Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter [REVIEW]

TITLE: Alice in Zombieland
           (White Rabbit Chronicles #1)
AUTHOR: Gena Showalter
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
PUB DATE: Sep 25 2012
Summary from Goodreads:

"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."


Everyone thinks Alice Bell’s father is crazy. He locks up his family inside their home, sometimes even in their basement, every night and goes about roaming the perimeter with a shotgun in his hands. He believes in monsters lurking around. But nobody has actually seen one - including Alice. All her life, Alice’s routine is to go to school and get back home before sunset, and all the paranoia going on in her father’s head is agitating Alice.

One night she finally convinced her parents to let them all go to watch her little sister, Emma’s ballet recital. That night she finally witnessed what her father has feared of all their lives.

All so suddenly, Alice is left an orphan. She moves in with her grandparents and moves to a new school. But weird things are going on. While jocks ruled her former school, the bad boys who seem to take fights as breakfast, rule here. But what is with them? Most of all, who the heck is Cole Holland and why is she feeling incredibly connected to this guy?

Suddenly her grief isn’t the only thing she has her mind occupied with – there’s school, Cole... and something she must fight off for her life and protect those she love...

When I first found out about Alice in Zombieland, I wasn’t keen on reading it. The word “zombies” was kind of my cue that this was going to freak me out and give my nightmares. (I am such a wimp!). But since I saw the ratings for this book [which were really high], I thought I might give it a shot, and risk the possibility of getting a heart attack. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but I’m a scared-y cat – bite me! LOL. I didn’t expect to find that the zombies where actually ghost-like. Not that I’m a fan of ghosts but – wow! Who could have thought of that?

Based on the title, I was imagining Alice stumbling into a dream where Wonderland is inhabited by zombies. And it is Alice’s job to save the world and so on... I didn’t expect the kind of story I found with this book. But thank goodness it was awesome just as well!

Although I didn’t get the Wonderland and all things Alice (including Through the Looking Glass) setting I was expecting, I kept trying to correlate the characters to those from the classic stories by Lewis Carroll. I was thinking that Cole had the image of the Mad Hatter. Kat would be the Cheshire cat (imagine the irony). Frosty and Bronx are Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Poppy and Trina would be some of the Snooty Flowers... okay, so I’m thinking more of the Disney cartoon. Hey! Don’t judge! Hahaha! Anyway, I was just making presumptions, not really sure I’m right but it was fun to make guesses.

Alice/Ali was a likeable character. Take off the part where she was so insecure about having “legs that go on forever” and she’d be perfect. Seriously, most girls kill to get model-like long legs, so don’t give me that. My favorite character among them would be Kat. She’s the friend I’d love to have! She’s witty, she has Ali’s back, she’s supportive and all that – a true embodiment of a best friend.

I love the idea of Ali and Cole’s shared visions. It makes me curious to see what is really going on and why those visions where happening between them. Not that it was answered already but I’m eager to find out.

The actions scenes and the way Alice and the gang had to train (not just physically) to fight off the zombies were outstanding! This may not have been the kind of story that I thought of at first, but it was really creative and gripping. I’m still infused with a lot of questions, but the execution and ending of Alice in Zombieland has left me a satisfied reader, so I’m all the more patient to see how this would go.

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