Hungry For You

Rated 4.44/5 based on 16 reviews
In this haunting short story collection, anything is possible—a dying musician turns to tea for inspiration; a police sergeant struggles with a very unusual victim; a young wife is trapped in a house hiding unimaginable evil....

With "Hungry For You", A.M. Harte explores the disturbing and delightful in an anthology that unearths the thin boundary between love and death. More

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Tags: love zombie
About A.M. Harte

A.M. Harte is a London-based speculative fiction enthusiast and chocolate addict. She is an advocate of indie publishing in any shape or form. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what 'free time' means, and enjoys procrastinating on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/amharte).

An avid reader, she's been writing fiction far longer than anybody's been paying attention. Her work includes the dark fantasy novel "Above Ground" and the zombie love collection "Hungry For You". Some wonderful places that have featured her short stories are: Best of Friday Flash Volume 2, Flashes In The Dark, 12 Days 2010, The Random Eye & the charity anthology Tales for Canterbury.

During the daytime she works in print production. She lives in London, a city not half as foggy as some seem to think.

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Reviews

Review by: Suni Heretowrite on Oct. 13, 2011 :
I love horror stories and almost everything to do with the supernatural. So I didn’t waste a chance to read a novel made for the horror fans. This is the first novel I have read of A.M Harte and I loved her writing style and imagination. The book is a collection of short stories and poetry related to the world of zombies.

This book is not the usual zombie story, where they are shown as the rotting undead with the sole intent of eating flesh; here there is a twist -a theme of romance is added to the stories. Here the zombies are more human (though they are not alive). All the zombie stories I have seen/heard till now have just a single theme, survivors running and killing the undead. This book shows different endings for a zombie apocalypse, being told mostly from the views of the undead. The book makes references to addiction, abuse and most of all “undying love”. We have seen Daybreakers and I Am Legend and saw what happens when vampires become the dominant species, here is a picture of what happens when zombies take over.

My favorites from the book are –Hungry for You, Dead Man’s Rose and The Perfect Song. I really loved reading this book. After reading long novels with pages and pages of plot it’s a relief to read the stories in this book. If you are a fan of horror stories, zombies in particular, you’ll like reading this book.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
Review by: Caroline Cryonic on Aug. 22, 2011 :
(Cross-posted from the Frida Fantastic book blog)

Hungry For You is a horror short story collection that explores the links between desire and decay through tales of zombie romance. The POV character is either a zombie, or someone who is attracted to one—so while readers may be experiencing zombie fatigue, A. M. Harte injects new life into the material. There isn’t just one type of zombie in this book. It takes a more general approach as it covers some people who are not traditional zombies, but exhibit the same bodily experiences of addiction and deterioration. All the characters are sympathetic individuals, no matter how many fingernails and ears fall off, and no matter what they hunger for.

I really enjoyed this collection. It’s engaging and heart-wrenching all throughout, and I finished it in one sitting. The simultaneous themes of passion and destruction are unique, resulting in some chilling prose that straddle the darkness between the two:

[“It hurts,” she moaned, clutching at her side where I’d sunk my teeth into one of the love handles she so hated. The memory made my gums tingle. I took a step closer, could feel the growing hunger, the excitement, the urgency to eat and eat before her flesh went off.]

The stories that stood out for me were the title story “Hungry for You”, and “Dead Man’s Rose”—which are respectively about a female police sergeant with an unusual zombie victim, and a young wife dealing with an abusive relationship. About the former, it takes some serious skill to write zombies as attractive beings while maintaining them as rotting corpses. It’s infinitely twisted and awesome. Although the subject matter in “Dead Man’s Rose” isn’t new (young wife has creepy husband; young wife is stuck in a house and creepy things happen), it’s written with such a touching sadness that it affected me emotionally like no similar story has.

I was hoping that the stories would add to a greater overarching theme, but they don’t. They could be read in any order and it wouldn’t affect your experience of this collection. While every word is absorbing, the stories feel more like samplers of bigger tales, so some ideas could be explored further.

Some of the characters could be fleshed out more in terms of personality and background—while they’re all in different states of rotting and non-rotting, there were some that I could only remember as hetereosexual and in their 20’s or early 30’s. Due to the similarity of subject matter and not-as-defined characters, there are a few stories that aren’t as memorable. But really, these are just my thoughts on how a great 4-star anthology could become an even better 5-star book.

Hungry For You is a captivating read. Although I felt like some of the stories could be expanded, every single one was emotionally moving, and I suspect that I’ll be re-reading several. If you’re interested in highly original zombie stories, or exploring the dark side of passion, I recommend this book. Reading the sample will give you a good idea if these stories will tug at your heartstrings. They certainly tugged mine, and I’m very interested in reading more books by this author.

Note: A free review copy was provided by the author.
(reviewed 42 days after purchase)
Review by: Regina Linton on July 1, 2011 :
This is a diverse collection of chapters that left me feeling like I wanted more from them. The author could have expanded the chapters into a book on some of the stories and I would have been content with that. There were some really great concepts there. Some that I had not read before as well which was a fresh taste. I had won this book in a contest and thought I would give it some props. Not for the faint at heart.

Very diverse ideas. More adult material. Graphic details that were vivid and stunning.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
Review by: Bonnie on June 9, 2011 :
I really enjoy zombie movies and the odd zombie game, and even though I have a soft spot for horror stories and dark fiction born from my reading background, I haven’t read many zombie books or stories in general. When I first read the description for Hungry For You I was a little wary, mainly because I’ve read my fair share of paranormal romance (enough to last me a lifetime – not a major PR fan here) and I admit I was a little concerned about love mixed in with zombies, but I was willing to give it a go with an open mind. And I also thought maybe it couldn’t be too much of a stretch to like zombie stories in print so why not start with a short story collection?

Well wasn’t I happy I decided to read it? It’s a short read, but one that might be better read spaced out. I read a few stories, then switched to another book that was a review request, before coming back to it. The first time I spent reading it I read far fewer stories compared to the second. I think for me, even though it is something that can easily be read in a day and probably better if you’re a zombie fiction fan, it would be better to space it out so I’m not inundated with zombie love.

And the zombie love is present, but not always in the way you would expect. Those stories are more about humanity and inner struggles than about fright and necrophilia, they’re just told with the use of zombies. The zombies themselves are interesting because Harte has stories in there that show traditional views of zombies, but at the same time she’s diversified how zombies are perceived and created several different ways to experience them. There’s the traditional plague, zombie apocalypse type of thing, and that is present in the background quite a bit, but there’s also the musician trying to drown out his pain, a couple with heart and morals, one that is very short and yet poignant about loss and love, zombies in a sex trade and a zombie union for their rights (that one was pretty good & I would love to read an expansion) and my absolute favourite The Cure, which I can’t really say anything about without completely spoiling it, but I love how it is done. There’s so many to choose from that are entertaining, have great use of emotion, good characterisation, and that are creative, but those few listed give you an idea of the variety even though they are definitely all connected with love.

I really do love how Harte has presented her stories, their meanings, with the use of zombies. I think the fun is reading this story collection to see how she entwines zombies into the mix rather than reading it as purely zombie fiction and I do highly recommend it.
(reviewed 49 days after purchase)
Review by: bethzaida medina on June 8, 2011 :
Hungry for you is a collection of short zombie stories. These zombies are more human than your regular brain eating zombies and they even have feelings. I can’t tell you with detail what the stories are about because I would spoil them.

I loved Hungry for You! A.M. Harte knows how to write, that’s why every time I started reading a new story I caught myself wishing it was longer than the previous story. Some stories were a little confusing but the rest of the stories make up for the ones I didn’t get. Sadly I still don’t like zombies but if Harte writes another zombie book, I’ll definitely read it. The zombies in this book are more human, not as scary and they are Hungry for You! :)
(reviewed 37 days after purchase)
Review by: Essie Holton on June 7, 2011 :
A.M. Harte does an excellent job bringing the zombie world to life, that is if zombies can be considered alive. She gives the reader just enough details to want more and force them into reading another tale before bed. There are stories of zombies that feed from human meat, sex, and even some who feed off of animal products so they don't have to kill humans.

This is a collection of short stories is filled with horrifying tales and love stories, sometimes mixed into one truly disturbing tale. One of which is that of a man who doesn't want his wife to know that she is quickly dying and becoming a zombie, but also doesn't want the zombie horde to kill her before her transformation is complete.

The story that inspired the title of the book, “Hungry for You”, was my personal favorite. In this alternate reality, zombies are 'legalized' and some people allow zombies to feed off of them through sex. Without feeding, of course, a zombie will begin to decay more rapidly and die. To protect the zombie population, laws have been put into place simply because 'zoobs' lack any brain function to defend themselves, or even open doors so they are able to find food.

Police officer Retta is a zombie sympathizer who is guilt ridden after her sister and boyfriend became zombies and eventually meet their final death. While on patrol with her unsympathetic partner, Officer Retta sees some suspicious signs and enters a building to find a zombie who has been assaulted and tied to a bed. Retta decides to bring the zombie into the station and try to question him about what happened inside that old building. Eventually, Retta decides that the zombie needs to feed before they can continue their questioning. The problem arises when he refuses to feed off of any of the willing donors, something that has never been observed before. It turns out that this zoob has eyes for only one person, and is willing to die for, or because, of her.

This is a great book of zombie tales to read in short bursts, or all at once if zombies are your thing. I have to admit, I'm looking forward to my next A.M. Harte read.

My entire review can be found at booksbyessie.blogspot.com
(reviewed 43 days after purchase)
Review by: Jaidis Shaw on May 30, 2011 :
Hungry For You is a collection of short stories by A.M. Harte. The common thread that holds all of these stories together is love. This love is the warped, dark love that walks the line between life and death. I think A.M Harte said it best when she says, "Love is, you could say, very much like a zombie."

The stories that Ms. Harte has created takes a new approach on zombie love. What if being a zombie was common and couples not only had to deal with every day situations but had the added stress of decomposition to worry about? A perfect, and somewhat humorous, example is A Prayer to Garlic. Told from the wife's point of view, A Prayer to Garlic tells the story of what concerns a wife, who happens to be a zombie, has when her mother-in-law is coming over for dinner. But this isn't your average zombie couple. Mog and his wife happen to prefer pork over human meat which goes against everything the zombie mother-in-law stands for. Let's hope the garlic will disguise the pork and the mother-in-law won't notice the difference.

In The Perfect Song, Ms. Harte reminds me that there may be more than one way to become a zombie and affirms my decision to not drink tea at the same time. When a batch of contaminated tea is released as an herbal alternative to anti-depressants, Michael decides to give it a try in order to take his mind off of his current situation. Michael just wants to make Valerie proud of his music and in turn, proud of him. But how does a zombie stay focused when he is determined to get his next fix?

And last but not least, the story in which this collection is named after, Hungry For You. This story takes a much different approach than the rest of its companions. Ms. Harte shows us that there is more than one way to skin a rat...or in this case, more than one way to feed a zombie. In Hungry For You, zombies do not crave flesh, but rather crave sins of the flesh. It pays to have a pretty face as only the elite survive in this tale.

I strongly suggest everyone who enjoys zombies, love stories or even just twisted tales to read Hungry For You. It's a guarantee that you will love most, if not all, of these stories.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Judy Cox on May 21, 2011 :
I enjoy sticking short stories into my reading sometimes. It gives me a pause from the long novels. These tales did not disappoint me in the least. I really enjoyed all the tales. I am a zombie lover, of course!! Would definitely recommend.
(reviewed 30 days after purchase)
Review by: Blatant Biblioholic on May 13, 2011 :
I have to say that stories about zombies have never been high on my list of things to read. It’s not that I’m against them, it’s just that I’ve never been interested enough to pick up anything that contains Zombies. I am aware, however, that this sub-genre has a HUGE fanbase, so when A.M. Harte contacted me to ask me whether I’d like to review the book, I figured it was time I finally made my first foray into their world.

As it’s a collection of short stories, I guess it served as a great introduction to the world of zombies. As I said above, I don’t have anything to compare this too, but looking at other reviews, it would seem that Harte plays around with the genre and injects new life into zombies (no pun intended!). Whilst I can’t corroborate that, what I can say is that whatever she does, she’s damn good at it. I loved all of the stories in this collection and I could easily have read more. Hell, some of the stories left me dying to know more and many of them could serve as great bases for novels. I guess this isn’t a great thing in a short story collection, but it didn’t bother me too much.

The writing is creative, the plots imaginative and the twists generally unexpected. I liked that some of the twists also made me think about the preceding story in a new light. The feeling throughout this book is pretty much always creepy and it definitely had me feeling uneasy. But it kept me hooked. It had me freaked out in a good way.

I would say my favourite story is the story that gives the collection it’s title, Hungry For You, but as I said, for me there weren’t any duds in this collection.

I look forward to reading more from A.M. Harte
(reviewed 33 days after purchase)
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