book review

Alice in Zombieland- Gena Showalter

I’m sorry! I just HAD to post the video above! Every time I opened this book up, the chorus just screamed in my head, and I laughed- I’m ridiculous, I’m fully aware.

August must be the month of new authors to read. I’m pretty sure this is the 4th or 5th book in a row that I’ve never heard of the author OR the books they have written. I don’t think I’ve been this adventurous since high school, where it was mandatory to read the pre-selected books off the syllabus.

I did not pick this book- twice now! Hubs graciously bought this (almost) entire series for me right around Mother’s Day. I won’t lie, because I’m unfamiliar with the author/series, the books have just sat on my shelf. I polled a book group I’m a member in on Facebook which book I should read next, and “Alice in Zombieland” won out!

We all have preconceptions about how a book is going to play out- normal people read the synopsis. Then there is me, who just reading the title of the book I am already lost in my head on my own adventure of how I think the story is going to go.

So here we go. Down the rabbit hole. . .

Opening line of the book: “Had anyone told me that my entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, I would have laughed.”

Meet Alice Bell; a 16 year old, who like any typical angsty teenager, despises the rules her family has set in place for her. Little does Alice know, her father has these specific rules in place for the entire family’s safety.

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I’m kidding- but there are really specific rules in place. The main being, you cannot go out after the sun sets; because of monsters. No one in the family save dad has seen these monsters, so of course Alice and her sister Emma think that he’s absolutely crazy, which of course as young girls make both of them despise him for ruining their lives. A bit of backstory on dad; he has seen these monsters the majority of his life. He has taught Alice self defense in case she is ever attacked by these monsters. The monsters have turned him into an alcoholic. No one believes the dad, maybe the mom does a little bit, only out of respect for the marriage.

The opening scenes set up the entire book. We start out on Alice’s birthday. Her sister, Emma, is trying to convince Alice to convince their dad to attend Emma’s ballet recital. The fist task is trying to convince mom. After insulting mom, and using all the wiles a teenager has figured out how to use, mom convinces dad, even though his anxiety to be out after sunset is sky high. The recital was wonderful-a night to remember, although it’s tragic it’s only to be remembered for their short drive home. Of course the quickest route home was near a cemetery, and because of his anxiety, he grabs the wheel and causes them to crash and flip their vehicle. Between bouts of blackouts, Alice sees her father’s anxiety come to fruition. She sees zombies go into her parent’s bodies to eat. Alice is taken to the hospital to recover from her minor injuries, and major guilt. Waking up, she finds a girl sitting by her bed. The girl introduces herself as Kat, and explains that her mother works at the hospital and she overheard her talking about Alice. It seems that these two will become instant friends.

Being the lone survivor of the crash comes with consequence. Alice lives with the guilt of convincing her family to stay out after sunset. She wishes she could tell her father how sorry he was for doubting him. Alice struggles with her guilt and sorrow throughout the entire book. She is now living with her grandparents (her mother’s parents), and attending the high school that both of her parents graduated from. This is where Alice is re-introduced to Kat, and finds a breathtakingly handsome boy. As soon as their eyes meet they have a “daydream moment”. The kind where the whole world stops, and a scenario plays out. It’s like this over the next couple of days too; Alice playing cat and mouse with Cole, the hunky daydreamer. Thanks to Kat, Alice gets to know the outward story of Cole and his “gang”; a group of teenage misfits that the entire school is afraid of, yet seems to have a lenience from the principal of the school.

The remainder of the book is essentially main character obsessing over the “bad boy”, overthinking absolutely everything, and learning how to fight zombies. I feel as though I have mixed reviews about this book. I’m sure if I were much younger, I would’ve devoured this book. It is definitely a book for teenagers. I’m not saying that adults won’t enjoy this book. The book is definitely aimed towards teenagers, the writing style flows, it’s an extremely easy read, I just felt that Showalter threw in a few advanced vocabulary words to keep the adult readers interested. If you’ve ever read Twilight and the Fallen series and enjoyed them, then I highly recommend this book. If you’re looking for a quick weekend read without having to think much, again, I highly recommend this book. Although it wasn’t my favorite, I will continue the series. If you’re looking to fall down the rabbit hole and experience a new, dark kind of Alice, then keep on looking.

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