Book Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Goodreads Rating: 4.06 stars
My Rating: 2 stars (I was being generous).
Recommendations: Don’t bother.

What I Liked: The author had a different take on zombies than anything I’ve read/seen before.
What I Didn’t Like: Almost everything else.


To be horribly truthful, this book was painful for me to get through. I picked it up because this years is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Figured, Alice and Zombies… that has to be a pretty interesting read, right? No.

This books reads as if the author took writing tips from Stephenie Meyer. It read like a Twilight knock off. There was very little to do with the zombie part of things… and almost nothing of the Alice in Wonderland aspect. The only four references: the main character’s name was Alice (though she goes by Ali), one her friends went by the name Kat, Ali dressed as a gender-swapped Mad Hatter for Halloween, and that there were ominous white rabbit shaped clouds that somehow predicted something bad was going to happen. The latter was explained at some point. But I wasn’t happy with these references. Seriously.

And here come the spoilers…

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The story goes that Alice’s family is killed by zombies. These are special zombies that are more like spirits that only certain people can see. Her father could see them and attempted to protect his wife and children, but never explained it to any of them so everyone thought he was crazy. Alice was horribly sheltered as a child. So, she moves in with her grandparents when her whole family is slaughtered and starts to go to a new school. Of course, she’s horribly naive about almost everything.  Upon meeting the school’s Bad Boy, their eyes meet and they have a weird vision. This happens repeatedly. Blah blah blah, they try to avoid each other but end up getting together anyway… who couldn’t see that coming from a mile away.

It also turns out that this fella [what’s his name] is a “slayer”. They fight the zombies.  His bad ass group of friends are all in it too. Ali and this dude have an on-again, off-again relationship throughout the story. He wants to protect her. She doesn’t care. Blah blah blah…

Part of being a slayer is having a special ability to remove your own spirit from your body. That’s the only way to be able to fight the zombies. It also turns out that Alice… ahem… Ali, has some super version of this. What a surprise. >_>

Showalter was very inconsistent with almost all aspects of this book.  The characters quite often contradicted their own personalities.  And not like it was some profound moment where the nerd finally stands up to the bully kind of thing.  It was more like the author forgot who and what she was writing about.  There were several inconsistencies in the plot and story line.  Things didn’t line up, again, as if she simply forgot what she has previously wrote.  

If this (and Twilight) are standards for Young Adult fiction, I’m glad I’ve avoided it for so long.  This book was quite painful to read.  I wanted to take a blue pen to the whole thing.  Maybe I will and send it back to the publisher.  >_>

If this is not the standard for YA Fiction, please… someone leave me suggestions!!

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