Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book Review: Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1) by Gena Showalter

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
404 Pages

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.



I want to say that I hated Alice in Zombieland, because it made me seriously angry at times. But I can't say that I hated it because I didn't. The things I liked didn't make up for what I loathed, but they kept me reading and now I'm curious to see how the series will continue. 

Alice in Zombieland is a farce. It pretty much has nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland, though it is said to be a retelling. That was seriously disappointing. Besides a few minor details, the stories had no connection. Talk about false advertising. This novel also has created a new kind of "zombie." A type of zombie that I still don't understand. Something about spirits, or souls, or out-of-body experiences. While the idea of a new take on this classic monster is interesting, in my opinion, the author doesn't pull it off. It took me until the very end of the novel to get a semblance of understanding towards what was going on and I like to think I'm an intelligent person… (Depends on who you ask.)

My reaction to actually finishing this book was, "What did I just read?" But I couldn't force myself to give it any less, or any more, than three stars. There was something about it that was, dare I say, addictive. It's weird to say that since the story was extremely predictable and had quite a few faults.

Alice Bells's whole family is dead, after a devastating car accident. She was the sole survivor and blames herself for what happened. She's spent her entire life thinking her father was crazy for believing in zombies, ones that no one else could see, so what she sees during the accident makes her question everything she thought was true. Then she goes to live with her grandparents, starts a new school, makes an annoying new friend and starts to dig on the resident bad boy, Cole. This series of events brings her deeper into a world she never imagined.

The plot was… interesting and I'm sure that's the only thing that led me to continue reading. Though I immediately noticed that I was going to have trouble completing this one, I wanted to give it my best shot because one of my good friends recommended it. The characters and some writing techniques just threw me off. There were cases of insta-love, a hint of a love-triangle and a male main character that seemed to be as much of a high school student as I am (I'm totally not, by the way). As the story wore on, I will admit that were parts that really piqued my interest. That being said, there were also parts that were so predictable that I wanted to slam my head against the wall.

I didn't really like any of the characters. None of them stood out to me in a way that I remember just a few days later besides Cole, and Alice's grandparents. I remember loathing Cole. More than half of the time, I wanted to punch him in the face. He takes the term "alpha male" to the extreme. I have nothing wrong with men with a dominant nature, but Cole went overboard - especially for a supposed "high school student." They way he treated Alice without actually knowing her was ridiculous. Alice isn't anything to great herself. She found ways to continuously annoy me and was ultimately a forgettable character. Alice's grandparents, on the other hand, were awesomely hilarious. They were the highlight of this story and I probably would've liked it better, if it had just been about them! They added a good amount of humor to the novel, and it's obvious that they truly care for Alice. Now, Alice's friend, Kat? Shoot me now. What an immature, crude, annoying brat. Alice sure knows how to pick her company.

If you are looking for a gory retelling of Alice in Wonderland, do look further. Sure you'll find some white rabbits, but that's it. Horror seemed to be on the back-burner and romance was key.

This is the first novel by Gena Showalter that I've read and based on how I felt about this novel, I won't enjoy her other works. Seeing as everyone has recommended her adult paranormal romance series to me, I guess I will have to give her another chance. Hopefully, she can prove herself to me there.

1 comment :

  1. This was my first Gena Showalter read, too. And I'm right there with you...I'm still not sure I understand these zombie-ghost things. But it was definitely addictive, even with the focus on romance instead of zombie killing. I wasn't AS disappointed as you were with it, but maybe it's because I'd already read several reviews that pointed out it was not really a retelling, so I kind of knew not to expect that...even though I still went into it hoping all those reviewers missed something. Great honest and informative review!


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