Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Price of Popularity

I put the uniform on the bench and stare it.

"Go on already," Miranda barks. She pushes it closer with an anxious shove as time ticks away toward the time we're du out on the field. I stare at the uniform, one hand pinching my lips and the other running my fingers over the stitched M sewn into the sweater vest.

Black as midnight.

Black badge of honor.

A superhero suit that will grant me special powers the instant I put it on. -- page 134 Zombie Blondes

I've always envisioned popularity to be more like a costume than anything else. What you wear and what you say is part of what identifies one as popular. More often than not, the concept of popularity is closely associated with conformity. To become popular, one must be willing to sacrifice some things.

The zombies in my book are a metaphor for this concept. Through, I explore this idea of what someone is willing to give up in order to gain popularity and all the benefits that come with it. Giving up your friends and certain hobbies is easy, but giving up your life for it? No way, right. Well, maybe. The lure of being liked, feared, admired, and borderline worshipped is quite attractive. 

These are things that cause Hannah to ignore certain signs around her that warn of danger. I read a review online where someone complained that Hannah seemed clueless. It was so obvious that there were zombies about. This is where the appeal of popularity comes in. 

Hannah's not clueless. She's fully aware from the opening chapter that something in Maplecrest is wrong. She chooses to look the other way on purpose. Because the question remains throughout, how much is she willing to sacrifice? She hasn't decided yet.

1 comment:

  1. I was totally floored by this book and this very concept of "turning a blind eye" and to what cost. Not to go off waxing your car, but your characters really sell this idea well. I never expected a "young adult" novel to have me so excited about character and story...well done, sir.

    Having put the teen years of my life long behind me, it's so easy to look back and see where I traded things for popularity. And the cost of those "trades" can often tarry on well beyond the walls of school. With that mindset, it's easy to scoff at the characters of this story, but the reality is, we've all been there and done the same things.