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Stuck in Z Middle with You
Stuck in Z Middle with You
Stuck in Z Middle with You
Audiobook1 hour

Stuck in Z Middle with You

Written by Wendy Dalrymple

Narrated by Maggi Mayfield

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

For Zosia Walker, things can’t seem to get any worse. After too much partying and not enough studying, she’s lost her college scholarship and has to high-tail it back home. Paired with a string of one-night stands and dwindling self-esteem, Zosia feels like an out-of-control loser, and hates that her future is so unsure.

Paul Pelayo is drifting through life, just taking things one day at a time. He’s content to work the overnight shift at the same gas station where he’s worked since graduating high school, and sees no big rush to do anything else. The job doesn’t pay well, but he gets to sketch and read comics all night, which is just fine with him.

One night, Zosia pulls off the interstate on her way home from college to gas up her car, and it doesn’t take long for her to realize something is very, very wrong. Soon, Zosia finds herself trapped in the gas station with the aloof (but kinda cute) attendant, defending themselves from a horde of the living dead. If they can just survive until daylight without killing each other first, Zosia and Paul might stand a chance at making it out alive… and in love.

Release dateOct 24, 2020

Wendy Dalrymple

Wendy Dalrymple crafts highly consumable, short and sweet romances inspired by everyday people. When she’s not writing happily-ever-afters, you can find her camping with her family, painting (bad) wall art, and trying to grow as many pineapples as possible. Keep up with Wendy at www.wendydalrymple.com!

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Reviews for Stuck in Z Middle with You

Rating: 3.73972602739726 out of 5 stars

73 ratings5 reviews

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  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    It was a good storyline, good believable characters with a fun setting if you believe odd things can happen in this world. But at times, the audible repeated, which lowered my review.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3.5 Stars for me

    This was a fun story with a simple take on the Zombie Apocalypse. If it was double the length, I think it would have been much more developed. I definitely enjoyed listening to the story and will happily continue to listen to Wendy's stories.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    Not a bad story line, but it is hurried through at points.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    O liked it well written and not too forced for a short story romance

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    I admit it. I am coming up on the end of the year, and because 2021 has been the worst year of my life I find myself failing in my Goodreads challenge. And I resent that. So I decided to listen to and read a bunch of short works to make up the numbers. I could just change my challenge total - but actually I did that already a couple of months ago, and I'll be damned if I fall short of the revised goal. It's a silly hill to die on, but here I am.

    Which is how I landed on this ... masterpiece on Scribd. A short zombie fic by a romance author. How bad can that be, thought I.

    Past self, it's bad. It's really, really bad. Which is why I'm wasting so much time and so many words here. It annoyed me just that much.

    First, a bone to throw to the author: she does exposition pretty well; she tells a story pretty well. If only this had been a story worth listening to. Because my God these two characters are so dumb that I only wanted the story to end with them being eaten. (Spoiler: sadly, they don't get eaten.)

    (Although I can't give the writing a full pass; I do of course take issue with the statement that the world has gone to "literal shit". Author, may I have your address so I can send you a literal dictionary?)

    The two characters who are thrown together in this story (and, naturally, fall in twoo wuv) spend half the story avoiding saying, or thinking, the word "zombie". Why? Shambling half-eaten creatures with filmed-over eyes who used to be people you knew, who clearly want to have you over for dinner = zombies. But for half this thing it was "them" or "the living-impaired" or some other such nonsense, until in Paul's POV the author finally says something like "OK, fine, they're zombies". Why? This isn't The Walking Dead, where the word never seems to have become common knowledge - in fact, it's revealed that they both love TWD. So ... why avoid naming them? Also, given that they both have a solid working knowledge of the show and of the lore ("they" don't like fire; if you get scratched or bitten by "them" you're in trouble), how could they be so astonishingly stupid in other ways? How did Paul, who has worked at this place for years, not ever once think of the back door as a possible safety issue? How could he forget - forget that his coworker went out on a break right before this hot chick came in, and, gee, he hasn't come back? How did it never occur to him to turn on the bloody radio he was listening to at the beginning of the story? ("The radio! Don't you have a radio?" D'oh!) (Then when they do remember the thing, she gets distracted by the "antique" technology and weird cassette tape. Because, sure, they've waited this long to try to find out what's happening in the world, why not have an amusing interlude here? Speaking of the rest of the world - )

    How do they apparently never once think of their families until something like eight hours into the situation? They've got plenty of time on their hands, by and large, yet neither of them mentions, or per what we're given in narration thinks of their parents. Not once.

    Why would the silly creature whose name apparently, hilariously, means "wisdom" leave her purse in her car if she was going in to the gas station to - I assume - pay what she was able to for the gas she'd pumped? (Because that was one of the first pieces of evidence that she was TSTL: although she had only less than $20, she zoned out and put almost $40 worth of gas in her car. Trust me - when you only have a certain amount of money, it should make you hyper-aware of those numbers ticking over on the gas pump.) (And are there really gas stations that let you pump before you pay, or is that the point here, that this place is old and non-tech and therefore doesn't have that protection?)

    Then their basic stupidity actually ramps up.

    Surrounded by zombies, stranded and alone, completely ignorant about what the capabilities of their particular brand of zombies might be, they ... help themselves to the store's stock of cheap wine.

    "As he downed the last sip of cheap chardonnay, Paul suddenly realized that drinking in their situation might not have been the best idea." YA THINK? But apparently they were bored. He decides they ought to switch to energy drinks - but, instead, in a lust-hazed state, they crack open another bottle. "Come on ... I think this calls for another bottle of cheap wine." (Their lust is briefly postponed when a lean-in to a kiss is interrupted by the zombie they stuck, for some unfathomable reason, in the freezer: "...they'd both nearly forgotten that zombie-Joel was just a glass door away." With the kind of situational awareness these idiots show, they should have died a hundred times. I really wanted them to.)

    Oh, of course. They stuck the zombie in the freezer on the thinnest of in-story excuses solely so that they could have him handy to retrieve the keys at his belt and take his truck. (He was a MAGA-head. They should have decapitated him immediately; then they could have just taken the keys off the corpse.) And why do they need that guy's truck? Yes, what's-her-name's car inexplicably has a flat, but that doesn't mean they can't drive it. It won't run well, but it will run, and any permanent damage to the vehicle is, let me think, BETTER THAN BEING EATEN. Or, since all but one of the, what, seven? zombie customers drove up and were attacked immediately, odds are good their keys will still be in their ignitions, or at least in or near the cars. That would be worth checking out. But no - they'd rather try to get a zombie's keys away from him. Oh, of course - it's so that they can run over a bunch of "z's" on their way out in the big pickup. Because why not risk damaging the vehicle you just risked your lives to get to - not to mention obscuring the windshield with gore. Brilliant.

    OMG, they're both wearing Converse! They're clearly made for each other!

    Paul berates himself a time or two for not doing anything to save the first living customer who drove up, who was attacked and turned by the first zombie who wandered in. Well, fine, it would have been too stupid a move even for this fool to go try to help her. But why would they not try to do something to prevent ALL THOSE OTHER PEOPLE from being attacked? At the very least, they could have turned off the outside lights to make it look like the place was closed, so ALL THOSE OTHER PEOPLE wouldn't pull in. But no. A family of four and an elderly lady got offed in front of their eyes (or would have if the two idiots hadn't been looking longingly at each other).

    The announcement that comes over the radio (once they finally remember and turn it on) was the first evidence of other non-undead people in this world, and lo: they're as dumb as these two, suggesting that listeners "keep a distance of six feet" from infected. Oh, no, do they have COVID, too?

    Twice - twice, in a story that was 125 pages on Kindle - Paul feels a hand on his shoulder and is astonished to find it's a zombie. Twice. Remember my complaint about situational awareness? Yeah. (And why exactly did that first one apparently catch him when he stumbled? See, this is why I'm writing a big long review of this thing: it irked me just that much.)

    "She wasn't going to be careless anymore, with her future or with her heart." Her inhaler, however, she will probably continue to lose.

    "You have two choices: run, or fight." Or hide, fool.

    Thank the lord the narrator didn't have to do any more little girl voice than a couple of lines, because that character voice was painfully bad. Other than that - and two weird repeated lines which extended this painful thing two minutes longer than was necessary (I want to slap the editor) - the narration was adequate, though I would not recommend this reader for anything else with action sequences; the tone of the one real fight in the story was far too "giving it all I've got". And that's the best I have to say for this thing.

    Except that it's over. I would definitely rather fail my Goodreads challenge than listen to anything else this bad.