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.
“Truly living required risk.”
I remember when this book came out in 2012 I felt an absolute need to read it. I saw the gorgeous cover first but when I read the blurb I was captivated. I needed two years to start this book but now I’m sad I didn’t buy it sooner.
A lot of people say it is anything but good and the title of the book mislead them because they thought it will be an Alice in Wonderland remake with zombies. Actually I thought that too but I’m not really sorry it didn’t go down as expected. I mean, I’d love to read a retelling like that but this wasn’t boring either, so after a time I didn’t care that I was cheated into reading the story.
The main character is Alice whose father can see monsters and in fear of them he never lets his daughters or his wife out after dark. One evening Alice forces them to go out but as they are driving back they have an accident and everyone dies but Alice. She has to realize there are far more mysterious things in the world than she thought. In her new school the strange things that happen to her can be traced back to a boy, Cole, who’s the leader of the bad boy gang. Once in a month these guys disappear and come back covered with injuries. Looking at their strangeness Alice has the feeling that they may be the ones who can explain everything to her.
The plot was definitely entertaining and creative, the zombie theme is a bit used up but Showalter spiced things up with her own ideas. Her zombies weren’t like anything I’ve read about before and even if there were many-many things that were far from realistic, it was still an incredibly amazing story. All the fighting wasn’t boring but nor was it too disgusting, the author stayed in the golden mean not like in the Forest of Hands and Teeth in which a lot of scenes were too bloody for many readers.
The romance was a bit instalove-ish,
“Why wouldn't I dance?' Uh, maybe because at first glance he looked like he ate puppies for breakfast and kittens for lunch?”
There was another girl involved, Madison, who was in love with Cole and in the past they were together, but Showalter fortunately didn’t make a love triangle out of this situation.
The other couple worth mentioning is Frosty and Kat, they had this love/hate relationship and even when they were together they argued all the time. In so many levels they were realer than Alice and Cole but unfortunately they didn’t have many parts in the book.
Alice: She was a bad-ass female lead, she wasn’t afraid of anything even if sometimes she was rather reckless than brave she was still an amazing heroine. After the sudden death of her family she was a bit annoying, I can’t even imagine how hard it is to lose your parents and sister but how she refused to think about them didn’t make her sympathetic to me. She didn’t want to go to the cemetery which was understandable as she didn’t want to see them being buried to the ground, but never going to the cemetery after? Unbelievable.
“Life's too short to pretend and play games like that. I want to spend my time hanging out with people who make me feel good about myself. People who make me happy.”
Cole: He was just like any other bad boy lead, rough on the outside but had a sweet side too. He suffered in the past so he didn’t talk to the wind when he told Alice he knows what she feels. He kept hurting Alice but I can see where he was coming from. He refused to train her because he wanted the best for her, which is a life without hunting zombies. My only problem with this is that Cole described how zombies can detect those who can see them so if he had left Alice unprotected she would have died sooner rather than later. There weren’t many wrong things about him but he didn’t become my favorite male lead that’s for sure.
Kat: She was such a lively girl and that was something I liked about her but her actions were controversial. She respected her friends and loved them even if they left her once already but she was walking down the corridor shouting insults to random people like she owned the place. Sometimes she seemed uppity, sometimes she was cute. After a time I kind of figured her out and I like her just enough right now but I’d be more happy if she took back a little.
Alice’s grandparents: The cutest grandparents ever. Oh my God they were so adorable as they tried to use slang and how they questioned every guy who came for Alice was soo sweet. Yeah it probably was embarrassing but sometimes parents don’t care who their daughter goes out with while these two people who weren’t in Alice’s life for a long time cared deeply about her.
All in all this book had its great parts but its bad parts too, for example a lot of humorous thoughts of Alice were constrained and not funny. Sometimes the characters annoyed me to hell and like I said the plot had its mistakes too.
Favorite character: -
Least favorite: -
No I didn’t forget to write them down I just can’t think about any who I super loved or hated. Kat’s former friends were horrible but they were such clichés and stupid characters that I can’t even dislike them, they’re neutral.
I’d recommend it to those who aren’t looking for an Alice in Wonderland retelling because they won’t find it here. There’s plenty of action in it but not a lot of blood so it can be read by those who don’t like bloody scenes.
The story idea: 4,5/5
The realization of the story: 4/5
The characters: 3/5
The cover: 5/5