PJV Quickie: A big fan of Gena Showalter, I was pretty sure I would really enjoy ‘Alice in Zombieland’ – I mean you can’t get any better, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ with zombies. Shyeah! Yet, like those two subjects suggest, while awesomely cool to pair together, both are not quite original. Showalter, though, did her very best to turn them upside down and own them and I was left very pleased with the end result.
Title: Alice in Zombieland
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: The White Rabbit Chronicles
Publication: September 25th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Provided by Blog Tour
While everything about this novel suggests that it is a retelling of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ the correlation is very abstract. Alice Bell is the main character and she is basically thrust into an alternate reality when her whole family is killed, but we are not talking any sort of Mad Hatters, or Queen of Hearts. It is more like evil incarnate manifesting as the walking dead, yet only a select few can see them. Alice happens to be one of them.
Her grandparents take custody of her after the death of her family and Alice is forced to go to a new school, where she is almost instantly drawn to a VERY bad boy by the name of Cole Holland. Instantly, as in, visions of make-out sessions and Bad Boy, as in, starting fights, intimidating and on the verge of getting kicked out. The visions scare Alice and she doesn’t want anything to do with Cole, especially since his ex-girlfriend seems intent on keeping Alice far far away. And during this whole time, Alice thinks she is going crazy because outside her window at night a dead bride stalks her….along with her father’s words, which she thought was just his crazy talk, to never venture out after dark, especially near a cemetery; the very thing she guilted him into to doing, which led to her entire families death.
‘Alice in Zombieland’ was a wild ride. The book was multi-faceted and quite different from others like it on the market. The one thing I’ve found, in regard to, adult Paranormal Romance authors writing Young Adult Paranormal, the plot tends to be a lot more complicated than what we are generally used to in a Young Adult Paranormal novel. What I mean by this, is that a general YA novel has straight-forward plot lines that go from point A to B to C and culminating in either an end-point or cliffhanger. Yet, adult PNR novels, especially ones used as the building blocks of large bloated series, will be full of characters, and introduced plot-points all over the place, characters that might only have a few scenes, that you can tell are richly structured. Showalter’s YA novels are like this. You can tell she has all these back-stories just ready to burst forward. It is like each one of her characters already has a story just waiting to be written. It leads to a heavier book, with more adult flavorings, yet, still wrapped in a YA package. Readers, used to Showalter’s adult series, might be sucked into Showalter’s usual, visual writing style and expect the heady romance she usually delivers…but this isn’t one of those books. This is something very different. And while, yes, there is a romance within this novel, it isn’t the focus theme. In fact, I actually could have done without the romance. While, I liked both Cole and Alice, I thought the story was intense enough to carry the novel without romantic trappings, those could have been pushed back to later in the series. But, that is just me. Make it waaaay different. I also thought the visions that happened quickly in the beginning of the novel were a forced love-connection.
Besides, my romantic lack of sensibilities the novel was original, highly addictive and entertaining. Showalter is beyond good at what she does and I highly recommend reading other books she has penned. A must read author and her YA series, while not her most popular are also something you should partake in. I can’t wait to read more about Alice.
Mature teens, there is a considerable amount of violence and some graphic language and subjects. The novel has a very tragic beginning and I think it might better received by older teens.
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