ferris wheel anyone) Through all the arguing, when it comes right down to it theres no one else Sarah or David would rather go through a zombie apocalypse with than each other. Cheers

Thankfully this is only the first instalment from the Living With The Dead Series, Flip this Zombie is next.

*Men are from mars zombies are from hell.
*Balance the workload in your relationship. No one person should be responsible for killing all the zombies.
*Make requests, not demands “please” kill that zombie honey, I’m out of bullets.
*Support your partner in their interests. You never know when batting practice, kung fu movies or even poker night might come in handy during a zombie infestation.
*Never go to bed angry, terrified is okay.
*Give each other compliments every day. Even when the undead attack, its nice to feel pretty or badass.
*Address one issue at a time. You can’t load gasoline, pick up food and kill 15 zombies all at once.

"I should have know that having "end of the world" sex wouldn't solve our problems. Though it was pretty great and I highly recommend it. Its one of the big benefits of an apocalypse that no one tells you about. It just makes everything...better, because you know it might be the last time every time."

"Have you ever wanted to smash a car? or break a television? Or maybe burn a big fire in the middle of a city square? If the answer is yes, then you'd have some fun during a zombie infestation. Its the little moments, you know?"
Profile Image for Eh?Eh!.
385 reviews4 followers
November 8, 2010
Rbrs #7/8

This book made me realize I'm not a real horror fan at all, and I would wet myself (w/pee, get your mind out of the gutter and into the sewer) if I ever read or watched a serious horror book or movie instead of the campy and hilarious. Married With Zombies is campy and hilarious, but the first several zombie encounters freaked me out. Note to self, don't read zombie books at night, alone, with only one lamp on.

This was a very fun, light, snarky book. Complaints below shouldn't stop anyone from reading it.

The main characters are a married couple who are on the brink of divorce but a sudden zombie apocalypse brings them together for survival. The story sets up sequels, with non-zombie bad guys still alive to be encountered later, a father who may still be alive, a destination, etc. The writing was aimed directly at my generation, referencing current pop culture that would probably confuse the readers of the near future (my favorite, ...I said with the same reverence I would have used if I saw Joss Whedon or something.). Petty dislike - the author overused the word "whispered." Half the dialogue is "whispered." Try whispering something and hear for yourself how stupid you sound. Besides the dependable "said," I wish she changed it up with "breathed" or "grated" or "howled" or how about nothing and conveying the emotion another way?

These characters survive by drawing upon their knowledge of zombies in movies and books, so I thought about the few zombie movies and books I've seen and read to assess whether I'd survive if the worst happened. What sucks is that they contradict each other, so that tactic probably isn't helpful. But, although the zombies in this particular book are pretty frightening if they were real, they don't make too much sense since a certain behavior would eliminate the likelihood of propagation...comparing the two zombie books I've read, I've made lists of what I remember:

World War Z (WWZ)
- they shamble slowly
- depending on where the infection takes hold in the body, zombification can take hours or days
- they can smell/sense living humans so acting like one doesn't work
- they don't breathe or eat, so they can survive underwater and w/o sustenance
- they will bite/chomp anything, not focused just on braaaaaaains
- they can only be stopped by destroying the zombies' braaaaaaaaains

Married With Zombies (MWZ)
- they can RUN, and retain enough dexterity for doorknobs, and STILL have higher brain function and intelligence intially, and even afterwards they don't just go for the braaaaaains but set up ambushes (like hiding under a desk until a human is within reach, then jumping out)
- they zombify within 15 minutes
- they can be fooled by acting like a zombie
- they breathe (one was described as breathing)
- they hunger for braaaaaains but seem to feast on every body part
- they can only be stopped by destroying the zombies' braaaaaaains


The most ridiculous issue is the last couple points - if they eat brains, how do the mangled corpses in MWZ become more zombies when destroying the brain destroys the zombie? Are there that many who pull away and run fast enough to escape zombies that can also run? If they change that fast, how do they spread that fast when they wouldn't be able to hide their state (and bloodiness), and wouldn't be able to operate a vehicle to go any distance? I think WWZ ruined me for any other zombie book, since it thought out the logistics of a zombie apocalypse too well. Also ridiculous, the main characters are crack shots with whatever pistols and rifles they find...wouldn't they need some past shooting experience or practice? So many of their initial reactions to the zombies should've gotten them killed, but they managed to pull through with lucky circumstances each time...pssh.

I'll still read the sequels of this book because it was funny and snide. Logic ruins mindless fun.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lady Gabriella of Awesomeness (SLOW).
519 reviews818 followers
March 11, 2015

Make requests, not demands.

example: “please” kill that zombie honey, I’m out of bullets.


OMG ! this book was absolulty fantastic !! and LOL defiantly hilarious !from the story's first intal pages to its very end..this book kept me entertained and laughing as i flipped through the adventures of our two humans DAVE AND SARAH against the apocalypse.

"The Couple who Slays together , Stays Together"

LOL true,who knew killing you brain-eating/marriage saving councilor would actually save your relationship ? Apparently its now being proven true maybe you should give it a go ;D

I never would have guessed that unlike therapy, unlike the self-help books that littered our apartment at the time, killing zombies would save my relationship.But yeah,whatever..

RECOMMENDATION: anyway guys , all im saying is give it a go ! this book might be a hilarious chick-lite pick up on the way read...but its one of those 'DEFIANTLY WORTH IT ones....'...

had loads of funny reading this one..now im totally ready to move onto the rest....

"Have you ever wanted to smash a car? or break a television? Or maybe burn a big fire in the middle of a city square? If the answer is yes, then you'd have some fun during a zombie infestation. Its the little moments, you know?

Profile Image for Mir.
4,895 reviews5,201 followers
January 20, 2011
There is nothing special about David and Sarah. Even their names are boring. In fact, I never remembered their names during the course of the book, I had to look them up for purposes of writing this review. They are vaguely middle-class but having financial difficulties (what twentysomething isn't?), don't have exciting careers, have no special secret backgrounds in martial arts, weaponry, or magic, and pretty much lack any noteworthy hobbies or personality traits. In short, they are an Everycouple. We get the story of the zombie apocalypse from their point of view, not because they are exceptional but merely because they happen to not die. At least, I think this is what the author was going for. But is the average couple really this bland, this boring? I don't believe that; my father used to tell me, "There are no normal people, just people you don't know very well." I get that Sarah and David are intentionally generic, but this was neither believable or interesting. At the start they seemed more petty and spiteful, and I was looking forward to some character growth, but instead they sensibly abandoned their antagonisms in the face of mortal danger and went from generic-feuding-couple to generic-monster-fighting duo. But since I couldn't believe in them as individuals I didn't much care if they lived or died. I would have actually preferred to hate them more; then I could hope for either their deaths or some sort of transformative experience.

But don't get me wrong, I didn't hate this book. It is a light, slightly amusing, inoffensive story that requires no effort on the reader's part. There were a few moments of cleverness and a few moments when the characters seemed to display fledgling emotions. And there was no necrophilia, which is always a plus in my book. So I have no complaints about the hour or so this took out of my day; on the other hand, I'm not planning to read the sequel.
Profile Image for Meredith Holley.
Author 2 books2,326 followers
November 8, 2010
As an unmarried person with many married friends, I have heard my share of lectures and seen my share of demonstrations about how to have a successful (or repair a broken) marriage. I get why you would have to talk about marriage lessons after you learn them because it really is an accomplishment to realize something about relationships. But I never realized until I read this book that it would be SO MUCH MORE FUN if they told their stories with ZOMBIES!!!! Yaaaaay! Not that I wish they had to fight zombie hordes (well, maybe I do wish some of them would, if we’re being completely honest . . .). But, sometimes I bet half of what they’re saying is made up anyway, whether they know it or not, so add some freaking undead, people!!

So, yes, I’m giving this book a very inflated 4 stars. This is another casualty of the Skye O’Malley tragedy. This is probably more of a 3-star book, but it’s so much better than all of the other RBR reads! I’m suspicious that it is better because it’s not actually a romance, but we’ll choose to turn a blind eye to that for now. The minute I held this book in my loving little hands at Powell’s in Portland, I knew we had a connection, though. This is my kind of self-help. Self-help with BRAAAaaaaAAAINS!!!

My only complaint is that there is a great part with a cult, but the cult was not nuanced enough for my taste. I like to see a cult that has some draw at first and then later chains you up. The cult leader in this book was a little too stranger-danger for me to feel sorry for them when they got locked up. Don’t worry, I won’t tell you what happens then.

I think that complaint goes to how I still think watching zombies is a more pleasing overall experience than reading about zombies. Like, if the cult leader guy had been on the TV, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me that he was too obviously loony tunes. Horror movies are so flash-bang that you don’t have the time to pause and want a little more complexity. And I don’t want to want complexity with my zombies! If I get it, great, if not, then I get omg-we’re-all-gonna-die instead, which is just as good. So, basically, I’m bothered by my being bothered.

There’s not a lot to say about this particular piece of litratuhr, and my fellow rippers have done an excellent job in their analysis already by noting the references to Whedon, Zombieland, and Shaun of the Dead. I was satisfied by those references. Jesse Petersen knows her shit. Also, she knows where her book is going to land in the continuum of zombie stories. That’s a bonus. But, now I am off to explore the complexity of the human spirit in The Egg Said Nothing and This is Not a Flophouse. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about those two because I can already tell they have a beautiful mix of subtlety, nuance, and flash-bang.
Profile Image for Veronica Morfi.
Author 3 books411 followers
June 3, 2015
Rating: 1/5

DNF at 43%

This was not what I hoped for. It was boring and not as much fun as I thought it'd be. There were a lot of zombie attacks but still this wasn't really exciting. I didn't care about the characters or what will happen to them. I am kind of disappointed because this seemed like something I would enjoy (or even love).
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,896 reviews545 followers
March 16, 2023
This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/

This was a lot of fun! It has been a while since I picked up a zombie book so I decided that it was time to finally give this book a try. Zombies plus a nice dose of humor? Yes, please! I liked Sarah and David and appreciated the fact that instead of making goo-goo eyes at each other they were headed for divorce before zombies started showing up. They actually learn about the zombies when their marriage counselor tries to eat them.

This was a rather light read with enough zombie action to keep things interesting. David and Sarah were great characters and I enjoyed seeing their attitudes towards each other shift as they dealt with the crisis they found themselves in. Nothing like a few zombies to save a marriage. While I didn’t find myself laughing out loud, I really enjoyed the humor worked into the story.

I thought that Cassandra Campbell did a wonderful job with the narration. I thought that she did a great job with the various character voices and I thought that she brought just the right amount of emotion to her reading. I hope to pick up the next book in the series very soon.

Book Source: Library
Profile Image for jenny✨.
578 reviews892 followers
October 21, 2022
a quick and entertaining read! i'm a sucker for zombie stories and had been meaning to pick this one up for ages (but i kept putting it off because, well, the cover put me off 😂). married with zombies definitely gave me z nation vibes, and i'd recommend this for anyone who's a fan of the show.
Profile Image for Literary Ames.
830 reviews400 followers
December 2, 2011
Dear god, what have I read?! Horrific. Superficial Too Stupid To Live characters I don't care about, stumbling around blindly asking to be eaten.


Having loved the show Married with Children I impulsively decided I would love this too. However, I'm wondering now whether "zombies" and "comedy" can ever be a good mix in the post-Carry On world, and in the absence of Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead totally pulls off the ZomRomCom). And perhaps with this book by marketing it as a comedy excuses the wafer-thin characters, the TSTL behaviour (e.g. checking out a potentially zombie-infested casino for the hell of it) and inappropriately timed arguments (while zombies are bearing down on you) about nothing in particular.


Um, where exactly was the romance? We meet Sarah and David on the brink of divorce as they attend their regularly scheduled marriage counseling appointment. David's demise from having a promising future to being an unemployed deadbeat husband and all-round slacker and Sarah's exhausted from having to work 6 days a week leads her to constantly criticise him and picking fights at every given opportunity, leaving them both deeply unhappy and wanting out of their marriage. Counselling wasn't helping until...they killed their therapist. After that they work together to kill (directly and indirectly) almost every human they come into contact with regardless of whether they happen to be infected. In doing this they come to see each other's positive attributes i.e. bravely killing everything in sight, appearing as heroes in each other's eyes. So again, where was the romance? One off-stage sex scene and...I can't remember if they ever kissed. Not good.


Were pretty cool actually. From bite to brain-eating, the incubation period is 10-25 minutes. Red eyes, strangely happy facial expressions, faster than the average human and the ability to continue simple repetitive actions, describe these zombies. Although there is the requisite gory imagery e.g. a legless undead dragging itself along the ground carrying a baby in it's mouth, it never truly hits home, the gut-wrenching horror of it all.

I hold Rhiannon Frater's As the World Dies trilogy up as the epitome of all things zombie and while reading it I laughed, I cried and I added guns to my wishlist. That was terrifying but there was humour, too. A good balance. MWZ focuses too much on the humour and whilst funny, sometimes it was grossly overused and forced, at the detriment of the characters' intelligence and the graveness of the situation. It's the same with the swearing, I'm not opposed to the well-timed f-word when the world is going to hell and you could die at any moment but it shouldn't be repetitive.

After ogling this book for a while I'm disappointed it didn't live up to my expectations. I could've DNF'd at any point, my lack of affection for the couple left me uninterested in whether they lived or died but obviously they were never in any danger considering it's part of a series.

If you have some time to waste...
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,386 reviews1,094 followers
March 18, 2015
'...I never would have guessed that unlike therapy, unlike the self-help books that littered our apartment at the time, killing zombies would save my relationship.'

Sarah and Dave are having marital problems and have been attending marriage counseling once a week for the past 6 months. On the way to their weekly visit, their session ends up going far differently than the others: their marriage counselor attempts to eat them. After a momentary fight for their lives where their marriage counselor ends up with a stiletto to the head, they realize something is definitely amiss. From that point on, their lives were never quite the same; yet somehow it managed to change their relationship for the better. After the two make plans to leave their home in Seattle and head to Dave's sisters house, they realize that not only is the world going to shit, but it's happening quickly.

This was the book that started my zombie crazed love so I'm really quite partial to it, but I couldn't have started with a better one. It has the perfect mix of blood and guts, sarcastic humor, and demented brain seeking zombies. I loved Sarah and David; they were a perfectly realistic couple just doing what it takes to survive (from the zombies and each other). The chapter titles were a hilarious addition as they were a new 'suggestion' with each new chapter.

'Chapter 2 - Balance the workload in your relationship. No one person should be responsible for killing all the zombies.'

A super fast and enjoyable read that you simply won't be able to put down! If you're a fan of zombies, this is a must for you!
Profile Image for Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines).
349 reviews210 followers
March 1, 2012
Who knew a story could be so disgusting and hilarious at the same time?

Married with Zombies was fast-paced, full of kick ass action and lots of humor, with two enjoyable characters that you'll cheer for until the very end.

Sarah and David's circumstances were highly amusing. Not because they were fighting for survival against hordes of zombies, but because they were a couple forced to work together to stay alive when they couldn't even decide on how to handle listening to music together in the car.

As the story progresses, we witness the development and strengthening of their relationship with each decapitated zombie and every near death experience that they survive.

As with any good zombie novel, there are casualties to face. So the story does occasionally have some heartfelt and heartbreaking moments. But more often than that, there are less serious moments where we are introduced to zombie strippers, zombies with gambling addictions, and relationship advice that I couldn't help but to smile about.

"Put the small stuff into perspective. It's better to be wrong and alive than right but eating brains."

I recommend Married with Zombies to anyone who enjoys a good dose of humor along with gory, vividly-detailed zombie carnage.

And really, who wouldn't enjoy that?

I can't wait to read about Sarah and David's next adventure in Flip This Zombie.

"Sarah, do you really want to tell her about our plans?" he asked, his voice low so she wouldn't hear us argue.

"Why not?" I asked as I shrugged his hand away.

"Because I'm not really certain she'd make the best travel partner through a zombie-infested city," he hissed. "She gets confused by Scrabble."
Profile Image for Ian.
428 reviews72 followers
April 5, 2020
After 5 years of marriage a young couple find that they are having marital problems so decide to go see a local marriage counsellor. And then the Zombie outbreak arrives!! Just how would this apocalyptic world changing event affect their own personal relationship as well as the fate of the whole world? - well America's West coast first, I suppose.
This is a fun-filled, modern day, good old-fashioned Zombie romp containing an abundance of all the usual trimmings that the reader would come to expect - lots of blood, lots of gore, lots of killings, lots of thrills, lots of spills and finally, but definitely not least,...lots and lots of fun! Written in a humorous fashion with lots of great characters, sparkling wit and great dialogue, this is one stereotypical Zombie adventure/journey surely not to be missed. So why not escape the harsh world of reality for a while and go enjoy this piece of pure undead rattling good fun - you won't be disappointed. Top Tip - 'Toilets seats go down!!" Rating: 4.5 stars.
Profile Image for Jenny.
237 reviews346 followers
January 12, 2016
I came across this book few days ago and really liked the plot, so decided to read it right away.This book is humorous even with zombie plot,not in a Laugh-out-loud kind of way,but it has its funny moments. This book is exactly what I was looking for;light and funny.
I really enjoyed reading this book,the characters were really good and even the story was enjoyable.Overall It was a nice read.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
665 reviews57 followers
April 23, 2021
There’s nothing like a zombie apocalypse to lend perspective to one’s marriage troubles. This book mixes humor, gore, and adventure to create a remarkable story about a troubled marriage in the midst of the zombie plague. Quirky, irreverent, and suspenseful, this memorable tale keeps the suspense strong until its thoroughly satisfying conclusion.
Profile Image for Catherine.
117 reviews16 followers
October 17, 2010
I was shocked by how good this book was! I would recommend it to anyone who likes zombie stories. It was humorous as well, which is always a plus.
Profile Image for Lauren.
302 reviews27 followers
September 22, 2022
This was the perfect mix of zombie mayhem and campy horror. If marriage wasn't hard enough the zombie apocalypse couldn't possibly make it any worse. This was the perfect book series to start off my spooky season reads.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
467 reviews1,144 followers
June 14, 2015
'Married with Zombies' is such a fun book! The main characters, Sarah and David, are married, and while there is a zombie apocalypse unfolding around them, they still argue about the issues that had them in therapy to begin with, and because of these two characters, 'Married with Zombies' gives a slightly original slant on the usual characters offered in zombie fiction.

However, that's where the originality ends, this book is full of zombie fiction cliches, but you know what, I didn't care. This is such a great read because it is pure entertainment. I giggled at their quibbles and yet there is still enough substance and depth to make me care about both these characters. There's also enough disgusting viscera and brain munching to keep me happy with regards to action and it's a fast-paced read.

It begins when Dave and Sarah are on their way to see their marriage therapist and notice that the roads aren't as busy as usual. But they don't think much about it and continue bickering. When they arrive at their therapy session they wait outside the room. After waiting for what seems like ages, Sarah opens the door to find Dr Kelly munching on her previous clients.

The first thing I noticed was that Dr. Kelly's eyes were no longer blue. Now they were red with huge pupils that didn't seem to focus on anything in particular, even when she looked right at us.
Her skin was a greyish tone, sickly and pale and...dead-looking, honestly. Except for her mouth, which was covered with a black substance that clung to her lips and teeth. Her chin was bright red with blood and sticky with flesh from the fresh meal she had just devoured.
"Um, Dr. Kelly," I said, hardly able to breathe. "Dr. Kelly, are you okay?"

From there chaos ensues and Dave and Sarah find themselves in a zombie infested world where they have to fight, kill and steal to stay alive. It's the same old story I've read many times within this genre, but it's wrapped in snappy dialogue and contains two very interesting, fun characters.

There are a few other characters throughout the book but they are fleeting acquaintances. Mostly, Dave and Sarah have to pull together to survive, and they begin to surprise themselves at what they're actually capable of.

I shook off my surprise and started booking it across the parking lot again. One of the zombies broke toward us and caught up to us pretty easily since we were slowed down by Dave's injury. I pushed my husband behind me and did the thing you always see at some point in zombie movies.
I went all kung fu on his zombie ass.

They soon begin to work as a team and although this is a story about a married couple with zombies, there's still enough action to keep the story moving along at a perfect pace. It's also narrated by Sarah, who's funny and brave - I like her a lot. Dave's great too but for me Sarah is the star.


'Married with Zombies' is a wonderfully entertaining read. The writing is witty, the characters are warm and funny and the story is suspenseful and exciting. The slight twist on the typical hero and heroine of zombie fiction makes this is a refreshing read and I highly recommend it to any zombie fan.
Profile Image for Carly - Resident Supergirl.
192 reviews11 followers
October 13, 2017
Listened to this book on audio and this was just a fun, quick read and perfect for the spooky month of October! I am not a huge zombie fan but this concept came up as a challenge in one of the groups that I am in and it was a bit out of my comfort zone so I decided to give it a try. I loved this because it was about a couple struggling with their marriage amidst the start of a zombie apocalypse which in turn actually helped save their marriage. They have to work together, talk things out, and apparently when you think EVERY day could be the end of the world, the sex is amazing!

Every chapter has a title - a HILARIOUS title that came across that much funnier to me due to listening to this on audio. The entire book was a bit of a comedy as much as it was creepy due to the continued, creative ways in which to kill zombies. The couple turns zombie killing into a sport and takes life day by day without getting too serious about it and I love that. There is also constant references to didn't do this or didn't they try that in the movies or on TV - which makes sense because who really is ever prepared for the zombie apocalypse???

So why not five stars? Well, as much as I realize that they are taking it day by day and not taking life too seriously - I guess I was a little disturbed at how frivolous they were about some of the people they had to kill because they were bitten. More so how quickly they got over the fact afterward I guess but it wasn't enough to completely kill the book for me, no pun intended, and if you want a quick, fun book for the Halloween season, I highly recommend it!

Profile Image for Amanda.
804 reviews162 followers
July 13, 2021
Before I get into this particular work, I would like to say that there is only one true rom-com with zombies:

And don't think I didn't see the spots where Petersen was obviously channeling that movie.

TW/CW: very fatphobic, gore, gun violence

This was included in Audible's last 2-for-1 sale and seemed like it could be an interesting listen.

Man, what a flop this was.

The zombies were actually charming in their own right and the mythos for them here was a bit of a change from the usual, but the mains were shallow, über-TSTL, and I kept wishing they'd just get eaten already so the book could end. It was a shame that the more interesting secondary characters kept dying and we get stuck with these drips.

So let's get into my big reason for why this didn't get to be a 2-3 start "eh, it was fine" story for me: apparently Petersen is really fatphobic and unapologetic about it in her writing. This story is ten years old, it's possible she's evolved since then and her pov has changed. But. It is a lot. A. Freakin'. Lot. of fat hate in here for such a short story.

Every character Sarah doesn't like in the beginning? All three, fat men. Fat men whose stomachs she has to describe in great detail. Fat men whose health and routines she makes assumptions about. Fat men with poor hygiene. Fat men she describes as constantly burping and farting. Fat men who can't keep a clean house, who have disgusting takeout containers strewn all over their floors. Fat men who need a cart to take a bag of garbage out. Fat men who leer at her—though, EVERY man in this book she interacts with apparently can't stop checking her out: gag. Later on, she describes one of those fat men as "smelled like sausage."

High on her list of things she HATES about her spouse, David? He has a little tummy now, because...lazy and getting fat.

That's not even all of it.

Stares in Angry Fat

Maybe leave all of your body hate and nastiness out of your writing, yeah?

Every time I would just start to enjoy this story, Sarah was talking about some GROSS FATTY again and it killed any positive feelings I felt for this.

If she wasn't commenting on FAT, then she was making mean comments about someone else's body. And nothing is sadder than a character who has to fill their bucket being shitty about and to other people. Worst way to get self-esteem.

I tried.

But this doesn't reinvent the wheel. The characters are flat as hell. The scenarios were flat and uninspired. And I kept waiting for the funny to happen. Where was the funny?

Right. It was supposed to be bagging on other people's bodies—like the not funny at all leaking silicone bewbs on the "ditsy" receptionist.

Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,383 reviews102 followers
November 25, 2019
This is the beginning of an excellent series. Can't wait to read more! Love the audio so much!
Our hero and heroine have reached that point of the marriage where all they seem to do is make each other angry. Instead of talking to each other about the minor stuff that escalated in their romance, they seek out the help of a professional. Good idea. I think everyone should go to therapy, some more than others. Myself included.
So on a quiet morning before their appointment, the world changes. Our couple discover this when they walk in on their therapist eating her clients. Pay your bill, folks.

This author does a brilliant job at writing fight scenes, and keeping the tension at just the right level. Excellent character development. I love that they continue to heal their marriage while fighting for their lives. Sometimes it just takes a Zombie Apocalypse to make people communicate. Which is lucky after what happened to their therapist.
Profile Image for Leo.
4,540 reviews485 followers
October 30, 2021
A married couple that are on the verge of divorcing finding them self having to survive the zombie Apocalypse. Very interesting twist on the zombie story and I quite enjoyed it. Was a fun story to spend some time with, will probably read the next book soon, hopefully before Halloween ends
951 reviews
February 7, 2019
Who would of thought a zombie breakout would save your marriage. But Sarah and David have that happen to them. They have been bickering for a long time over everything and trying marriage counseling for about six months. At their appointment things seem odd no secretary, doctor is running behind schedule and it is too quiet for the middle of the day.

So they decide to knock on the door and see if everything is okay, which it isn't as the zombies have arrived and are quickly taking over Seattle. They make it home after taking a few zombies out along the way.

They make a plan to head out of Seattle and make it to his sister's house in the suburbs. This is when the story gets funny ( yes it is about zombies which I dont think I have ever read) and they still have snarky moments at each other. This is turning out to be the best thing for their marriage. They start bonding over protecting themselves from the zombies, searching for supplies to survive and staying alive. There are quite a few LOL moments along with the reality that the zombies are taking over the world.

I gave it a 4 not a 5 because the zombie took some people I wish could of been spared and one quick chapter was not needed.
Profile Image for Greta is Erikasbuddy.
851 reviews27 followers
October 1, 2011
What do you do when you can't get along with your spouse?

Go to marriage counseling, of course!!

But what happens when your marriage counselor decides that you are on the menu and limps on over for a taste?

Ask for a lower rate?
Tell her that this is breaking your confidentiality contract?
Pop a mint?

Hell noes!! You kill her!!!!

The Plot
Sarah and Dave have been married for five years and are about to call it quits. They bicker all the time, they can't agree on anything, and just about every little thing makes them want to search for a divorce lawyer.... That is until a zombie plague infects Seattle.

Now with team work they are learning to blow zombie brains apart, loot stores with the same grocery/weaponry list, keep an eye on each other's back in case a zombie hoard decides the other one looks tasty, and finally agree that their councilor might have been right.... They can overcome their differences if they just try.

The Funny
I have to admit there were some major LOL moments in this book. One of them was in the very beginning that involved a smelly neighbor and death by toilet seat. I couldn't stop laughing at that one.

Others involved a neighbor named AMANDA who reminded me of CANDY from TWO AND A HALF MEN. SHe was just so simple and fun to watch... I mean read.

The couple bickering back and forth were really fun and if you have been married as long as I have (since '97) you will be able to relate and see the humor in everything. It was really fun to read.

Urban Fantasy?
I'm not sure about that? Sure there were guns and zombies and a couple of "woah where did you come from?" ninjas, but I don't know if I would call it Urban Fantasy. Maybe baby urban fantasy. They have yet to break out the spandex and leather.

Kid approved
If this was a movie, I think it would be or could be rated PG-13... but zomg... there is a ton of cussing in this book. I mean a ton!! So, it all depends on what you let your kid read. There isn't any ta-tas or tinky winkys. I think they say "tits" a couple of times but they are complaining about their slum lord.... but I don't know... I found the cussing really unnecessary. It amazes me how much women authors like to drop the F-bomb

Zombie Love
I felt the zombies in this book were very well done. It was really fun when the couple started taking their zombie knowledge from zombie movies. I was waiting for them to look for twinkies, but maybe in the next book ;)

Definitely a fun book and a great easy read to kick off the Zompacolypse Season.

Remember!! Zompacolypse is coming!! (starting October 1st!!)
Profile Image for Megan.
393 reviews7 followers
December 10, 2010
I feel like zombies just aren't scary anymore.

I mean, in every zombie book, they start off scary and everything is tense and people are dying and the phones are down and the news is freaking out and there is craziness, and it's awesome. But so far, in all the ones I have read, it just becomes normal after awhile. Within the span of 48 hours the protagonists become adept with their weaponry of choice and they can kill a zombie in the middle of their lunch break or without breaking their conversation. And at that point the books get really boring for me. Unless they focus on the good post-apocalyptic stuff I like, but they hardly ever do.

I mean, I don't want them to be really good at fighting the zombies, and I don't want the zombies to only be scary if they come in massive amounts or if they have special powers like Resident Evil. I don't want them to become silly, kind of cute bumbling dead people who are easy to kill. Unless it's a comedy.

So, since this is a romantic comedy, I can give it a pass on that whole rant up there. I really wish it was scarier, but that's not this book, that's a different book. This is a fun book. The characters are easy to like (but pretty flat), the narrative moves along at a fast pace and there is a nice humor about it.

The romance was kind of silly to me. They barely seemed like a couple on the verge of divorce before this happened. They are too nice to each other the whole time. They reconcile too quickly for me. There aren't even any good sex scenes.

Also, I disliked the way the "relationship advice" at the top of the chapters spoiled each and every chapter. Could've just read those and inferred the rest of the book.

Solidly three stars for me. I would definitely read the sequel, on an airplane or a car trip or something like that.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mehsi.
13k reviews404 followers
February 13, 2016
This was a brilliant book!

I really loved the zombies, the couple (and their bickering and how they turned out to be a better couple because, gasp, zombies! (and killing them)), it was a really action-packed story, with a lot of comedy. I had a few times that I wanted to cry though, when they lost people who they cared about.

The chapter openers were hilarious and I laughed out loud a few times. :)

Thanks so much Gisbelle for recommending this book to me.
Profile Image for Dimitris Zisis.
91 reviews6 followers
March 29, 2024
Why hasn't this book been turned into a movie yet?

"Married With Zombies" is a delightful blend of comedy, romance, and survival horror. The story follows a couple grappling with marital issues who find themselves thrust into a zombie apocalypse during a routine counseling session.

The book strikes a perfect balance between humor and tension, with witty dialogue and clever nods to classic zombie lore. I particularly enjoyed the chapter introductions, reminiscent of the rules from 'Zombieland,' which added an extra layer of fun to the reading experience.

What sets this book apart is its relatable protagonists. Unlike many survival tales, the couple possesses no special abilities or plot armor—they're just regular people trying to navigate the chaos around them. Despite the high stakes, the narrative never feels overwhelming, keeping the reader engaged from start to finish!!!

I found myself unable to put the book down, eagerly turning pages to see what would happen next. And the promise of a trilogy has me counting down the days until the next installment. Plus, the clever easter egg on the final page left me eagerly anticipating what's to come.

Overall, "Married With Zombies" is a refreshingly unique take on the zombie genre that left me hungry for more. Can't wait to read the next book of this trilogy!!!
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