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Review: Alice in Zombieland

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Title:Alice in Zombieland

Author:Gena Showalter

Series: Book 1

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩

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Synopsis

Alice’s world completely changes the day her family is tragically taken from her: on her birthday. The car accident shakes her, but it’s the creatures she sees that make her question her sanity. He father has always believed in monsters… in zombies, and he spent her entire life teaching her how to fight and protect herself from them, but she always thought he was crazy. Now she’s not sure. She starts over at a new high school when her grandparents take her in, and it’s here where she finds out maybe her father wasn’t so crazy after all…

divider-51Favorite Characters

My absolutely favorite character has to be Kat. I really love her and Ali’s friendship and I think it’s probably the relationship I enjoyed the most in the book (yes, even more than Ali and Cole). She’s just so happy, funny, and her “true story” moments are the best. I loved that she was always honest and willing to back up her friends, and wouldn’t abandon Ali for anything.

Second favorite character has to be Ali. There was one thing in the story that bothered me regarding her (namely that she was always getting hurt and having to be treated like a damsel in distress) but I loved how fierce she was, how headstrong and stubborn.

divider-51Favorite Scenes

► Phew, I’m not going to say it’s a “favorite” scene necessarily but there sure was a lot of death in the beginning. I feel like it’s okay to talk a bit about it because it literally happened in the first chapter. I was not expecting Ali to lose so much right off the bat so I guess points to the author for catching me off guard.

This was a dream. This was a horrible dream, and I would wake up. Everything would be okay when I woke up. 

 I never woke up. 

► Like I said, I loved the friendship between Ali and Kat. She never babied Ali, always told her what she needed to hear, didn’t treat her like she was fragile, and just kinda became the person who could always cheer her up. I love a solid friendship in a book.

“Low maintenane is what’s forgettable. You might want to write that down, underline it, circle it and put a star by it. It’s golden.” With barely a breath she added, “Now, let’s find out if we’re compatible, shall we?”

► This made me laugh so hard honestly.

I couldn’t help myself. I looked, too. What I saw shook me to my soul. I wasn’t the only one who’d gotten a death glare today. Coles was watching Justin as if he meant to flay the skin from his bones, throw it down and play “Dance Dance Revolution” on it.

► I liked that Cole was every bit as stubborn as Ali. And they were both smartasses haha.

“Ha! I’m not afraid of you, and I never will be.” I wouldn’t mention the times I had, in fact, be afraid of him.

“So you keep saying. But I’ll keep trying to change your mind.”

► Okay, so Cole had some serious balls answering this way.

Nana: Another excellent answer. But here’s an even tougher sentence for you to finish. Premarital sex is…

I should have let the zombies have me.

Cole: Up to the couple. What happens between them is no one else’s business. Sorry, but not even yours.

Both Pops and Nana blustered over that for a minute, but they soon calmed down. I, of course, blushed the most horrifying shade of lobster. (That was just a guess.) However, I found Cole’s answer exceptional.

divider-51Review

Alrighty, time to get down to business! So as I mentioned a few times throughout my reading updates on the blog: I really enjoyed this story. I was able to kinda just fall into it and breeze through chapters. The writing was smooth and so it wasn’t hard to get lost in the story and focus on what was going on. It was enjoyable and entertaining. The only time I had an issue with pacing was when Ali and Cole spent 2-3 pages essentially doing a Q&A. The author just kinda dumped a whole lot of story building/facts about zombies on the reader all at once rather than pacing it throughout the book.

One of the strongest factors going for this book definitely has to be the friendship between Ali and Kat. They grow pretty close over the course of the book and at every turn, they prove that they have each other’s backs. Kat is quirky, a bit too honest, and fierce. She bolsters Ali whenever she needs some extra confidence and goes to great lengths to help her out. Plus she has some pretty awesome “true” stories.

Something else I loved about the book was the descriptions. As you saw in the fave scenes section, Gena Showalter had some pretty creative ones (DDR for the win). They were often unique enough to make me laugh.

Now, this other one can be taken good or bad. Personally, I enjoyed the concept of “zombies” in this book. Or rather, I liked the concept of the creatures. I’m still not too sure why the author insisted on making them zombies when they really have little in common with most popular concepts of them. It felt like she just really wanted to force this zombie thing when really she could have made up a name for them and it would’ve probably felt better. In the book, zombies are evil spirit beings. Again, a cool concept so +1, but if you were looking for more traditional zombies then this may bug you a bit.

The same goes for the whole “Alice in Wonderland” theme going. I’m honestly not too sure about the title and combination of the two things (Alice and zombies). It’s one of the things that made me hesitant to pick this up at first. Really the only things that said “Alice” to me were: the name of the main character and the rabbit cloud that she kept seeing. I was expecting it to have more of an Alice theme, so the title was a bit misleading.

Again, good or bad here. I didn’t like the feel of the insta-romance that happened because of Ali and Cole’s “visions”. I also questioned it a bit when he kept being rude to her and she was still attracted to him. It feels like that kinda thing is overused: the boy who seems to want nothing to do with you and the heroine who still goes for the guy acting like an ass. Still, I did have Cole grow on me a bit later on. He really cared for Ali as time went on and he showed it not by lovey-dovey romance stuff, but by looking out for her family and doing what needed to be done to protect her (even if she didn’t like it, and it hurt him).

I feel like I’m making the book sound bad at this point, but I will discuss a few minor things that bothered me in the book: a certain phrase, mean girl trope, and Ali’s overbearing grandparents.

First: for some reason, the author was kind of fond of the phrase “turning into a verb”. I would understand if it was the quirk of one character, but both Ali and Kat used it so it seemed more like the author’s thing. Not a big issue, just something I noticed.

The mean girl trope shows up in two characters in this book. First was Mackenzie who hated Ali (apparently because Cole was into Ali, and Mackenzie and Cole used to date). It just felt a little too aggressive for just being jealous. Same thing with Ali and Jaclyn. Apparently, Jaclyn didn’t like Ali around her brother, Justin, because…? It was never really explained. Only that she was always mean to people that her brother was interested in. It felt like unexplained, unnecessary aggression/enemies for Ali just for the sake of having them.

The final little thing that bothered me was Ali’s grandparents. I wanted to like them at times but it felt like they were written to be those stereotypical grandparents that try too hard to connect to teens/their lingo and are overprotective. The problem was that it also felt like the author tried too hard to make them this way. They felt kinda flat/stiff. I’m not sure if their interrogations bothered me more because of the way they were written, or because I could remember being in a similar situation with my parents as a teen and I related to Ali/was annoyed because of that connection.

Overall, I’d have to say it’s a good book. I know it seems like I picked at it quite a bit but I do want to acknowledge the issues that some readers may see with this. They weren’t too big of mistakes to take away from the story, but if these are things that bother you then maybe it’s not the book for you. I loved the friendships here and the unique concepts that were combined to make the story. I think it’s a book worth giving a shot. I bought the entire ebook series on sale so I’ll definitely be reading the rest and reviewing it down the road.

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3 thoughts on “Review: Alice in Zombieland

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