Thursday, 26 May 2016

"Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1)" Book Review

My Rating  ★★★★☆ 3.9
Don’t let the other bad reviews turn you away. Delve into this book to just enjoy it and to appreciate a story the author so kindly wrote for us.
1. Cover ★★★★★
So there I was – scrolling through scads of books, and I do mean scads. My fingers are getting tired, eyes are droopy and each cover I see drives me further and further into a soporific lull; I’m looking for my next read or at least more titles to add to my long list of TBR that are just sitting on my kindle (books I may never actually read btw, but I like seeing them there, I’m a sucker for attractive covers). Then voila! A cover, so whimsical and magical appears out of nowhere. I stopped, took in as much as I could, silently sent up a prayer asking for the synopsis to be as gripping as the cover, and guess what?
2. Premise ★★★★☆
The synopsis was kinda gripping. Not as much as hoped but it was. I love Zombies, I absolutely do so when I saw the Z word in the cover I was intrigued.
Alice, who lives a blissful life with her family, has her life turned upside down in the blink of an eye when an accident claims her family, but leaving her alive. Before his death, her father spoke of monsters but Alice only now believes in them after the tragic accident.
She decides to avenge their death by learning to fight the monsters. Alice meets bad boy Cole Holland who surprisingly knows all about the monsters and she has to trust him in order to succeed.
Well…. Zombies are my thing, romance isn’t. But there are stories where the two can mesh well and there are a few romance novels that I do enjoy from time to time, but, back to the point.
I was looking forward to an action packed plot where zombies roamed the street and the humans left to survive would band together and ride out the rest of their days in melee attacks, surrounded by death and small triumphs.
So, what was delivered?
3. Plot ★★★☆☆
We got a world that had pretty much nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland or cards, except the few sightings of a cloud in the shape of a rabbit (a bit of a disappointment). Also it was a world where only a small percentage, very small percentage of people knew about the existence of Zombies; zombies which weren’t exactly like the ones we’ve grown accustomed to – y’know, the corporeal, shambling type which finally surrenders to death by a headshot or beheading. Nope, instead – and I wholly understand that the author was going for something unique, a new twist to the overplayed zombie survival story – we were given zombies who were actually infected spirits and slayers whose spirits had to exit their corporeal bodies in order to tackle the zombie threat. The slayers are a group of anti-zombie (of course) –made up of high school kids that are way too mature-looking for their age and a few adults -while there’s a pro-zombie group (of course) – made up of more high school kids and some adults sporting hazmat suits.
Still following? … Good, so, here’s the other part. Our spirit zombies can’t be killed by destroying the brains i.e. headshot or any kind of head injury (knife to the head). So this took me a while to fully grasp, and when I say ‘a while’ I mean a few seconds ticked by. I had to forego all previous knowledge of zombies and try to let this new world sink in; however, I was determined to not let that bother me and to just try and enjoy the book as the author would have liked us to.
I laughed a few times. I laughed out loud once during a conversation between the main characters. The dialogue was ok, some parts were better than others (but that’s normal in any book). At times I really appreciated the interaction and love story between the two because early on in the book I lowered my zombie/survival/hard-core fighting expectation after seeing romance was the more prominent genre in the first half.
What I didn’t enjoy though was how idiotic and avoidable the accident was. That was a highly dumb way to die. You’re in a car, the monsters are outside the car, I would think there’s enough protection there being surrounded by all that good ol’ metal casing. Maybe not swerve so much that you put your family in danger dude. I mean come on! He clearly didn’t think that through, so the way the accident happened just didn’t sit right with me.
Our Alice, who now goes by Ali, moves in with her grandparents (on her mom’s side). She becomes friends with a girl named Kat while in the hospital and when she attends her new school in the fall guess who’s there? If you guessed KAT then you’re right! No points for you though, cause that was pretty obvious.
She meets Kat on her first day of school and their little hospital friendship blossoms. Kat initiates her into her clique and gives her deets to the ins and outs of Asher High – who’s dating who, who’s broken up, etc.
At some point, she locks eyes with a gorgeous, violet-eyed, bad boy and has a vision of them passionately kissing. When she finally comes to she is puzzled as to why she suddenly had a very real life vision of a boy she is now seeing for the first time. .. This reminded me a bit of a Touched A Caress of Fate – the vision/dreaming steamy stuff. More visions occur throughout the book which draw our protagonists even closer and is the reason they have their first conversation.
Moving along, we get chapters upon chapters of high school stuff (romance, jealously, rage, hormones, fashion) and little to do with the actual Zombies which I came here for. They did show up a bit later on in the book, but it was slow. The more action packed zombie attacks were toward the end of the book.
Our Ali learns to trust Cole, the guy she pines after, and they slowly reveal to each other secrets that they’ve been keeping – “I see Zombies” and “I secretly have sexual visions about you every morning that we look into each other’s eyes”. He also trains her in zombie self-defence and they fall even more in love while trying to keep their hands off each other. I’m going to be totally honest here and say that at one point I wasn’t certain if they would do the deed or not. I knew this was YA but I wasn’t sure if the author would go that far, I really didn’t know. FYI they didn’t.
4. Genre Representation ★★★★☆
Fantasy, Horror, YA
Well, it was definitely YA with all those teenagers (way too mature-looking for their age). There was a splash of horror throughout, but more toward the end; however, it was not overly done. It was very mild horror to be exact but horror nonetheless. And of course it followed the fantasy line – magic realism, zombies, things which would never happen in the natural world. I wanted more 
5. Characters ★★★☆☆
Ali and Cole seemed to fit, sometimes I felt the connection between them, other times far from it, but they were an OK book couple.
Kat and Frosty were back and forth, they’re meant for each other, they were more apart than together in this book. Maybe in the second instalment they’ll actually be together.
For some reason I didn’t really care much (at all) for the others in Kat’s clique – Reeve , another one and another one.
Kat herself was self-centred but loyal to those she deemed as real friends. She had a big ego, I’m surprised hers and Love’s could actually fit in the same room with enough space left over for the bad boys’ clique to squeeze in – a lot of ego, trust me.
6. Journey ★★★★☆
I wouldn’t say I highly enjoyed it but it was a good journey. It’s not what I was expecting, which I learned early on in the book but it kept me interested enough to pass up on sleep. At times I found myself rushing through pages, devouring it and other times I read much slower, which is a normal thing in books.
7. Ending ★★★★☆
Ending was okay, I’m not sure if it was predictable because I’m trying this new thing these days where I don’t try to predict the ending, which reminds me, I should remove this category in my next review.
8. Writing Style ★★★★☆
The writing was concise, clear at times, minimal use of overly big words that one has to consult a dictionary every three lines and simple (in a good way). The reason why I found it unclear at times was because of the explanation of the very new, strange, zombie facts. I had to read a few lines over for it to really sink in. Also, at times I wasn’t too sure which character was talking because there would be about four different supporting characters in one dialogue and they basically all spoke the same way, no real differentiation.

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