This is a review of “Alice in Zombieland” by Gena Showalter. It is the first book in The White Rabbit Chronicles.
Alice has a lot more problems than your average teen. Her dad is crazy. He won’t let anyone in her family venture outside of the house after dark. He believes in monsters; Alice and her younger sister Emma just believe he’s insane. He’s embarrassing, and Alice is constantly wishing her mother would just leave the drunken mess he’s become, and make a new life for herself.
Alice’s whole world is rocked to the core on her 16th birthday. She’s in a car accident that leaves everyone (but her) dead. The aftermath of the accident makes her realise that her dad was right. Monsters do exist… She saw them as they feasted on her family members. Alice is deeply changed by that night. Things will never be the same for her. She’s confused. Did she actually see monsters? Do the monsters truly exist? She believes yes, but she’s also scared that she’s inherited her dad’s cray cray.
Alice moves in with her grandparents, and starts at a new school. She makes new friends, and enemies, and even a few frenemies. She misses her family like nothing else, and more than anything, she wishes that she could atone for the way she treated her father. She wants to know more about the monsters, but where can she look? Who can she trust? Ali doesn’t want her grandparents to think she’s crazy, and she wants her new bestie Kat to think it even less…
And there’s more strangeness. Why does she see white rabbits in the clouds? Do they warn her of danger as she’s come to believe? And what’s with the sudden and intense attraction to Asher High’s bad boy Cole? Just why are Cole and his group so mysterious?
I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t loathe it either. I quite liked the premise, but it was a bit too “high school” for me, which is fair enough, as it is a YA novel. I did enjoy the character’s banter with each other, and I was a fan of the dialogue for the most part. A lot of the time I didn’t know what to make of Ali, she seemed a bit all over the place, but I guess that would be true of any teenager that has suffered such trauma. I didn’t really like the way Cole treated Mackenzie, it was too commanding and it was really off-putting. I did think before reading this novel that it was going to be a post-apocalyptic pastiche of “Alice in Wonderland”. It’s really, really not. These aren’t your regular zombies (which is kinda cool), and there were no great similarities between classic “Alice In Wonderland” and this tale, which I was a little disappointed with. I did like Kat’s character (Cheshire Kat?) and I also loved Ali’s grands, and their great lines (especially with their teen slang). “Alice in Zombieland” is definitely worth a read if you like teen romance novels with a supernatural flavour.
“Alley Kat. Racing to the rescue of another stray?”
“We’re not trying to get all up in your biznez Ali”
“I want to spend my time hanging out with people who make me feel good about myself. People who make me happy.”