REVIEW: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Alice in Zombieland
by Gena Showalter
The White Rabbit Chronicles, Book One
Expected Publication: September 25, 2012
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.
Her father was right. The monsters are real….
To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….
I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I’d tell my sister no.
I’d never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I’d zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I’d hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I’d tell them I love them.
I wish… Yeah, I wish.
MY THOUGHTS: 3 OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
As a teenager who is never allowed to go out at night, Alice Bell doesn’t think her life is so great. But it’s about to get worse. Alice loses her father, mother, and beloved little sister on her sixteenth birthday. In the midst of everything, she sees the monstrous creatures that her dad had been protecting her from for her whole life–the ones she didn’t believe were real.
Alice moves in with her grandparents and meets Cole Holland, the painfully gorgeous but violent bad boy of her new school. She is quickly and inexplicably drawn to him, and he draws her into his world of zombie slaying. Alice now knows these creatures caused her family’s death. And she wants revenge.
So…another book with a cover readers are drooling over. A pretty girl in a pretty dress…that has not much to do with the story. Although, if you look closely, you will see the dark edges of the forest she’s in are starting to touch her. This is a bit symbolic, so I’ll give the cover designer credit for that, at least.
Alice is pretty cool. I think she’s a very believable teenage girl. She’s understandably beyond devastated with the loss of everyone she loved, and it changes her. Alice is just drifting through her life aimlessly, until she finally gets a purpose–killing zombies. I love her more once she toughens up, and the best thing about her is that she is not afraid of anything or anyone–even the toughest girl and guy in the school.
The guy, Cole, is a typical YA sexy bad boy that all the girls want. He is rough around the edges, except when it comes to Alice. I wouldn’t call the relationship between them insta-love, seeing as they didn’t so much as TALK for the first 100 pages, but it was pretty predictable and went in a direction I’m kind of tiring of in YA lit.
Now, the main reason I wanted to read this book is because of the zombies–undead slaying, gory, BRAAAAIIIINNSS zombie action. But, there is not so much of that for the first half of the book. And then when the zombies finally came in–well, I for one was disappointed. I don’t want to spoil them for anyone, but these zombies are kind of a weird cross breed. Yes, they are different than other zombies, but I feel like this was forced–like the author wanted them to be different just for the sake of being different. A lot of the explanation surrounding them and how to fight them was not explained too well.
As an homage to Alice in Wonderland, I’m not sure it succeeded either. There were references–Alice’s name, the white rabbit–but not enough, I felt, to evoke thoughts of Lewis Carroll’s classic.
The fighting action did pick up later in the book, but there were definitely several things that were left totally unanswered for me. This book, as a zombie book, just kind of left me with a meh feeling. If you’re not strictly looking for zombie action–then you may like it better than I did.
*I reviewed this book courtesy of Around the World ARC Tours.