on 22 October 2012
Gena Showalter provides me with a conundrum. I have read quite a few of her adult titles and liked them enough to buy more. Yet when it comes to her YA books I feel like I'm missing something. I never got past the first five chapters of Intertwined and would have given up on Alice much sooner if I hadn't been so determined to finish it.
Alice in Zombieland has nothing to do with the original. Maybe that expectation was an error on my part but apart from the Rabbit-cloud and Kat there is nothing that links these two stories. Had this book had a different title, another cover, perhaps I wouldn't have been able to enjoy this more but I can't be sure.
For me this book is about a third too long. Everything takes ages to start and when it does there are pages and pages in-between of Alice monologue. As a character I never did grow fond of her and have major issues with Alice and Cole's relationship. Alice has questions, given what is happening that is perfectly reasonable, yet Cole and the others tell her she's annoying and she agrees!
As the book progresses the pacing does improve and I can see how this story would appeal too many. But for me Alice in Zombieland didn't match the expectations I had and I don't see me continuing with the series.
on 13 July 2014
Well. What can I say. This book was AMAZING!! I am lost for words. I just don't know how to describe this book and give it justice. A page turner like no other, Gena has put a new twist on the zombie craze and created something that will have you sleeping with the lights on. All kinds of scary but with a heartbreaking story, this is one book that will stay with you long after you have faced the last zombie.
Alice is my new favourite heroine. She is one tough cookie but so down to heart. I love her fierceness and her loyalty to her friends and family. I love her snarky attitude and her habit of asking a million questions. My heart broke for her when her family died, the poor girl lost everything. But even after everything she has been through she still finds the strength and determination to stand up and fight. To try and make a difference. She blames herself for her familys death so she feels the only way to clear her conscience is to fight the very things that her father warned her about her entire life but which she thought was just the ramblings of a mad man.
Alice makes some new friends when she has to move schools and my favourite without a doubt has to be Kat. That girl is just something else. I want a friend like her. She is so fun and was the perfect friend to Alice when she needed one the most. She stood by Alice through everything and always knew what to say to make her feel better. I just adore her.
Now, on to Cole. Well what can I say other than I want! :P This guys has been added to my list of book boyfriends and he is definitely near the top. A bad boy if there ever was one. Everything about him I love. From his tattoos, to his tough gut attitude. He is just bad ass! But he also has a sweet side as can be seen in some of his interactions with Alice. I love them together. Can't wait for more of him in book 2.
Now the story-line truly is something else. I love the take on zombies that Gena has done. When we are first told about them in the book I was a little skeptical. It is very different to the normal zombie myth but I think that's what sets this book apart from all the other zombie books out there. The writing flows effortlessly, you just fly through this book, not realising that it's 4am and you are nearly finished it. You just get hooked from the very first page. You will cry, laugh, get scared, cry some more, and just keep going back for more. I cannot tell you enough that you seriously need to read this book. You will not be disappointed!
One moment of indulgence changes Alice's life forever. Her family is dead, she's living with her grandparents, starting a new school, and vigilantly watching out for the monsters she thinks may exist. Add to this a strange premonition when she first sees bad boy Cole Holland. He also has an ex-girlfriend still hanging around who's part of his group of friends that spend their time hunting down zombies and killing them when they can.
I thought that the supernatural theme didn't work as well as it could have. The zombies are spiritual beings and they cannot be perceived by normal humans as they feed off negative emotions. Yet they also manage to act like real zombies, suddenly having the physical form to harm or start eating the flesh they crave in the human realm. There are a small group of people fighting these creatures. Alice and her posse of zombie killers have the ability to leave their own body and fight the zombies in the spiritual world. This leaves their physical body vulnerable as they appear to lapse into a fugue state, unresponsive to everything around them. Of course this would be the ideal opportunity for an enemy to attack. It would also be difficult to explain to friends and families, and would probably result in a psychiatric review. Luckily no one ever seems to find Alice and her gang during an out of body experience.
I thought Alice a somewhat weak, whiny character despite her determination to be strong. She is one of these girls that makes ridiculous puppy dog eyes at the boy she likes, blushes profusely should he happen to (gasp) look her way and the meaner he treats her, the keener she is. The story line also proved a mite disappointing. I thought there would be more of a surreal, magical feel to this book, instead think the dawning of a zombie apocalypse as opposed to a quirky adventure with oddball characters. The pace also stalled at times, but some of the characters certainly added to the plot (namely Kat; Alice's new BFF).
on 26 March 2013
I felt totally hypnotized. The two last book I've read were awesome, and this one exceeded my expectations. Now I think I'm afraid to start the reading the next book, because after three brilliant books I might just feel disappointed.
I read some reviews about this book where people totally disagree with what I will say.
First, this is not a book to compare with Alice in Wonderland. There's nothing, besides maybe a rabbit-shaped cloud, that resembles in the two stories. So, if you expected, like I did, that this is a different view on Alice in Wonderland, forget it.
What I look for in a book when I read it is not which things make sense and which doesn't...specially when it comes to fiction and fantasy books. When I read, as well as when I watch a movie, I don't rationalize things, not like this. I may think about them for a few moments, but that's it. It's a fantasy book... What I look for is a story that can blow me away, making it hard to close the book and stop reading it. A story that makes me want to read more and know more, and in the end makes me want the a sequel in that same minute. And I try to look at the writing of the author, hoping it makes the story even better. In my review I'll try to show you why I liked this book so much.
Okay, fans of zombie books may be disappointed with the zombies in this one. They are not the gore-zombies we are used to see, I agree about that. But while reading I forgot about that.
I forgot about the "two-girls-who-like-the-same-boy-hate-each-other" thing, which is annoying and I kind of started having doubts about the book when I first read about it... but this "girly issue" is not important, specially because we almost don't read about that, it's just a tinny detail in two or three paragraphs in the whole story. The book tells us more than this.
This is the story of Alice (aka Ali) Bell. She's an ordinary girl...or so it seems.
The book starts with an adrenaline rush, and I kept feeling that adrenaline rush while reading the rest of the book with some of the scenes.
After tragedy takes over her life, she moves to a different school and she has to start over. But from that day one, Ali's life will not be the same, whether she wants it or not, whether she runs way or she fights. And plus she has to live with an huge pain in her heart, which will make things harder for her. We read a lot about Ali's monologues, but I didn't feel bored. I think it was a good way of developing the character, letting the read know about the way she felt.
She meets Kat, who will turn to be a very special friend (the best!), before school starts, and when they run into each other at the first day of school, Kat is more than happy. Kat is quite a cheerful character, and she makes me smile, as she does to Alice. Kat immediately starts telling Alice what she needs to know about the other teenagers. Alice soon meets the "bad boys gang" of the school. Among them, is Cole. Strange things start to happen, she doesn't know what she's supposed to think or to be afraid of.
I like Alice, she is stubborn and when she's talking to Cole I found myself smiling quite a few times, since he is really stubborn and bossy himself. And even if she is described as someone that looks like a doll (or a "princess", as someone call her in the book), she it wild and determined.
Okay, Cole kind of annoyed me sometimes with his bossy away of treating people, but Alice decides not to let him boss her around, and it turns to be really funny to read their dialog sometimes. And the way Cole protects Alice...well, I guess we can forgive him and forget about his bossy attitude. It wouldn't be the same if he wasn't bossy, with Alice proving she can handle him.
But remember when I said Alice is an ordinary girl? Well, forger that... Cole and his group will find out she's not ordinary, and she does things they can't imagine.
The fighting scenes were wonderfully described, full of adrenaline and energy.
At the same time she has to think about training and fighting zombies, Alice has to take care of her family and starts being worried about Kat.
Many things happen, things we do not expect, people may not be who they seem to be.
The book kept me reading like crazy until the very last page. Now I want more of it.
About the writing, I read some reviews that say something completely different from what I will say, but I'll try to, again, explain my opinion.
I loved the way Gena Showalter writes. She knows how to make people keep reading. The pauses, the end of each chapter... It's easy to read and yet she managed to write everything in a way that I had to keep reading. This book is funny, somehow exciting in the fight scenes, and it exceed my expectations, even if it's not another version of Alice in Wonderland.
Wow let me first say that I feel absolutely awful giving Gena 3 stars on this book and a whole lot of guilty too as she is one of my favourite authors but I have to be honest and I just thought the book was okay and not her normal brilliance. I'm a long time fan of Gena but in particular her adult books, including the series' Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress, Atlantis and her new series Angels of the Dark (just in the process of reading Wicked Nights and absolutely hooked!) to name just a few. So I am sort of disappointed in this book but can't quite put my finger on the reason why as I did think the book was okay, just not fantastic. That being said as a long time fan I will be ordering the second in the series in the hopes that the series will pick up for me and I'll enjoy it more. One thing I can possibly think of is that I read this after Kresley's first YA book, Poison Princess which absolutely blew me away and maybe I am subconsciously comparing them, who knows?
Anyway the book is as the name suggests about Zombies and the main character Alice or Ali as she prefers to be known. Alice is turning sixteen and it's her birthday. Her little sister Emma is desperate for her family to be able to go and watch her very first ballet performance but there is one problem with this and that is that their father will not allow the family out at night - in case the Zombies get them. Their father roams the house of a night checking the windows and doors armed with his gun in case the Zombies manage to get in and kill/eat them all. The girls both think their dad is crackers and is imagining it all (it probably doesn't help their dad's cause that he drinks a lot too) but as this is all they have ever known and their mum refuses to let them 'correct' him then this is how it is. Emma being the cute lovable little sister (I know how it goes as I have one albeit she's an adult now!) manages to convince Alice to try and talk to their mum to get them to be able to go to the performance even though it's Alice's birthday and really they should be doing something for her (again know that feeling and situation!). Alice manages to convince her mum to talk to her dad by pulling the whole "you forgot about my birthday card" and the whole family goes to the ballet recital. No sooner has the performance ended than their dad is rushing them all to the car to get home as quickly as possible and to get home faster they go the way home that goes past the cemetery (which their dad will not ever normally do because basic math suggests dead people equals zombies), their dad freaks out and the car starts to flip over. They have a massive car crash and Alice wakes up to find her whole family dead and her dad missing from the car. A closer look out the front windshield reveals that her dad is in the middle of the road with men around him....eating him. So it turns out that her dad was right and there are really zombies but not in the normal film/horror book sense of the word these zombies are in spirit form only i.e. they do not have corporeal bodies and feed on the good in people, infecting them with their evil.
Alice goes to live with her grandparents (mums parents) and starts a new school as she is in a different catchment area to her old one. Before starting school she meets her new best friend Kat (whose character I did actually love even if she could be a bit annoying to me occasionally) and Kat's group of friends who she ends up hanging out with. She can't help but notice the bad boy of the school Cole (think he was probably named after Kresley Cole, Gena's author best friend and whose book I referred to above) and his bad boy/girl group as every time she see's Cole she has visions of them together also he is always battered and bruised along with his friends and it turns out that they know about the Zombies and actually fight them of an evening. It isn't long before Alice becomes part of their group and it's from there that we learn more about the Zombie concept that Gena has come up with and from there that the story starts to get going and become more interesting. One problem Alice has is that the Zombies for some reason seem drawn to her almost like they are hunting her......
As I said at the beginning this isn't my favourite Gena book but it's okay and maybe I have been a bit unfair giving this three stars but I will hold further judgement until the next in the series which I will be pre-ordering when it becomes available. One other thing I would like to mention and hopefully I don't get shot for saying this by the reviewers concerned but I don't think the author meant in any way for this book to be thought of in the same way as Alice in Wonderland I think the title is a play on words with the main character being called Alice and there being zombies involved. I think the rabbit cloud is also being used as bit of a play on the title and the famous book along with Alice's circumstances i.e. her life spiraling into a different direction and feeling like she is lost down the rabbit hole. Anyway if you are a Gena fan then I'll let you make your own mind up about the book and if not then it's still worth a read and everyone's opinion is different you may actually love the book so I hope my marking doesn't put anyone off.
on 6 June 2013
I was aware up front that the link to 'Alice in Wonderland' was slight but decided to give it a go, first borrowing from the local library and then getting my own copy once I realised that even sans Wonderland this was great fun and a new angle on the zombie sub genre.
It also has all the usual hallmarks of the teen horror/romance in that our narrator Alice faces personal tragedy and has to overcome the horrors of USA High School. Gena Showalter does well with this blending a degree of teen angst with a wry sense of humour. The action sequences are well done too.
So yes I'll be pre-ordering Book 2 and certainly recommending it to friends who are into zombies.
on 8 February 2014
Eight words. I. Cannot. Believe. I. Have. Not. Read. This! Every time she mentioned bridezilla in the garden and then she disappeared, I was just waiting for her to run after her and disappear into a hole in a tree. But oh no! The cover is beautifully stunning, you will definitly not be able to misinterpret the theme of this story having the title originate from 'Alice in Wonderland'.
When Ali's whole family is killed in a car accident outside the cemetery, she now believes in the dangers that lurk among us. Monsters. But when she meets the mysterious and stoic Cole, they share some unusual visions of which neither know why are occurring, she soon understands the unknown. With perseverance, Ali begins to uncover more than she should. Alongside her training, she has Cole Holland alongside her… but his secrets are ones to stay locked away.
Alice (Ali) was an great character, she was strong, determined and never backed down from a challenge. I additionally loved some of her comebacks and the way she dealt with situations when those in the group voiced their opinion concerning how she was not strong enough to be a Zombie Hunter.
QUOTE: "“You are such a chick."
I widened my eyes in mock surprise. "No way. Are you sure?"
Sighing again, he rubbed at the tattoos on his wrist. "Mackenzie was right. You aren't slayer material."
Before he had time to register my intentions, I threw a punch. My sore, swollen knuckles slammed into his cheekbone, thrusting his head to the side. Pain shot up my arm, but I bit my tongue to stop a moan.
"You were saying?"
He popped his jaw, rubbed at the reddening skin-and slowly grinned. "Okay, so now I understand why Cole likes you. You're worse than Kat.” " FROM EBOOK.
Furthermore I loved her random thoughts and things that just popped out her mouth. She says the things we only briefly think about.
QUOTE: "Is it sad that my first thought happened to be: Thank God I'm off the treadmill." FROM EBOOK.
During this story I did have to sit back and think about a few areas...
I had to remind myself Cole is a sixteen year old boy, who can definitely act like one. And here he was being described as 'The Leader' of a group of essentially 'tough men', apparently they even scared full grown men... at sixteen? I can't image they looked that old! He may be hot, but I couldn't overlook that fact. Sorry Cole!
I did not see the strong relation between this story and Alice in Wonderland. I got the fact that about the white bunny cloud, the forest behind her new home and then there was Bridezilla dressed in white, possessing the fact that she could be leading her to the tree when she disappeared... but that was it. I was fully anticipating her to follow Bridezilla and enter a new world where they fight the zombies and find a secret society defending their little secluded town. I did like the way Gena twisted the story, however I did not feel there was enough similarities between them to have their title linking to Alice in Wonderland. But it did grab and intrigue me.
One of the areas of this story I found unique was how not everything and everyone is perfect. The characters were not perfect, they didn't all have the perfect life which is generally what is common in many Young Adult fiction titles so I was pleased to have a new twist. This story is definitely one of a kind, it instantly drew me in, we had multiple events occurring meaning the story was continuous and their was always something happening.
The ending was perfect! It kept me interested without anything being given away, I definitely did not see it coming. This story is full of action (zombie-fight scenes) heartache and revenge but additionally love and some funny scenes! I thoroughly enjoyed this first instalment in the White Rabbit Chronicles and am thoroughly looking forward to reading: Through the Zombie Glass. I mean, how can I ignore this cover (on the right), it is stunning!
on 8 January 2014
Review by Charlotte - Year 9
Alice in Zombieland is a gripping yet emotional book. Gena Sholwater has been very clever, mixing Gothic elements with romance creating a dangerous yet heart throbbing storyline.
The main character, Alice, has never been part of a normal family; her father has always been aware of the strange things that live on earth. Alice emotions take over when her life begins to fall apart following a tragic, horrific car accident. Alice knew things would never be the same again. Incidents prove her fathers suspicions correct.
Alice's new school provides a distraction in the form of Cole Holland, one of the most secretive, mysterious boys she has ever laid eyes on :) Revelations lead Alice and Cole to realise they have a lot more in common than they thought, unfortunately one of those things just happens to be Zombies!!!! With her heart on the line, Alice has to learn to trust again, putting her faith in Cole as her life depends on it.
My favourite part of the book is when Alice and Cole are able to come clean about the secrets they have had to keep hidden. Alice's struggle with the realities of her life are reflected in her questioning her sanity. Cole helps Alice regain the stability she has been lacking.
Alice in Zombieland is gripping, the tension runs at a high level all the way through, filling the pages with excitement. The cliffhanger ending has left me desperate to read the next book. I need to find out what happens.
This book appeals to both boys and girls and is especially suited to the 12 to 16 age range. There is something for everyone from romance to action and adventure. The world building is brilliant and the atmosphere created ensures total immersion into Alice's life.
on 28 November 2013
Ooooooh this was a good book! I was totally just expecting the usual `zombie apocalypse' story but its completely different to that. The zombies in this book can't be seen by everyone. They can't actually bite just anyone and there is an underground secret group of slayers who have the ability to destroy them - but this also means they can be bitten and turned themselves.
Alice (Ali), the main character spends all her life thinking that her dad is crazy because he can see monsters; but then on the day he dies - she sees them too! It's hereditary! I really enjoyed this twist on the traditional zombie story. It made it more interesting and meant that I really didn't know what the heck was going on with these zombies until Alice found out more and more as the book went on. They didn't follow any of the `normal zombie rules' - refreshing!
There are so many great characters too. Ali was such a cool protagonist. She wasn't the usual type of `girl who finds out there and supernatural beings' kind of person. She didn't just accept it straight away. She thought herself crazy. And then she freaked out a lot. She didn't just say `oh ok'. And then once she knew what she could do, she didn't shy away from it. She wanted the chance to avenge what happened to her family and she threw herself into it, including her relationship with Cole. Of course he's the typical tough guy with the ex from hell but even that didn't faze Ali. She gave as good as she got where the ex was concerned and I just loved her so much.
Ali's best friend Kat was HILLARIOUS. I literally laughed out loud - in public - a LOT, whilst reading her bits. She welcomes Ali into her group of friends when Ali starts at their school and helps her with her ongoing battle with Cole's ex and just generally becomes an amazing friend who I want to see MUCH more of in the next book.
There are many more characters I could ramble on about but I don't want to give away too much of the awesomeness of this book. That should really be discovered by the reader!
I am giving Alice in Zombieland 4.5 stars. Its original, fast paced, exciting, un-put-down-able and just generally awesome. I knocked off a teeny tiny half star because there was a couple of aspects that I felt weren't explained fully enough for my liking. But it by no means diminished my enjoyment of this book and I'm sure that my questions will be fully answered in book two.
on 7 July 2013
Alice In Zombieland - Gena Showalter - ARC Review
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A blink. A breath. A second. Everyone she's ever loved is gone. And that's all it took. A small fraction of time.
This novel is like a zombie itself - the first few pages grabbed my attention and engaged with my emotions, just like human life. Then for a short while it lost my attention due to a decrease in the speed of the pace as if the story had lost its flare and died. After I got that past that (MINI) stage I couldn't put the book down and the pace picked up, sending shivers down my spine as I followed the characters deeper into their world. It was as if the story had risen from the dead and claimed my attention once again like a zombie would its prey.
Okay, so that was a lame way of me trying to say that the pace slowed down for about 30 pages near the beginning but (definitely!) made up for it! Seriously, you won't be able to put this book down! The characters will pull at your heart strings while the zombies claw at your soul. (You'll understand that when you read the book!)
The story is part mystery (in a way... ish) which I didn't expect. Everything seems to be unknown at the start and as you dig around with the characters things begin to fall into place. So by the end you're left with some pretty big knots which now make sense; though these conclusions lead to new questions which will have you craving the sequel in these chronicles.
The characters are what make the story in this book. Sure, the plot is good too but the characters are so complex. You spend the story following them through this world which Gena created so well, watching them tackle every hurdle they come across but at the same time you're deciphering each and every one of them. Their motives. Their secrets. Their loyalties. And their hearts.
Kat held my hand throughout the book, Kenz glared a hole into the back of my head and Cole... ergh, *swoons* yeh, he got me good.
Though the novel is called "Alice in Zombieland" the story has no connection to the sequences of events which take place in that of "Alice in Wonderland" and shares little to no similarities. The girl is named Alice (though she prefers Ali) and there's occasionally a cloud in the shape of a rabbit but there are no booby-trapped rabbit holes to fall down, madhatters or hormonal queens with King Henry the 8th syndrome. "Off with their heads!" <- Y'get me?
The story is literally about a girl named Alice in a world where zombies co-exist with humans (+ some really awesome twists and a complete hotty!)
This isn't your typical zombie novel though. Gena added her own (and may I say very unique) twist to what could have been a cliche zombie novel.
I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be recommending it to my friends in October when it is officially published.
The characters are fragile and complex, the plot unique and unpredictable. A compelling read.
Compliments to Gena Showalter for writing such a superb novel. I will definitely be checking out more books by Gena after this meritorious introduction to her work.
Zombie - romance - 4 stars ****