Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Should I Keep Reading?: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

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.

Sounds fabulous, doesn't it?

It should be.

Gena Showalter has been one of my favorite authors for years. I discovered her work all the way back in 2000-something when she wrote The Stone Prince. I actually e-mailed her, years before I knew book blogs ever existed, and told her how much I liked it. She is the Only author I've ever done that for and to me what she did with that book warranted it. (And she wrote me back, for what it's worth. I still have the e-mail ten years later.) 

So why am I having trouble here? I'm on chapter four and to put it bluntly, I feel like I'm done. Maybe I'm being impatient since I wanted to use this as part of my reviews for the Spooktacular Paranormal Reading Challenge? Or maybe it's just totally not working for me? Either way, I must confess I'm a little disappointed. 

What's Good? 
  1. Hello, spirit zombies! I haven't gotten far enough to really dig into this, but from what I've read in the reviews I've looked at for the book, this seems like a totally unique take on classic BRAAAINS! I like anything unique and different, so regardless of what I think of anything else, I must give credit where it's due. 
  2. The subtle hints toward Alice In Wonderland. This is not a retelling, but parts of the story do seem to play a clever and subtle homage to the original tale. The chapter titles, the cover design, the heroine's name and the cloud shaped like a (white) rabbit all spring instantly to mind.
What's Driving Me Crazy? 
  1. Alice's personality seems inconsistent. First we see her as a defiant teenager looking for a taste of normal. Next we see her as a grieving daughter who has lost her family. Next we see her--seemingly on a dime--utterly boy crazed over Cole when they haven't even spoken yet. To the point that she seems (to me) to have forgotten anything else in the world matters. 
  2. Kat. I violently, passionately, vigorously hate Kat. I hate the way she talks. I hate the way she acts. And I really hate how she essentially does a scoring card for Alice the first day she starts the new school. It was funny when the geeky guy (can't think of his name) did it in Ten Things I Hate About You. It didn't charm me here, as people in the halls were actually reacting to her. It came across as snide and bitchy and everything I *wouldn't* want in a friend. Like if Harry Potter had let Malfoy tell him who the 'wrong sort of people' were in Harry Potter. 
  3. I'm nearly 1/4 through, I'm wagering this is PNR (correct me if I'm wrong, please!) and the hero has not actually spoken to our heroine. That would be mildly annoying by itself, but I haven't gotten to the punchline yet. She has seen him. She hasn't even heard him open his mouth. Yet she is hallucinating what it would be like to kiss him and he is the primary thing on her mind during the rest of that day. Really? I didn't know we were dealing with some kind of lifemate / soulmate trope here, and that's the only way I could possibly be cool with this behavior. 
  4. Dude, where's my story? Nothing. Is. Happening! When does this thing actually start to hit the ground and run again? The opening was a good mix but we seem to be stuck in crosstown traffic right now and it's threatening to put me to sleep. 
So now I turn to you, dear readers. Is this one just totally not for me? Or should I keep going and give it a little more time to worm its way into my heart? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment. :) 


  1. Dude the okugs been pulled way to early. Kat is a gorgeous read on. LOL!! Cole is moody broody and gorgeous. It may not be for you, but I lOVED this book. I so want to tell you about Kat, but I shall not...she is hiding a secret hence her attitude....*sniff* Keep going, we know Gena can write:) I've only found a couple people that did not connect with this story. Kat and Frosty are fun to read ...but also........


  2. p.s. More a nod to Alice with a couple things, but not a retelling:)


  3. I have heard such mixed things on this book. If you aren't feeling it , then stop.

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