Review ~ Tell Me When I'm Dead by Steven Ramirez

~Jennifer~ | 3:00 AM | | |

Title: Tell Me When I'm Dead
Author: Steven Ramirez
Publication date: August 25th 2013
Genre: New Adult, Horror, Zombies
Source: Review copy

Lucky to have made it to his early twenties, Dave Pulaski wandered through life lost and drunk with his best friend Jim. Then came Holly. She made it her mission to clean him up. And he finally did it. Two years sober, Dave has plans for a family, a steady job and college. 

One night Jim disappears, leaving a grisly trail of animal carcasses and murdered bodies. Now Missy, the woman Dave cheated with, threatens to destroy not only his marriage but his sobriety. Between Missy's jealous demands for attention and the police investigation focused on Jim's disappearance, Dave's neatly ordered world quickly spirals out of control. 

Amid the wreckage of Dave's personal life, a contagion brings chaos to his hometown of Tres Marias. The condition, known as "the jimmies," infects hundreds and kills quickly. But the dead find no rest. They rise as ravenous flesh-eaters. 

Dave soon learns that "not all draggers want to eat your flesh, some want revenge." And Jim and Missy, both infected, each want something from Dave.

The quarantine of Tres Marias creates hell on Earth. Badly outnumbered security forces are no match for the growing hordes of undead. 

Follow Dave, Holly, and a small band of heavily armed soldiers and civilians as they fight to survive looters, paramilitary nut jobs and the zombie apocalypse. 

If the zombies don't kill them, the wackos surely will. Nowhere is safe. 

Grab your copy of this insane new adult zombie thriller now! 

Imagine if your personal life was in shambles AND you had a zombie apocalypse to worry about. In Tell Me When I'm Dead, that's exactly the situation our main character, Dave, finds himself in. He's a man with what he believes to be a happy life. He's stopped drinking, has a beautiful wife who wants to start a family with him, and plans to go to community college. Dave used to drink all the time with his former friend, Jim, and anytime Jim comes around, Holly is afraid Dave will go back to his old ways. I soon found out Dave's life isn't as great as I first thought.      

After the night Jim shows up at Dave and Holly's door completely drunk, things begin to go terribly wrong. Mutilated animals are found in the woods along with a jogger's body. People are beginning to act strangely, too, and one TV anchor calls it the "jimmies." Slowly people begin to realize their loved ones are dying and coming back as the living dead!

It took a while for the contagion to spread - it didn't happen overnight. The pacing of the story was realistic to me and made things even creepier. At first, people change into zombies slowly over a couple of weeks. They're walking around a bit stilted, but life goes on as usual around them. Eventually turning only takes a few hours, and that's when things get really scary.

I liked knowing the characters' back stories before we really get into the meat of the apocalypse (pun intended). These zombies aren't your typical zombies, either. They're 'roid raging, hell bent on revenge, and somewhat able to communicate with each other. Dave found this out the hard way when one zombie in particular was gunning for him. I thought that was fresh and original. And funny at times.      

The messes Dave gets himself into are comical but sad at the same time. He's the kind of guy that you're rooting for, but you're also like a bit disgusted with, like dude why did you mess things up so badly??? It seemed like he didn't really want to be married even though he kept insisting he does. Even when he met up with Missy, he still had to reign in his attraction for her.

But Dave undergoes a transformation over the course of the book. While in the beginning I labeled him as a jerk for cheating on his wife and saving only himself from zombies, he begins to help others and takes huge risks to do so. He actually becomes heroic and brave. He still isn't perfect, but that's what makes his character realistic and believable. He runs into good luck; he runs into bad luck.  

There's plenty of gore. I'm not squeamish at all, but if you are, I just want to warn you ahead of time. You can easily skip over those parts if that's the only thing keeping you from giving Tell Me When I'm Dead a try. Personally, I can't imagine a zombie novel where there aren't any violent scenes - it just wouldn't be an apocalypse without zombies splattering.

The frustrating part for me is that there are wackos that seem to come out of the woodwork in an apocalypse as if trying to fight zombies isn't bad enough. Just band together people! But people attacking each other over supplies is realistic. I can see humans behaving that way - look at all the looting that happens in natural disasters in real life.  

There's a difference between reading a book and watching a movie. I can get scared with either, but there are scenes in books that I can picture vividly for a long long time afterward, and this book has plenty of those. Tell Me When I'm Dead will be a book that I'll always remember just by looking at the cover or reading the title.

My Rating: 


  1. The character transformations and the plot of the contagion has my attention. I hadnt heard much about this one so thanks for review.

    1. You're welcome, Brandi! I particularly liked that the main character is flawed - it made it so much more realistic. He doesn't always make the right choices, but I still rooted for him anyway. Thanks for stopping by! :D

  2. I can see humans behaving that way - look at all the looting that happens in natural disasters in real life. <------This! I couldn't agree more. OMG! If you are familiar with typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda, you would have seen how desperate people are to fill their stomachs with the way they're acting. It was definitely heartbreaking.

    Lovely review, Jen. Need to check this one out. :D

    1. Sometimes I think in a zombie apocalypse you'd have to watch out for other humans almost more than you would the zombies themselves. And it is heartbreaking - I really can't blame people for wanting to feed themselves.

      I had no idea when I read this that it was going to have a sequel, but it does and it's coming out in just a couple of weeks. I'll be reviewing that one, too! :D Thanks for stopping by, Charlotte! :D

  3. The band of people being bad is always so much worse than the zombies.

    1. Yes! I'm seeing that more and more in zombie novels (not to mention certain TV shows, *cough cough*) lately. That's another aspect of this story that just seems so damn realistic. *shivers* Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer! :D

  4. The outbreak being called jimmies is kinda bleh and also seems like a blatant patent zero hint. but other then that it sounds like a great book. I love a hero that's flawed. Mr. perfect always gets on my nerves. Matt @ JC's Book Haven.

    1. I think they called it the jimmies before they knew what was really going on, but I see what you're saying, lol. It's so nice to see a flawed character, especially in a zombie novel. I agree - Mr. Perfect gets on my nerves, too! Thanks for stopping by, Matt! :D

  5. This sounds like some creepy good fun, Jennifer. I *still* haven't read a zombie novel with the exception of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. I just might have to give this one a go. ;)

    1. There's a sequel coming for this book in just a couple of weeks! I think it's not too scary for a zombie book, lol. I hope ya give it a go. ;) Thanks for stopping by, Brandee! :D


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