Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles Book 1)
by Gena Showalter
Expected Release Date: 9.25.12
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: As intriguing as the title of this book and the cover were, I was a little apprehensive. I thought it would be more of a retelling of the Wonderland story but with zombies. Fortunately, Showalter kept the action above ground and really tweaked zombie lore. I’m still not sure I understand the zombie rules the author has set up, but the characters and action are enough to keep me reading. Plus the book managed to surprise me now and again, which I give major points too.
Alice, or Ali as she’s called through most of the book, makes for a good heroine. Yes, she feels guilty over the deaths of her family, and yes this makes her a bit reckless and impulsive… but at least she’s got a reason. I can’t stand when characters do stupid, dangerous things for no reason. Plus, Ali has some skills, she’s not just a girl, she’s all Gwen Stefani on the zombie’s butts.
In the beginning of the book, in just a few short pages, Showalter establishes a wonderful bond between Alice and her younger sister Emma, who is impossible not to love. Her parents are a little less fleshed out, but you can see that her mother struggles to keep the family together and that Alice thinks her father drinks too much and doesn’t really see monsters. Despite all the tension, the family does seem remarkably close, which you just don’t see much in YA… which is why they have to be killed off.
Ali goes off to live with her grandparents who are hilarious and sweet, especially her grandmother. She meets Kat, who helps her make through the ordeal of switching schools and warns her off the bad boy hottie that catches Ali’s eye. And when I say “catches her eye” know that I mean this in a BIG way. Cole Holland is all hot, steamy and dangerous. But, he was such a jerk in the beginning that it took awhile for me to warm up to him. He did that “you should stay away from me” routine, even while he pursued Ali. I know girls have the reputation of being contrary, but when it comes to YA boys, they take that title away, especially the tortured heroes.
So after the accident that stole her family away from her, Ali starts seeing things and thinking that maybe her Pops wasn’t crazy after all, and Cole and his gang of misfits seem to be connected. Ali doesn’t just sit and cry over her loss, she’s determined to do something with her life to make amends. It’s survivor guilt, but Ali soon proves to be up for the new role life has handed her.
Other than the heat between Ali and Cole, my favorite part of the book was Kat. She was so lively and fun, plus with her on again/off again relationship with Frosty, that she added a much needed lightness to the Ali’s dark moodiness.
Some things I didn’t like: almost all of the kids Ali meets at her new school have super trendy names or nick names. Sometimes I just long for some Marys, Toms, Mikes, or Susies. When you make every name unique it just makes it hard to remember who’s who. For instance, I couldn’t keep Kat’s friends straight. I also thought so much more could have been done with the character of Justin, who I liked in the beginning, I kind of felt like his story was dropped until the end. Maybe the next book? The zombie lore in this book, while really fresh, was also confusing. But that could just be me. Okay, it probably is just me.
Overall I really liked this book. It was a fast read, I cared about Ali and Cole. Bad stuff happens in this book, because bad things happen in life. Ali, while sporting some serious anti-zombie skills, isn’t throwing Bella-like shields over her loved ones, so people die. Showalter proves that Ali isn’t just in a little danger, but serious, real, not coming back from the dead danger. There is enough light to balance the dark though, and I’d recommend it. It’s not really connected too much to Alice in Wonderland, but in my opinion that’s okay.
Alice in Zombieland gets a Midnight Book Rating of:
The cover gets a Midnight Book Cover Rating of:
Love it even though the dress really isn’t Ali’s style, it’s at least evocative of Alice in Wonderland.
**I received a copy of this book through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for my honest opinion**