White Rabbit Chronicles, Book 1
Synopsis: 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.
Our Review: I really expected to find the world of Alice in Wonderland while starting this book and it is true that I was surprised that it was not really the case. This has in no way hindered me in the story but I did not expect that. This book is far from the ideas I had but it was a very nice discovery. And even if the story is very different from the one when know, we have many reminders and details making us think about the Alice we all know.
Alice Bell is a girl like any other, with a nice family and especially a very special father. Indeed, he is convinced that there are monsters outside, waiting to attack them and he therefore prevents anyone from his family to go out at night for fear of a confrontation. But our heroine does not take any of this seriously and is angry at her parents for the life she has. Everything will change, however, the day of her birthday when her little sister Emma begs Alice so the whole family can go to attend her recital that evening. But when they return, after a really nice moment, the car in which they were is attacked and our girl is the only survivor of this terrible massacre. She finds herself full of regret and guilt living with her grandparents, trying to have a normal life as she can. She will meet some very interesting people, new friends, but also a boy whom everyone is afraid about. Everyone warns her about him but she can not resist. Especially with the flashes she has every time she meets his gaze.
I took great pleasure to follow Alice in this novel. She has lots of questions and don’t want to be manipulated. She quickly falls in love with Cole, but remains wary of what is happening. She is strong and courageous, but still fragile. Alice tries to keep her head up and keep her cool, which is quite impressive when you see the situations in which she managed to end up. I was very curious throughout the story to understand what was going on with her and what her gifts were. I was immediately intrigued by Cole. From the beginning we know that everyone is afraid of him and we know that he is hiding something but we do not really know what. Of course, we will learn in the chapters the truth that will change forever the Alice’s life. I loved his character, and I think we can only love him. He is sweet, attentive, scary at the same time and determined to do what he thinks is right. Kat was also a breath of fresh air throughout the novel, she is very different from our heroine, but also full of humor and nonchalance. And more than that, she will do anything to help her friend, even if she has some secrets.
It was a really good book and I’m really surprised by the commitment I had throughout the story. The author presents us a beautiful story full of sensitivity and I always wanted more. The plot itself is excellent and it was very interesting to learn more and more. Many events are initiated in the book and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to read the next one. A great surprise.
Gena Showalter is one of my favorite authors and it is always a pleasure to read her novels. For some time, I’m very interested in everything related to zombies and I was very curious about Alice in Zombieland. I must say that from the beginning I was very surprised because the title had misled me. In fact, like many people, I was expecting a sort of modern version of Alice in Wonderland with zombies as bonus. But it’s not the case, at least, not really. Certainly there are a few elements that recall the famous novel by Lewis Carroll but the similarities end there. Do not expect to meet a Mad Hatter or the equivalent of the wicked Queen of Heart here!
Once I get over the initial surprise, I quickly immersed into the story. Alice Bell (or Ali) almost lost her entire family the night of her sixteenth birthday. After this tragic loss she has to live with her grandparents and goes in a new high school. There she meets the mysterious Cole and his band. Cole is both intimidating and sexy and Ali can’t help but be drawn to this young man, especially as a strange connection seems to exist between them.
Well, sum up like this we might think that this book is like many other young adult books it would be a mistake to think that. Alice in Zombieland is different from other novels of the same kind in many ways, including the author’s way of describing the zombies. Indeed the zombies here are invisible creatures that once nightfall come devour the living. Most humans can’t see or touch them. Only a handful of people have this ability and only they are able to fight. I found this idea awesome and very original. It really changes from everything I’ve read or seen about zombies before.
I immediately liked Ali who seemed more mature than the other heroines of her age. Stubborn and curious I really enjoyed her reactions. Ali has witnessed horrible things and found herself an orphan from one day to the next. It was terrible to see what she had to endure. Some scenes are quite harrowing. Moreover she feels guilty: she blames herself for not having listened to her parents; instead of that she always believed her father was crazy. The pain caused by the loss of her parents and her little sister is such that we can’t remain indifferent and eliminate the zombies became her only purpose in life, a way to redeem herself. Ali is a fascinating heroine. She is strong and fragile at the same time but she has a very strong personality.
Her meeting with Cole Holland, the bad boy of the school is quite explosive but the attraction that exists between them is so strong to the point that it will be impossible for them to ignore it, especially when the visions appear. I also liked Ali’s best friend, Kat. Kat is talkative, narcissistic and full of life. She is a real ray of sunshine herself. The other members of Cole’s band (Frosty, Bronx, Mackenzie or Trina) are very interesting too. Justin and his sister have also intrigued me and I wonder if we’ll discover more about them in the next books.
The story is really gripping, especially in the second half of the book. Gena Showalter has perfectly renewed the zombie myth by bringing her personal touch and the result is quite successful. The writing style is fluid and it is with delight that we discover with Ali this new world that overlaps with ours. I appreciated to follow this struggle of good against evil. And this fight will not be painless.
It’s a very good first volume with some poignant moments, humor, scenes of high school life, but also a lot of action and twists. Some questions remain unanswered, especially regarding Ali’s abilities but also about the Hazmats. Once again, I was literally swept by carried away by Gena Showalter’s creative universe and now I’m really curious to discover what will happen next to this group of teenagers.