Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 found Alice in Zombieland to be a unique take on zombies, a way to make them into an urban fantasy myth and not a dystopian future novel. This was clever and innovative. That, combined with the Alice in Wonderland nuances made for an interesting read.
Ali grew up sheltered by her parents, believing her father was crazy because he saw monsters that no one else saw. He wouldn't let them go out at night, they had to learn to defend themselves, he patrolled the house, and drank himself into oblivion. Then, an accident changes everything for Ali. She learns that her father was right, that the monsters are real and she becomes determined to fight them.
The book combined Ali's new reality with knowing that zombies exist, trying to fit into a new high school and life, her new best friend, and falling for the badder than bad boy in the school. There is lots of drama around who likes who and social cliques. I felt the voice was probably pretty true to teenaged life, but, at times, it was also a bit much. Maybe it's just me, but I get tired of the gorgeous, uncommunicative, moody, irresistible love interest and the girl who puts up with it.
I am honestly torn with this book. I liked the paranormal aspects and how the zombies were portrayed, how Ali was determined to be strong and fight for herself, the relationship between Ali and her friend Kat, and the realism of Ali's devastation. However, I found Ali's relationship with Cole (the bad boy) predictable (except there was no real triangle, maybe that will be in the next book), and I wanted more Alice in Wonderland-y aspects to the book.
Overall, I think teens, especially girls, will like this book, but those looking for a meaty zombie book may be disappointed. It will be interesting to see where the author takes this series.
Here is the book trailer from YouTube: