Generation Dead was a surprise. The cover and blurb lead me to expect an amusing piece of fluff. Fun to read, but with no real substance. Wrong. In the end, this wasn't really even a book about zombies; it was a book about racism and our intolerance toward people who are "different". Some teenagers who come back from the dead are feared and abandoned by their own parents. Even the ones who still stay at home with loving parents have to face the world with no laws in place to protect them from hate and violence in others.
Waters used some stereotypical cast members (Goth/outsider, cute boy-next-door, bullying athlete, intelligent representative of the "others"), but they worked in the story and the characterizations grew as the book moved along. The alternating viewpoint really helped with this. Phoebe's acceptance of the "differently biotic" did not come easy. Adam's seemingly easygoing attitude hides a real struggle to control his temper. And hearing the story from Pete's side made him more than a mean-boy. I still didn't like him, but I gained insight into his mental state. The only viewpoint missing was Tommy's, a smart decision on Waters' part. You're never quite sure if he's doing something because he feels it or to make a statement on behalf of the zombies.
By the end of the book, I was emotionally involved and really cared about what would happen next. I intend to track down the second book sometime soon.