ARC Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Posted September 19th, 2012 in book review / Leave a comment

Alice in Zombieland

Book #1 of the White Rabbit Chronicles

by Gena Showalter

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (Sept. 25, 2012)
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Format: Paperback (404 pages)
Source: Part of Street Team package from Author
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)

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….

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At a Glance
You don’t go into Alice in Zombieland expecting an analytical, in-depth read. This is purely a fun read that will leave you satisfied. I enjoyed Gena’s take on the zombie genre and I loved her characters. And the romance is the hottest I have seen in a YA book.

The Good
Here’s The Story…
Alice didn’t grow up like a normal girl. Her dad was convinced that monsters existed, which meant the family was on lock down after dark. The one time Alice convinces her family to stay out after sundown, her world is torn apart. And since that fateful night, Alice can barely function without her family. Until she finds out her father was right. Monsters do exist and now Alice can see them too. Now all she can think about is getting revenge for her family by taking out as many zombies as possible. And she isn’t alone. Other kids from school can also see the zombies, but they are much more organized than Alice. Now, Cole, the leader of the zombie hunting group, is training Alice to become one of them. But time is running out as a secret group tries to bring down Alice’s friends and family. And they have an ace up their sleeve, one that might lead Alice to her death.

Alice in Wonderland…I mean Zombieland
Alice in Zombieland sucked me in straight away. I was dumbfounded by the beginning. I like books that surprise me from the get-go. It really got my adrenaline pumping and even gave me the chills sometimes. The chemistry between the characters was spot on and the storyline has major potential in regards to the rest of the series. The little references to Alice in Wonderland only made it that much more fun to read.

Alice, I think, handles her family tragedy very well. I would have probably responded the same way. I felt her heart-wrenching emotions as she dealt with her loss and tried to pick herself back up. Then once she submerges herself into zombie training, she gives it her all. She becomes strong and determined. She is not one of those whiny characters. She does what’s best for the majority, even when it puts herself in more danger. But it’s her connection with Cole that really brings out her personality.

Cole starts out as a hardcore badass. He is the kind of guy you run away from once you see his many tattoos and dangerous eyes. His attitude isn’t much better either. But every time he looks into Alice’s eyes, we see a different kind of Cole. One that is hard but sweet, dangerous but protective. His life has made him tough but he is the best person to have protecting your back. The more you get to know him, the more you fall in love with him. He is a total jerk to Alice in the beginning, but we soon realize that all he is trying to do is protect Alice from the fight that has taken many of his friends.

Hot With A Capital H…
What makes this book so fun is the fiery relationship between Alice and Cole. Their back and forth humorous banter will make you laugh out loud. The tension between them is thick enough to cut with a knife. And HOT. Can’t forget HOT. I even had to fan myself a time or two.

Gena’s Forte…
Awesome secondary characters are Gena’s forte. Kat is like the perfect best friend for Alice. She is loud, self-absorbed (in a cute way), and freakin’ hilarious. I was watching out for her in every scene.

This is not a book to be taken seriously. It’s a fun, sometimes scary, and exciting read that has action galore. It’s not the most skillful writing ever but that didn’t take away from the story at all. I read it in two days and had a smile on my face in the end.

The Bad
I keep a little notebook beside me when I read to write down what I don’t like about the books I read. I always remember the good stuff but the bad stuff can get hazy if I don’t write a review right away. Why am I telling you this? Because I went back to see what I didn’t like about Alice in Zombieland and saw that I wrote nothing. That means there’s nothing that stood out to me that would really take away from the enjoyment of this book.

However, there are one or two things I thought about since setting down the book. Though I liked Gena’s version of zombies, I also didn’t like it sometimes. I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say, to me the zombies were less frightening than I expected.

Also, the ending finished too fast for me. The build up was good then the climactic end just lasted for about 5 pages.

The Snuggly
This is one of the hottest YA books I have ever read. No sex or anything but there is some hardcore making out and petting. I prefer it this way because it’s more realistic when it comes to teens today. If you are looking for a YA book that will make your toes curl, you have found it.

If you are looking for an entertaining YA read, this book is for you. If you are looking for a twist in the zombie genre, this book is for you. If you are looking for amazing characterization and a story that will keep you reading, Alice in Zombieland is the book for you. Highly recommended.

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.

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