11 October 2012
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Release Date: October 1st 2012
Publisher: HarlequinTeen Australia
Add it: Goodreads
As soon as I heard about Alice in Zombieland, I immediately thought of a weird, wacky, crazy fantasy world riddled with zombies (or even like the Alice game) and thought it would be an awesome retelling of the classic tale. I was disappointed. What was one of the most brilliant concepts I've ever heard fell flat completely.
Alice's dad was always considered bat-shit crazy by everybody including Alice because he could see zombies when noone else could. But when Alice is the soul survivor of the car crash that killed her entire family, she finds that her dad was right all along - because now she can see the zombies too.
Alice in Zombieland more closely resembles Twilight rather than the classic tale. If you're a fan of dark, brooding romances, dangerous bad boys and teenage high school melodrama then you might enjoy this. However, while I do enjoy the occassional light-hearted, fluffy high school read (think Crave by Melissa Darnell - I LOVED that), when I see an awesome concept that is so poorly executed like this, I just can't find it in myself to love it.
First of all, Ali is the typical Mary-Sue:
- Her family is dead
- She moves to a new school as a result
- The popular crowd immediately love her and she captures the attention of two of the hot guys at school
- Later on in the novel, she is a special snowflake with the best and rarest of abilities (this was predictable as well)
Okay, so I sort of understand why she manages to have friends when she first starts - she meets her best friend Kat in the hospital after the car accident - but that still doesn't explain why everybody else seems to love her. I also get why Cole was interested - they had a shared vision of the two of them making out the minute they laid eyes on eachother. But that just adds to the Mary-Sueness of Alice's character and seems like an excuse for their romance. There are some things I liked about Ali though; I liked that she could stand up for herself (against the Zombies), her determination, the fact she didn't just forget about her parent's dying after she falls for a boy (which happens WAY too often in YA), that she didn't back down in a fight and I liked that her confused and mixed thoughts about Cole were realistic. I could actually believe that those things would go through a 16 year old girls head if they were getting mixed signals from a guy.
Speaking of, Cole is an ass. He is one of those characters (Edward, Patch etc) that are hot because the MC says he is but in reality he is an arrogant, controlling douchebag who can't seem to grasp the concept that they don't live in the 1800's anymore. Cole may be hot, but he is controlling, over protective, demanding and condescending. I just couldn't really find any characteristics that I really liked.
Can we just talk about Kat for a second? This will be quick because I plain loved her. I loved her sassy attitude and how good of a friend she was to Ali. Kat was bubbly, funny and frantic and I think she is awesome. Although, I'm just gunna say right now - and people who've read the book will understand - FORESHADOWING MADE THINGS PAINFULLY OBVIOUS BUT I LOVE YOU KAT.
The writing overall was okay but the character dialogue annoyed me; the dialogue of the 16 year olds sounded outdated and like they lived in the 90's and Ali's 8 year old sister sounded MORE LIKE A 16 YEAR OLD THAN ALI DID. One thing I did appreciate were how the zombies and (the majority) of the fight scenes were described. Things such as Cole's barn and the school were described well and gave me a very vivid image.
As far as plot goes... Well.
It does have a reasonably solid plot and the ending answered some questions whilst leaving questions to be answered in the next installment, although the main thing I wasn't happy with was all the teenage melodrama and how little relevance it had to Alice in Wonderland at all! I mean, I get it. Her name is Alice, the chapter titles were cool (although they had nothing to do with the chapter content whatsoever) and there was a white rabbit.... But...
*falls silent* *crickets begin chirping*
Overall, whilst it was interesting enough to keep me reading, it was more like a compulsive "is this going to get better, it has to get better" read rather than a "HOLY SHIT WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN OMG THIS IS SO GOOD" compulsive read. I think my expectations were way too high for this because as I said, I was expecting awesome, gory zombies in a weird and twisted Wonderland, but instead I got teenagers in a highschool fighting spirit zombies.
If you love bad boy romances (like the Hush Hush saga) or if you simply like the idea of highschool vs zombies (HAHA, now I feel like watching Highschool of the Dead, bye bye reality), then I think you might enjoy this more than I did so I'd still recommend it to some, especially considering it was admittedly a compulsive read :)
Thankyou HarlequinTeen Australia for providing me with a review copy. This has in no way affected my review