Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Early Review: Alice in Wonderland by Gena Showalter

Alice in Zombieland
(White Rabbit Chronicles #1)
Gena Showalter
Release: September 25, 2012
Goodreads   Amazon
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.

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….


My reaction to Alice in Zombieland is this: Meh. After all the hype, the beautiful cover, and the promise of zombies Alice fell a little flat for me. This book has a lot of good qualities, but they just didn't shine brightly enough to outweigh all the problems I had.

Let's start with the Good:

Showalter's reimagining of the traditional zombie is intriguing. In this series, zombies are actually more like ghosts because they are the incorporeal spirits of dead people whose spirits have been infected with the zombie virus. This could be under my "Good" or "Bad" section because I love me some traditional zombies, but in the end I consider this "Good" because it was creative and different, especially when zombie books and movies are everywhere you look.

Alice's best friend Kat is hilarious and endearing. I totally love her and was glad that she was in the story a lot. She has great one-liners and I liked the subplot of her complicated relationship with her ex-boyfriend (one of the zombie hunters).

Cole, your typical run-of-the-mill YA bad boy. Even though he's a little generic, I still liked him a lot. I often wondered what he saw in Ali (more about that later), but I appreciated his uncompromising baddass attitude.

Okay, now for the Bad:

Alice is not really that interesting of a main character. Since the book is told in first person POV, this is disappointing. She didn't really have a lot of outstanding characteristics, unless you count being a complete moron when it comes to the book's hottie, Cole. Plus, she is a total wet noodle until all of the sudden. . . she's not. What? We're told that her paranoid dad who believed in the zombies had trained her to fight, but since we never see that happen and she is pretty much a wuss for half the book I found it hard to buy when she suddenly became a badass. Her training with the zombie hunting crew from her school was pretty much skipped over as well with only one or two scenes, so that didn't help me understand why could fight so well either. This falls under one of my pet peeves of authors telling the reader stuff about a character and expecting us to just believe it instead of showing us through good storytelling and the character's actions.

The zombies, which yes I DID list under the "Good" section, and the fight scenes with them aren't fully described and I couldn't really get a good picture in my mind. Even if you don't want to be gross and gory, there are ways to describe the monsters being fought that give that "Holy crap!" feeling (for a good example of this, read This Is Not A Test).

Another issue I had with the book was the writing and the plot itself. The story was not tight and I had a lot of questions. Some of the parts of the story that would have been most helpful or exciting were shoved to the side to make time for the constant back and forth between Ali and Cole. I love me some romantic tension. What I don't love is an annoying girl who asks herself questions like, "Wait. Was he saying he liked me?" Pull on your big girl panties and get a life. Either go for him or leave it alone, but my goodness don't be such a pitiful mess because then I wonder what the heck this supposedly hot, bad boy sees in you.

I'm giving the book a solid 3 stars because it did leave me wanting to know what would happen in the next book, however disappointed I was with the actual ending of this book. The big twist revealed toward the story's end was then subsequently wrapped up pretty quickly when I felt like it could have been a really interesting part of the plot. And the end-of-story fight scene was a little lackluster. I'm hoping some of my issues with this book hinge on it being the first in the series and that book two will get more stars from me.

Recommended for fans of: Showalter's other books, light YA, and witty side characters.

This review is based on an advance copy of the book.



  1. I love the cover of this book and have seen a lot of unique mixed reviews. This is a great review, I like how you balance the good and the bad. I hate when a first person POV is used, but the person doesn't have a personality. It's always hard.

  2. I love the cover and was almost considering this book. I've never read a zombie book or a Gena book but I think I'll pass. this is the first review I've read and I feel like I'd feel the same way. I'll stick to The Walking Dead for my zombie fix.

  3. I really enjoyed this book, but since I usually am not a huge fan of YA for the most part and never read zombie books, I went into assuming it probably wouldn't be one of my favorites. I really ended up liking it and I loved Cole! At least I know I don't have to share him with you now ;) More for me!

  4. You know, there's been a lot of hype about this one, but Alice in Wonderland really isn't my thing, and to me the synopsis sounded kind of meh. Glad to find someone that agrees! :D

  5. I personally can't wait to read this because I love Gena's work but even if it doesn't live up to the hype maybe the next one will :)

  6. LOVE your review of this...everyone I have spoken to seems to love the book, and I just don't see it?! I was starting to think I was nuts, or losing my sense of I know I just need to speak tomore people ;) Thanks for the share :)!

  7. Your review really makes me think, so thank you for that! I've been debating this one because I liked the idea (and the cover, of course) but I'm not a big zombie person. That plus hearing that the main character/narrator wasn't too strong and that you were left with a lot of questions and things you didn't really buy makes me think that maybe this one really isn't for me. So thank you!

  8. I've heard alot about this book so thank you for the great review. The plot seems interesting and i always love reading new books on zombies. Thanks!


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