Sunday, February 17, 2013

Alice In Zombieland - Gena Showalter

Is Alice going crazy from guilt and grief? Or are those zombies really after her?



“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.”

Alright. This is total cover love. No doubt about it. And title love. I mean, how could I have possibly turn this book down? However, the story…wasn’t what I was expecting.

Even reading the back of the book I was still expecting a more Alice In Wonderland meets zombies, but it wasn’t. Instead we are following the Alice Bell through her recovery of dealing with the death of her family and cooping with the possibility of losing her mind, for she is seeing things. Now, they don’t come out and say the Z-word. Alice calls them monster throughout the  story until she meets tough and dreamy Cole who tells her about the zombies and how they came into being.

I do like the reconstruction of the whole zombie idea in that yes, they do like to take bites out of living folk, they are not craving blood or braaaaaiiiiinnnnss!! (see what I did there?) They are in fact craving the very essence of life. I interpreted the zombies as angry spirits, not happy with their deaths and want so desperately to live, that they feed on our life source.

It was very slow going at the beginning, which of course makes sense in that there is a log of world building that needs to be done. The interactions between Cole and Alice seem to be not too obnoxious. I mean, they are teenagers. Their relationship is that intense sort that is the “I hate your guts, you are such a jerk!” to “Wow…I love you!” Typical teen stuff.

However, the end picks up and there is a healthy amount of action and realizations that set up to be a sequel. My only little niggle with this story was I felt there was a kind of push towards Christianity. Now, all that stuff being said, it wasn’t a full force in your face thing, which I find extra annoying. Just made references to only Christian bands and a couple other little things.

All in all, a nice bad book. It was fun and there were some laugh out loud parts. Thank goodness that Gena Showalter wrote Alice’s grandparents into the story as sweet, well meaning folks who say some of the silliest things ever. It was a nice laugh break from the depression that seems to plague Alice at the beginning of this book. For all of those who want to read this book,  I say go for it, however, don’t expect the zombified version of the classic tale. However, this is a fun kind of no-brainer tale that does a nice twist on the zombie genre. Well played Ms. Showalter…well played.

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