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Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)
Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Source: Purchased
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
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.
To be perfectly honest, I knew when I picked this up there was a large chance that I wouldn't like it since I'd heard largely mixed reviews. Unfortunately, I decided to go ahead and read it anyway. Why? Because of the pretty, pretty cover. Apparently, I will never learn. This book, frankly, made me so mad. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read, but it was pretty damn close to getting a rating of one, so obviously that's not a good thing. With insipid main characters and horrendous instalove, this book has not made my favorites list or earned a place in my heart. I know that a lot of people, my trusted friends included, loved this book. But I, clearly, did not.

(By the way, I say "what the hell" quite a lot in this review, so if for some reason that offends you I advise that you abstain from reading this.)

Ali was annoying, stupid, and dull. She's also very self-centered. Honestly, that's just the way I saw her. She's always putting herself unnecessarily at risk. Look, I get not wanting to be the damsel in distress, but that doesn't mean you go around blindly throwing yourself into danger. Not unless you have a death wish. Just…no. And obviously, I understand that she was really upset over her family's death. I've lost people too, and I get how it is. I even understand her need for revenge. But the way she goes about it is all wrong. She starts hanging around with a bad crowd, her grades drop, and lying to her grandparents to get her way. But of course, there aren't really any major consequences to that. What. The. Hell? That is absolutely not okay with me.

Cole was dominating, possessive, and basically a complete bastard. I absolutely hated him. He's a controlling jerk who is constantly telling Ali what to do. We're supposed to find that hot. It's not. It's disgusting and demoralizing. I could not find one shred of anything that I liked in him, and I feel that his humanity is questionable. He's also a bad boy, but not the hot kind at all. No, he's just a bad kid. Cole also has pretty much the worse attitude ever. He has no respect for anyone or anything, and he treats pretty much everyone like dirt. I also don't get why the hell he's is charge of everyone. He's a terrible leader.

I sort of like Kat. I mean, she seems really sweet in some ways, and she's definitely loyal to Ali through everything. What I don't get is the why. It's never really established. I also feel like this random thing that was thrown in about her at the end made no sense and took away from the story and I did not understand the point of it at all. She was also way too egotistical and thought far too highly of herself. It's okay to be like that to a certain point (let's be honest, I can be that way sometimes) but she just exceeded the limit. That's not cute, it's bitchy. And anyone with half a brain wouldn't want to hang out with someone like that.
I actually really loved Frosty, and he's really that only character I felt that way about. It's obvious that he cares deeply about Kat and would do nearly anything for her. He's also not all coldness the way his nickname implies, and it seems like he has a friendly and even a sweet side. At the same time, he's essentially Cole's whipping boy and he does whatever Cole tells him to do. That was just annoying. Like seriously, grow a backbone, dude.
Justin was an okay character, except to be honestly I don't understand why he is like he is. Ali's viewpoint of him flip-flops way too much over the course of the novel, and it got to a point where I really wished the author would just choose a place to put him and leave him there. The sad part is that is this book had been better overall, that probably wouldn't have bothered me. But alas.
Honestly, I liked Mackenzie somewhat, because she doesn't put up with anyone telling her what to do. Well, at least for a while. Then she lets Cole walk all over her her and lost all of my respect. But honestly, if not for that, I think I might've liked her more. Plus, I liked that she disliked Ali. It gave us something in common.

Okay. I am going to try to not talk too much here. Because if I really get started, I'm afraid I won't stop.

First off, I was annoyed by what Gena called "zombies." They're not traditional zombies at all, and I didn't like that. If you want to write a zombie book, write about freaking zombies. If you don't want to write about zombies, then don't. No one is forcing you to. But don't invent a new type of paranormal creature and try to pass them off as zombies. Like what the hell is the point of that? If you're not writing about zombies, it seems simple to me. I get that there are different interpretations of zombies. Certainly not all the zombie books I've read involved the same ones. But seriously, these so-called "zombies" were not even vaguely like zombies at all.

*repeatedly bashes head against the wall* No. No. No.

Then there's the whole thing that I mentioned in Ali's section, how she starts hanging out with the "bad crowd." That in and of itself isn't necessarily horrible, but the way it was executed was. Ali's grades drop, and there were no real consequences to that. Look, that is not okay with me. I know I sound like somebody's mother, but let's face it, school is important. And yet when Ali decides she doesn't care about it anymore, it doesn't affect her at all. The book implies that her grades dropping is totally okay when it really, really isn't.

Then the pacing is all off. One minute it's going super slowly, and the next it starts speeding up so quickly that I'm thrown off the track and totally forget where it was. I just…what the hell? Why? How did the editor to catch this? Half the time I didn't even know what direction the story was supposed to be going in, either. It was so stagnant, and there were all these random infodumps, half of which ended up feeling completely irrelevant.

Moreover, the overall predictability of the plot was shocking. I'd think something was so blatantly obvious and so going to happen, and then…it did. Sometimes it is nice to guess ahead. But not when it's that obvious, and certainly not when you're right Every. Single. Freaking. Time. There's this one thing especially that's treated as this sort of "big reveal" and I honestly thought when I "found out" that we were already supposed to know that. Nope, apparently it was just so horribly hidden that anyone could have seen it coming. Then there were so many things that I think were supposed to be plot twists, but again…I could see them coming from miles away. I am not exaggerating.

Honestly, it held my attention. I'll be honest. However, that statement sounds more positive than it is. It was a really fast read. But while it held my attention, it was also nothing special. The only thing I really cared about, the only thing that really kept me reading and from throwing the book across the room and out the window and under a moving truck, was Frosty and Kat's romance. I am not kidding. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have even bothered to finish this.

Also, while this is marketed as an Alice in Wonderland retelling, it isn't like that at all, except for this stupid white rabbit cloud. It really has absolutely zero to do with Alice in Wonderland. I mean, really? Call it something else. That's misleading marketing, and I was really disappointed by that too.

I am cutting myself off here, because this is getting awfully long and ranty, and I think that you get the point.

The so-called "romance" in this book was instalove at its finest. When Ali first meets Cole, she literally envisions herself making out with him. Um, seriously? Again, I ask, what the hell? So basically after this Ali becomes completely enamored with him and decides that she is madly in love with him. Then they basically break up, then get together, then break up, then get together by casually making out. Eventually, they randomly decide that they're official, and Ali is like, "I don't want to have sex with you…yet. But let's keep making out, I like that." Girl, you just started dating him! Have some self-respect! It's not like there's a sign on your forehead advertising that you're a virgin! Chill! Seriously, the entire so-called "relationship" was gross, overly provocative, and disgusting. It's not even funny. Just, authors, stop writing about these icky relationships. They're not hot, they're just disgusting. I did, however, rather enjoy the secondary romance between Frosty and Kat. Not gonna lie. They're probably the only reason this book ended up with an overall rating of two.

I really don't want to even get started on this, so I'm going to try to keep my comments here minimal. I really, really am not a fan of this writing. Ali's constant inner monologue annoyed the living daylights out of me, and I think the author tried way to hard to try to write the way she thought a teenage girl would think. Newsflash: the majority of teenage girls, including this book's target audience, are not complete idiots who say random and weird things such as:

Deer? Headlights? Hi, I'm Ali.
That is one of the dumbest things I have ever read. Like, what the hell is that? Seriously? You know that she can talk like an educated person and not a complete airhead. Personally, I prefer my heroines intelligent to morons. Then the descriptions are just awkward. Half the time I wasn't even sure what she was talking about. Plus, about at least half the time Ali herself sounded confused, which confused me even more.

Uh, so I really wasn't very impressed by this, either. I mean, like what the hell was it even supposed to be? I have to admit that there was one betrayal I didn't see coming, but other than that it was painfully obvious. The ending also felt really rushed and thrown together. Suddenly all these random factoids started popping up trying to disguise themselves as if they'd been there all along, but believe me it was obvious that they hadn't been. There are no words to describe how annoying that was. It was so inconsistent.

So, I think it's pretty obvious that I would not recommend this book to anyone. There are a ton of people I know and trust who loved this book, though, and so I know that there are many of you out there who will. I just can't tell you that I recommend this, because I don't. I've never read Gena's books before, though from what I understand she wrote adult paranormal romance. I think she should stick to that and leave YA alone. Obviously, not everyone will agree with me. I will, however, be picking up the next book. Just…don't even ask why.





  1. I have seen a lot of mixed reviews of this one, I was disappointed when I heard that it didn't have anything to do with Wonderland, I don't know if I will be reading this one but, thanks for your thoughts!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  2. What!? Its not in Wonderland... Its not in Zombieland since... well there are no real zombies... I won a copy of this and it sitting on my bookshelf but now I'm afraid to pick it up lol! Thanks for the honest review :D

  3. Well that sucks. :( Sometimes I like the damaged bad boy character, but it has to be done well. If the guy is just obviously a complete asshat jerkface, then that's so not a turn on. The way you described the romance sounds horrible! Bah. :(

    What a bummer.. I wanted to read thsi book because of the pretty cover too lol.

  4. Whew.

    I'll probably skip this one.

    1. Yeah, it was NOT a good experience for me. There was such blatant sexism and it was all so inconsistent!

  5. Baha. I love you. If I had any infinitesimal thought in my mind about picking this one up after the many other rant reviews I've already read, your review banished it. I'll just settle for staring wistfully at the beautiful cover....

  6. That stinks. I don't like reading a book that I am not enjoying, but when I start a book, I have to finish it. I guess I hope that it will get better at some point. Lol.
    I am still on the fence about this one. I have read some of Gena's adult series and really enjoyed them, but I have not read any of her YA books yet. She has other YA series also.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Annabelle. This one is at the bottom of my list, now. :)

  7. It sucks that you didn't like it :( It's one of the 2 or 3 YA books that I actually finished and liked this year :)
    Thanks for the review :D

  8. Wow, I have never read a review for this book that was so bad. Geez, makes me wonder if I did a good thing in trading for it. Well, thanks for the review. I'll remember this when I start to read it (eventually). :D

  9. This has been the story form most book bloggers- most of them didn't like it. But I'm still curious and want to read it. But I'll just borrow it.


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