top of page



Available now from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Copies with signed bookplates available from Books of Wonder

For UK purchase from Waterstones

Cover Art: Micaela Alcaino

Cover Design: Laura Eckes

A painfully average teen’s life is upended by a magical apocalypse in this darkly atmospheric and sweepingly romantic novel perfect for fans of The Raven Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Rest of Us Just Live Here. 


High school is hard enough to survive without an apocalypse to navigate. 


Sid Spencer has always been the most normal girl in her abnormal hometown, a tourist trap built over one of the fault lines that seal magic away from the world. Meanwhile, all Sid has to deal with is hair-ruining humidity, painful awkwardness, being one of four Asians in town, and her friends dumping her when they started dating each other—just days after one of the most humiliating romantic rejections faced by anyone, ever, in all of history. 


Then someone kills one of the Guardians who protect the seal. The earth rips open and unleashes the magic trapped inside. Monsters crawl from the ground, no one can enter or leave, and the man behind it all is roaming the streets with a gang of violent vigilantes. Suddenly, Sid's life becomes a lot less ordinary. When she finds out her missing brother is involved, she joins the remaining Guardians, desperate to find him and close the fault line for good. 


Fighting through hordes of living corpses and uncontrollable growths of forest, Sid and a ragtag crew of would-be heroes are the only thing standing between their town and the end of the world as they know it. Between magic, murderers, and burgeoning crushes, Sid must survive being a perfectly normal girl caught in a perfectly abnormal apocalypse.  


Only—how can someone so ordinary make it in such an extraordinary world?

Content Warnings: Zombie violence (stabbing, biting); gun violence (gunshot wounds, death from gunshot wounds); physical violence (hand-to-hand combat, choking, broken bones, mental torture); descriptions of bloodied wounds, bruises, emaciated and rotting appearances; grief (death of parents, death of friends); memories of past physical abuse (not shown on page); discussions of race; transracial adoption (MC is a transracial adoptee--while this is not to focus of the book, it is part of her backstory and character and experiences growing up in a majority white town)

Praise for Dead Things

Cover Animation: Alexis Castellanos


Exclusive sprayed edge edition from Bookish Signs & More




 "This dark debut is a pitch-perfect balance of fantasy, horror, humor, and romance. The story is well paced, with action and suspense interspersed with quiet moments of raw emotion and human connection. The thoughtfully developed characters grapple with issues of race, insecurities, self-absorption, isolation, connection, family, loss, grief, and empathy. A thrilling, moving, and fantastical apocalyptic novel that readers won’t want to put down."


Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Robin Wasley blends elements of fantasy and horror to create a clever and exhilarating zombie apocalypse narrative...Sid's distinct, snarky-yet-empathetic voice adds hilarity and humanity...Fans of post-apocalyptic stories, urban fantasy, and ensemble casts should delight in this gripping novel."


—Shelf Awareness, starred review

"Wasley deftly juggles inventive worldbuilding with introspective ruminations on adoption, found family, and self-acceptance. A large and eclectic intersectionally diverse cast; fast-paced, brutal action; and thrilling reveals round out this genre-bending debut that is at once funny, terrifying, and heart-wrenching from start to finish."


Publishers Weekly

"Loaded with imaginative details, mean fluffy cats, and a heroine you'll have no problem rooting for, Robin Wasley's Dead Things Are Closer Than They Appear is the most fun you can have when trying to survive a magical hellscape. If you've ever watched a zombie apocalypse movie and thought, well, I'd just die instantly—read this and feel some hope."

Kendare Blake, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns


"The best novels make you care about the characters and I loved every single hero, sidekick, and cat in this wildly entertaining romp of a novel. Wickedly funny, but also filled with resonant themes of belonging and finding your place in the world. I didn’t want this book to end!"


Axie Oh, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea and XOXO

"Full of effortless prose and sparkling wit, Dead Things Are Closer Than They Appear seamlessly meshes genuine horror and snappy banter to create a nonstop, propulsive read that had me both laughing out loud and gasping in astonishment."


Kelly Andrew, author of The Whispering Dark

"A fun romp full of charm and humor! The magic is in Sid Spencer's voice, proving this heroine is anything but ordinary."

—Trang Thanh Tran, New York Times bestselling author of She Is a Haunting

"The tangled threads of complicated love—romantic, platonic, and familial—weave together riveting action and visceral stakes in this magical exploration of self-discovery. I loved this one!"

—Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of Across the Universe

bottom of page