Alice in Zombieland by Gena ShowalterPublished September, 25 2012 by Harlequin Teen404 pages pages Purchased

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Reviewer: RywnRating: ♥♥♥♥♥

GOODREADS || AUTHOR WEBSITE

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.

I really enjoyed Alice in Zombieland! Gena Showalter succeeds in creating this new world that isn’t actually a new world at all – the zombies are right here, and nobody notices them. To the everyday person (and initially, including Ali), her father is a bit crazy. Paranoid about going out at night, and refusing to let his daughters be normal kids who go to sleepovers, ballet recitals, and parties – and oh yeah, he patrols the house at night with a gun! All Alice wants for her birthday is to see her little sister Emma’s ballet recital. One night as a normal family, where everything is perfect. Emma rocks the show and nobody has realized how exactly not-normal her family is yet. Until the drive home. Passing by the cemetery  Alice’s father freaks out and begins to pull at the wheel until it spins out of control. It’s only after waking up after the crash that Alice finally learns that just maybe her father isn’t so crazy after all…

One of my favorite things about Alice in Zombieland is Alice – or as she quickly becomes, Ali. Filled with determination to right the wrongs she’s done by never believing her father, Ali throws herself head-first into the new world she’s found herself in. A character who fights her fears, refuses to take the BS other people tell her, and doesn’t let herself be pushed around, Ali is a refreshing heroine in the YA paranormal genre. Enter Cole – the stereotypical ‘bad boy’ who tries his best to keep Ali safe despite the zombies who seem to want her more than anyone else. Cole is a perfect match for our fiery heroine – willing to listen to her when he needs to, willing to stand up for her if necessary, and not afraid to tell her when she’s wrong. Despite being continuously warned away from Cole, Ali is instantly drawn to him – but Ali also refuses to date Cole until they know each other better, which I adored.

Rounding out the cast is Kat – a spunky character where if there is any ‘insta-love’ in Alice in Zombieland, it’s between Kat and Ali. Kat immediately decides that Ali is going to be one of her new best friends, and you really see these two characters sort’ve fall in love with each other. Ali is continually honored by how amazing of a friend Kat is all while she feels guilty for the things that she’s keeping from Kat. Kat’s relationship with Frosty (a member of Cole’s “gang”) adds humor to the story without feeling forced in. Kat is a (shockingly) level-headed character wise beyond her years who sides with Ali without hesitation. Many of the members of Cole’s group seem to blur together however, and I’m hoping to see more from them in the next book.

My only real fault from Alice in Zombieland is the title! I think Gena Showalter actually did herself a disfavor by borrowing from the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ title with their being other books sharing the title. The ‘wonderland’ connection here is very loose, at best, and I think the story stands on it’s own feet without having to be a retelling of any sort. I should also mention that despite being a story about zombies, AiZ is not actually very ‘horror’ and fits into the YA paranormal alongside other zombie stories such as Dearly, Departed.