Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Alice In Zombieland






*SPOILERS: Here's my usual spoiler disclaimer.  If you think this is a book you might want to read, but  you don't want it to be spoiled, skip this blog post until later.*



Have you read Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland?  Come on, show of hands!  That's what I thought!  I love Alice in Wonderland.  It is a magical book that can transport you into a world of pure fantasy and imagination, that can make you laugh, smile, cry and cheer.  But enough about Wonderland.  On to the real reason for this posts: the book Alice in Zombieland, by Gena Showalter.  

When I first saw the title of this book, I thought it was a new twist on Alice in Wonderland.  Let's clear one thing up right now: This book is absolutely NOTHING like Alice in Wonderland.  There's no fall down the rabbit hole, no twins who speak in riddles, no red queen, no white queen and no caterpillar.  Here are some things this book does contain:

*Be-headings
*A car crash
*Visions
*Swords
*Spirits

At the beginning of the book, Alice and her sister, Emma, are having a discussion about how Emma just has to go out at night for her dance recital.  She's begging Alice to talk to their parents.  Alice agrees, rather begrudgingly, and starts with her mom.  Alice figures her mom will be able to convince their dad to let them go to Emma's dance recital.  She convinces her mom, who in turn convince her dad.  The rule, however, is that they can't go by the graveyard lest the monsters attack them.  Yep, monsters.

So, Alice's mom drives.  Her dad sits in the passengers seat, a wreck of nerves for the entire evening.  When they leave the dance recital, Alice, Emma and their mom convince daddy that they NEED to go by the graveyard, because driving down the street past the graveyard is the quickest way home.  He concedes, and they drive down the road past the graveyard.  Much to the surprise of Alice, Emma and their mom, there are monsters in the graveyard.  Zombie monsters to be exact.  The monsters crawl out of the graveyard and scare mom so much that she ends up getting in an accident and the car rolls over on them.  Dad is thrown from the window of the car.  Emma and their mom both die, as does dad.  AND the zombies feed on their souls, which means there's a possibility that they could be turned into zombies as well.

After the accident, Alice spends a few days in the hospital.  While there, she meets Kat, who becomes her best friend.  After getting out of the hospital, Alice lives with her mom's parents - who she calls Pops and Nana.  They sort of skate around her for awhile, giving her the space she thinks she needs to get over losing her family.

Alice also has to start a new school.  On the first day of school, Alice sees a group of people standing in the hallway who are all wearing weather inappropriate clothing - long shirts, sweaters, etc.  She is intrigued by them.  Then she sees Cole - the fair skinned, blonde haired kid who makes eye contact with her while she's looking at him.  While they are staring at each other, Alice has a vision that she and Cole are kissing.  She believes that it feels so real that Cole has actually kissed her.  She is surprised when she opens her eyes and he is, in fact, staring at her like she's just run over his dog.


Now, in my true fashion, I hate to give away everything that happened in the book, so I'll list some highlights:

*Emma appears to Alice a couple times throughout the book.
*Cole and his friends are zombie hunters.
*The zombie hunters can (and must) leave their bodies to fight the zombies - because the zombies exist only in the spirit realm.
*Alice's father comes back - briefly.
*There is a rabbit cloud that appears in the sky every time the zombies are going to appear.
*There are hazmat's that exist to push zombies into human bodies, thinking that the human bodies will cure the zombies of their flesh eating ways.
*Alice almost dies
*Alice and Cole start dating


Now, my thoughts.  I think that Gena Showalter is a good writer.  I think that she does a decent job of bringing zombies to life. 

I started out not really liking Kat, but by the end of the book, I really loved her!  She became one of my favorite characters.  Alice was really struggling with a lot of things in the book, and I like that she had Cole on her side pushing her.  They were both excellent people, and really good for each other.  (Oh, teens in love....)

As far as Mackenzie, I can't help but wonder if it was the authors intention to make the reader hate her.  If so, she succeeded - at least with this reader.  She was absolutely insufferable.  The only characters I disliked more than her were Justin and his twin sister.

Overall, the story was a *little* cheesy, but, if you're a teenager (or just someone who likes YA books), this is a book you'll enjoy.  I'd give it a solid B rating!






 

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