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Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

So I was 97% sure that I wasn't going to like this series, but I'm on an Alice kick after reading Heartless, so I figured it would quench my needs. Zombies aren't really my thing. The only other zombie series I read was The Walking Dead graphic novels, and I only read like the first 5 or 6 before moving on. Don't get me wrong, I love the show, and I love zombie movies, but book wise, it's never been my cup of tea. And then there was Alice in Zombieland and everything changed! I am proud to say that I was wrong. I was so wrong, that when I finished the first book, I didn't stop and write this review and then start the second one, I just plowed right through. But I made myself stop before I got too far into it and started confusing details. But this is probably gonna be quick, so I can go back to it because I'm already having separation anxiety.

(Source: Kelsey Darling)
Curiouser and Curiouser

Alice Bell is your average 16 year old girl. She has two parents and a little sister, Emma, whom she loves more than anyone or thing else in the world. But for as average as Alice is, her life is not. Her dad is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest crazy. He believes there are monsters that prowl the night and kill, so no one is allowed out of the house that he has reinforced once the sun has gone down. But tonight is Alice's birthday, and she wants nothing more than to go to Emma's ballet recital and watch her preform. So after guilting her mother in the worst way possible, and bending her fathers will, they leave the house despite the falling sun to go to the recital. It is the most magical night in the world. Until they're in a car accident that claims the lives of both her parents and sister. And as much as Alice tries to tell herself that it was rabid dogs she saw tearing into her parents, she knows in the back of her head that it was the monsters her dad always feared. 

(Source: Giphy)
Now refusing to go by Alice, Ali starts at a new school and is living with her grandparents. She immediately makes friends with Kat, and a group of her friends. But the person Ali can't ignore is bad boy Cole Holland; partially because every time they look at each other, they have extremely visions of passionately making out. Soon enough, she is under Cole's spell, and he hers, as she learns that her dad never really was crazy, but did in fact know of the monsters the creep in the shadows; and Cole and his band of misfits fight them. And Ali possesses the same fighting abilities. 

As Ali navigates life without her family, a new high school, a boy she just can't put her finger on, and the fact that her father had been right all along, she leans on Kat & Co. along with Cole to figure everything out, especially why it seems that the zombies are hunting her specifically and why Emma's ghost keeps appearing to her with warnings. And what's up with the rabbit shaped cloud she keeps spotting in the sky? The same rabbit cloud that was in the sky her family was tragically killed because she wanted to go out after dark.

(Source: Giphy)
A Lot More Than Six Impossible Things were Thought
  • So the biggest praise I have is for Gena Showalter creating a zombie plot line that I haven't seen played out 68 million times before! Zombies in Alice are nothing like zombies in any hit TV show or popular movie. Zombies are in the spirit realm. People like Cole are called slayers, and they can separate their body and spirit and fight the zombies in the spirit realm, where Average Joe's can't see them. I love when a book surprises me, and this book did just that. I have read so many variations of the same plot that this book is a breath of fresh air.
(Source: Giphy)
  • When I finish this series, I'm going to need to find some book that doesn't tear my heart out into a million pieces, because the last million books I've read have done that. I relate Ali losing Emma to me losing my nieces. When Ali realized Emma was dead and refused to even think her name, I was a mess. When Emma reappears as a Witness, I cried with joy. When Ali had to kill her zombie dad in the end, oh Stars! I had to stop for a moment and get myself together again. I love when books pull the emotion out of me, but if I keep reading stuff like this, I'm not going to have any more emotion to give.
(Source: Giphy)
  • Bad boys is another theme lately. Every book I've read has had one, although I had no emotion for the one in The Female of the Species. But damn! Cole and his merry men would have definitely had my attention in high school. They're all 17 or older, so I'm allowed to say that. And to quote Gail from Pitch Perfect...
(Source: Google Images)
  • Ali's grandparents are the cutest people in the entire world. Firstly because of their attempt to use slang. I would watch a TV show of elderly using the slang of the 21st century. Secondly, they love Ali so much. In fact, they love her so much that the two boys Ali brings home is questioned to the nth degree about what their future plans are, drinking and driving, and my personal favorite "When a girl says no, she means...?" This is why I love that I have one niece of dating age so I can ask similar embarrassing questions. I could take notes from these people.
  • While the references aren't in your face, there are nods to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Most of them are in the chapter titles, but there are others. You have Kat who has a Cheshire-like grin; with all of the baseball caps Cole wears, he makes a fine Mad Hatter; there's the nightclub, Hearts; and the Principal, Dr. Wright, is definitely the Queen of Hearts.
(Source: Giphy)
Honestly, it's books like this that make me love reading. The mystery and adventure and ever guessing. It takes me back to being 10 and discovering that it was in fact Professor Quirell who was evil, and not Professor Snape. It's rare that I have that gut-wrenching betrayal when I read books now. I use my context clues and figure everything out a few chapters in. However, this book did not do that. Like JK Rowling, Cassandra Clare, Marissa Meyer and Yelena Lugin, Gena Showalter has created a world that I want to know everything about and characters that I love, despite their fictional status.

Rating: 10/10
Genres: Young Adult, Zombies, Fantasy, Paranormal

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