DNF: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Alice in Zombieland
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: White Rabbit Chronicles #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: September 25th 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Borrowed from the library
Buy on Amazon | Buy from Publisher
She won't rest until she's sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
If anyone had 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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)
There were several reasons why I didn’t finish Alice in Zombieland, but I think the thing that bothers me the most is that I had this idea of this great Alice in Wonderland retelling in my head, something akin to all the great zombie books and TV shows out there, and then it’s not even an Alice in Wonderland retelling at all. So I feel like not only was I duped into believing this would be a great retelling, but I feel like that title could have been used for a book that really was a zombie retelling of Alice in Wonderland, and now the title has been wasted on this book.
Before I go any further, let me clarify that, no, I did not finish Alice in Zombieland, hence the DNF in the title of this review. When I’m not enjoying a book I’m reading, I usually give it 100 pages or 1/4 of the book, sometimes more. With Alice in Zombieland, I read to page 109, which was just around 1/4 of the book. I just couldn’t do it anymore. And when I DNF, I don’t give the book a star rating, but I do try to share the reasons why I stopped reading the book. And boy, do I have reasons.
Like I said above, I was expecting a nice zombie retelling, but that didn’t happen. And the zombies weren’t even really zombies? There were only a few mentions of the zombies in the 109 pages I read, and they just weren’t typical zombies. Most people couldn’t even see them. I read a few other reviews and found out that they’re more like ghosts on another plane and it made me happy that I DNFed, because when I hear the word zombies, I want ZOMBIES. They can be unique or a bit different than the typical zombie, but these sound much more like ghosts to me.
Something I also got annoyed with and I’m basically just DONE with in books is slut shaming. Yes, I know that slut shaming happens, especially with teens, so I totally understand if authors want to have their characters slut shame and then realize how wrong it is within the same book. I’m all for that character growth. But if you’re not condemning it, you’re condoning it. And in this book, since I DNFed, I don’t know if it was ever condemned, but there sure was quite a bit of shaming (slut shaming and other shaming, which I’m also DONE with) going on in the part I read.
This book also really turned into a paranormal romance book and that’s just not my kind of book. I wanted zombie apocalypse, and the quarter of the book that I read started out interesting, and then the plot seemed to get dropped for a romance set in the halls of a high school. Which is all fine and good if you like those kinds of things, but I’m just not a paranormal romance person. And then the book started to remind me of City of Bones (and I did not enjoy that book, either). And there was just a lot of unnecessary exposition throughout the quarter that I read, and I just couldn’t handle it anymore.
Perhaps if you enjoy paranormal romance, you’ll enjoy Alice in Zombieland. I read it for my book club, and they all seemed to love it. But at least go into reading it with the knowledge that it is NOT a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. Maybe that knowledge will help you enjoy the book more than I did.