Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter-a review
ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND (White Rabbit Chronicles #1) by Gena Showalter
ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND is the first storyline (September 25, 2012 release) in Gena Showalter’s young adult White Rabbit Chronicles series. Alice in Zombieland is not a retelling of Lewis Carroll’s famous novel – yes a white rabbit makes an appearance or two with a message for our heroine but the premise in no way will remind anyone of the original. And like the title implies our heroine is Alice (Ali) Bell and she must face the battle of her life-fighting zombies-but that is where the similarities end. Following the death of her parents and her younger sister Emma, Alice will finally realize why her father refused to let anyone go out at night-zombies come out after dark.
For years Ali grew up knowing that her father was a little on the eccentric side. His immense fear of the dark kept the family housebound for years. But when her younger sister Emma wanted to celebrate Ali’s 16th birthday her father reluctantly complied. What happened that night would introduce Alice to a world she never knew existed-zombies and ghosts.
With a new school year starting, Ali would be introduced to the resident bad boy Cole Holland and his ‘gang’ of thugs and fighters. But to Ali’s surprise Cole and his friends are the force of nature that will keep the zombies at bay. Ali will discover that she has a powerful gift unlike they have ever seen, but it is the mysterious entries in a journal found among her parent’s possessions that will help Ali as she endeavors to survive against the zombie hordes.
Cole and Ali’s connection is immediate but not necessarily accepted. Together they share a secret but the angst and anger from the other friends will begin to push the couple apart. Jealous ex-girlfriends and a another potential suitor will force Cole to back away even though he knows that he and Ali are destined to be together. Ali is a no nonsense young woman who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes and is willing to prove to everyone that she is worthy of their trust. First kisses, first love and the need to be accepted are all part of the anxiety of the teenaged years, but add zombies and the walking dead, and high school will never seem the same.
Throughout the storyline, we are introduced to the many friends who will fight alongside Cole, as well as some of the adults who are very much in control. But Ali puts her trust in one too many authority figures and will discover what it means to hurt the one you love especially when you are the intended victim. But someone else is controlling the strings and another group had designs on the victims left behind.
Alice in Zombieland is a mixture of high energy action fueled by betrayal and pain. There is the requisite love triangle that is quickly extinguished, and of course the mean girl squad lead by none other than a jealous ex. I was pleased that the anxiety of unrequited love wasn’t a continuous blemish throughout the story. I am not a happy camper with love triangles where both suitors are worthy partners. Love triangles suck especially in young adult storylines, but Gena quashes any notion that there are others for Ali’s affections early on.
Ali’s level of maturity seems beyond her years which will help her accept that no matter how badly you want something, it doesn’t always come true. And the painful memories of her father’s warnings will cloak a young teen in guilt until she must face the reality that evil can survive long after death. There are a few moments that will tug at your heart and like the hero in every story, Cole will sweep in and remind Ali that he will always be there.
Alice in Zombieland is a fascinating look at zombies and the dead. Gena weaves a fast paced storyline with an interesting premise that will keep your attention until the very last word. Oh and the White Rabbit will make an appearance a time or two just like in Wonderland with a message or warning for Alice.
Reviewed by Sandy