Title: Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1)
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, zombies, romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: October 2012
Pages: 404 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
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.
Alice Bell only asks for one thing for her 16th birthday – for the family to attend her little sister, Emmaline’s, dance recital. Sounds simple enough but Alice’s father afraid of what goes bump in the night and refuses to let anyone out after dark. Ever.
But Alice promised Em that they would go to the recital. Not wanting to disappoint her sister, Alice isn’t above to resorting to using emotional blackmail to get what she wants.
Things seem to be fine – Em starred at the dance gig – until the drive home and an accident results in Alice being the soul survivor.
With her parents gone and still mourning the death of her precious little sister, Alice reinvents herself as Ali, starts a new school and new life with her grandparents. Being freed from her father’s crazy notions means Ali can live her life without being scared of what’s in the shadows until she meets Cole – a mysterious bad boy and leader of a gang of what appear to be juvenile delinquents and the guy that Ali keeps having visions about.
And don’t forget about the zombies…
I have to admit I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed this book. Alice comes across as being a little bit spoilt and oh-so manipulative but throughout the novel her transition into a strong and confident young woman who isn’t afraid of kicking some zombie butt to avenge the people she loves is evident. I loved the way her relationship with Cole developed as things went on – finally! No instalove! but a healthy dose of lust mixed in with a camaraderie that blossomed into something more.
The plot kept me hooked until the end. There were twists that I wasn’t expecting and an ending that has left me eagerly anticipating the next book in the series. I’ve never really being a zombie fan. I could never understand why people liked them. But I think this book has finally let me in on their appeal – they are busy drooling and trying to eat people with no hidden agendas so that the heroes can shine. And Cole’s lethal team of would be criminals are fantastic in their role of taking on the enemy. There were some parts of the novel that did seem to drag just a touch but even those were very important for setting the scene and leading up to the drama and action that I found so entertaining and enjoyable.
This is not another retelling of the classic Alice in Wonderland story (nor just another YA book with a gorgeous cover… although the cover is beautiful but rather a fantastic novel that managed to combine contemporary teen issues with a good dose of the paranormal in a fun and interesting way.
Thanks to Harlequin Teen for the review copy.
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