Author: Gena Showalter
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: September 25, 2012
Publication House: Harlequin Teen
Source of Copy: Purchased from FullyBooked
Summary: 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.
(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; summary lifted from actual book)
Off with their heads.
I picked this one up expecting a retelling of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, with zombies. Add to that the beautiful dust jacket, which I loved probably due to the white bunnies, and I was sold. I'm biased that way. What's not to love about white bunnies and zombies? But enough about that, let's talk about the book.
The book is actually NOT a retelling. Aside from the rabbit-shaped cloud, the chapter titles and the book title itself, references to the Lewis Carroll classic are minimal. Which is good, since I'm not exactly fond of retellings.
As for the cast of characters, I actually ended up liking them all, no unnecessary hatred here on my end. The story is told from Alice's point of view. Ali is pretty, snarky, feisty and has this sense of humor that had me grinning as I flipped through the pages. Then there's Kat, fabulous, confident and charming - an altogether adorable character, despite having a few secrets of her own. As for Cole, he's the baddest of the bad boys, the so-called leader of their mishmash group of zombie killers. He's sexy and protective and fierce and his scenes with Ali were hot and I so badly wanted to take her place. The chemistry between them was great and their banter was entertaining. Regardless of the fact that it started with visions and a moment of insta-lust, the relationship between the two was believable, although I'm hoping for an explanation for the visions soon, preferably in the next book.
What intrigued me most was the whole concept revolving the zombies. They exist in the spirit realm and can only be seen/touched by a select group of people which our protagonist is obviously a part of. Does this mean that the rest of us plebes are safe? Not exactly. These zombies can still hurt, maim, and kill regardless of whether you can or cannot see them. Deadly buggers that they are. The only way to kill them is to enter the spirit realm and fight them as, well, a spirit. It's a bit confusing at first but as you go along you start to get a feel for the lore and some questions pretty much get answered.
So what's stopping me from giving this book a higher rating? The thing is, I'm standing on neutral ground here. It's not the kind of book I would continuously rave about.
All in all, Alice in Zombieland is a pretty fun and strangely compelling read. If you like books with humorous dialogue, strong heroines, gorgeous boys and an interesting concept involving zombies, spirits, and fire, this one's for you. I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the next book.