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Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1) by Gena Showalter

This is probably the most negative review I’ve ever written, and I think it’s pretty nice compared to some of the vitriol that can be found in the Goodreads community (no personal attacks on the author here). First off, Cole (the romantic lead) is mostly a straight up asshole and there’s no real reason except for these “visions” and apparently his hotness that a girl as plucky and self-aware as Alice would continually go for him. I actually did like Alice; her voice was unique, authentic, and funny. Too bad, like so many other teen YA heroines these days, she has no idea what a decent, non-controlling/abusive guy is like (no, he does not abuse her in the legal sense, but he sure as hell exhibits classic signs that he would eventually; he’s also incredibly possessive and controlling, which, no matter how much Alice digs being “commanded” by him (her term, not mine), is not part of a healthy, positive relationship (unless we’re talking adult BDSM)). I guess healthy, positive romantic relationships are boring.

Zombies as evil spirits is kind of interesting, but I think most people would just call them demons. Part of the existential horror of zombies is that they are reanimated human beings with rotting flesh and open wounds; they are death embodied. What’s described in this book are not zombies, no matter how much the author wanted to be creative and do something now with the genre. Call me a purist, whatever; I like my zombies in the flesh. I also really don’t like books that rely on simplistic depictions of good versus evil. Near the very end, the author seems to want to throw in some complications to that, but it’s too little too late, especially after repeatedly telling us that there is only one or the other. There are also strange religious overtones (fluffy white-clouded heaven included) that probably have more to do with the strict good or evil than anything else. It felt kind of forced. Oh, and Lewis Carroll has very little to do with this book. So if you were hoping for a zombie twist on the classic Alice In Wonderland, you’ll be disappointed because this is nothing more than a silly yet horrible teen romance (this is published by Harlequin Teen and the author is primarily a romance writer; wish I would have figured that out beforehand) with weird religious, not Wonderland, themes.

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