Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1) by GenaShowalter

Date Read: October 13 - 15 2012
Release Date: September 25th 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Bought
Genre: Paranormal
My rating: 
"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."


Lucky for me I approached this book with absolutely no expectations of it being a modern adaption of Alice in Wonderland. Even more lucky for me I hadn't read Alice in Wonderland in at least 7 years so I've forgotten most of what happened. As such, the fact that it didn't turn out to be a modern zombie twist on the original tale, wasn't such a disappointment to me and I actually quite enjoyed this. But due to everybody's complaints about how bad it was and how it had absolutely no connection to the actual Alice in Wonderland, I decided to do a little research as well as pull what I could from memory. Other than the names there actually are connections that Showalter made to make this a modern zombie adaptation. Now I'm no zombie lover or expert - this is the first zombie book I've ever read and I didn't read it because I'm a fan of zombies - so I don't really care how zombies were portrayed here, I quite liked the gorey bits!

Anyway if one looks they do see links to the original tale:
- The same themes including loss of innocence (Alice falling in the rabbit hole and experiencing all those changes vs Alice's family dying and seeing what horrors are really out there); the many puzzles of life (Alice doing maths and puzzles vs Alice deciphering the journal and what it means to be able to see zombies); the possibility of death ("Off with her dead!" vs Alice's constant battle with the zombies and near death experiences); reality versus dream (Alice's ordeal was all a dream...right? vs Alice's visions of Cole and her stepping out of her body into the spirit realm).
- The character parallels such as Alice where both have that innate curiousity about things, the grinning Chesire Cat and Kat the happy one, the Queen of Hearts and Dr Wright who both want Alice's 'head' essentially and the sister (in the orginial and Emma) who appears and does the warning
- There's also the parallel where Alice in Wonderland yells that they're only a deck of cards which renders them useless while Alice in Zombieland uses words to stop the zombies - can we go as far as interpreting this as the power of faith and words here?

Either way, once we look closely enough, the similarities in both tales are there, Showalter's just taken a modern twist on many ideas, albeit many might not think they're the best. But hey it's a YA and I think she tried her best and did an ok job.

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