BOOK REVIEW: Broken Hearts & Zombie Parts by William Hussey

July 3, 2023

Broken Hearts & Zombie Parts

William Hussey

Review by Eric Page 

How do you cure a broken heart? In this Gay Rom-Zom-Com we follow our protagonist  Jesse Spark, a huge movie geek,  who sports a literal broken heart and in weeks will require major surgery to repair it. In this time he’s set himself the task of finding a boyfriend  and grabbing a summer romance, one he thinks may be his first and only opportunity for love, meaning  he has a month to accomplish these two tasks.

The book shadows his increasingly daft attempts to shoot his epic zombie movie on a shoestring budget knowing it’s his only hope of getting into film school. And also fall in love – this is hugely important to him because he’s insecure, frightened and suffering from some real body image problems, and knows that his life saving surgery is going to land him with a huge scar. The book deals with his wrestling with this negative body image, his queerness, his need for company because how will anyone ever fancy him after his surgery?

The book is a gentle mix of sex education meets love with fake zombies – in this deliciously funny gay young adult romance, the author examines themes around body image, self-acceptance and falling in love, all tucked into Jesse’s film – Zomhom- a low-budget zombie flick. Two friends Casper and Morgan help Jesse in both his quest and dealing with some of the life-threatening medical interventions that are detailed in this book, and it’s of merit to the author that such frank clarity is given to both the hospital settings and the medical interventions and Jesses feelings, fear and own bravery is explored in such tender detail, along with the support of his friends.  The surgery allows some seriously deep themes to be explored, not just self-image post-surgery, but death or survival if there is no post to the surgery! Author Hussey writes from personal experience of heart surgery and this allows an authenticity of experience to really underscore these chapters and conversations.

The book makes no secret of its narrative destination, and Casper’s hot, gay cousin is soon involved in the film and is the main romance lead here, so it’s a fairly safe ride but packed with humour and although the happyish ending suited the book; Jesses’ coming out is fine, but the author looks at how other people may be impacted by people living authentically, the ending left me feeling slightly detached from characters I’d been caring about a few chapters earlier. However, this could be your reviewers’ hard heart reasserting  itself as the book is intentionally sugary sweet.

Award winning author Hussey’s writing is infused with real LGBTQ+ stories that younger folx can relate to. Great fun, heart-warming happy every afterish storytelling for fans of young Queer romance.

Out now £8.99

For more info or to buy the book see the publishers website here: