DNF Review of Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Posted October 8, 2012 by Kara in Uncategorized / 44 Comments

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: September 25th, 2012
Pages: 404
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Series: White Rabbit Chronicles #1
Source: I received an ARC from another blogger.

Blurb: 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.(

Review: This is where I quit. Calling creatures zombies that aren’t even remotely like zombies was the last straw. As a zombie genre lover, that is something I find extremely irritating. 


Aside from that, this book had a multitude of problems and it is not worth my time to continue torturing myself. It started out fun and gradually became cumbersome to the point that I feel like I am getting angry now. Not worth it. The following is a list of everything wrong with this book:

1. It’s preachy and the religion in it has no place in YA literature that isn’t Christian fiction.

2. Alice is a whiny, snotty, selfish protagonist and her constant inner monologue annoyed the life out of me.

3. The writing is lazy and terrible. It is chock-full of every trope known in this genre. Except maybe the love triangle. But it seems like that is coming in book two. Fasten your seatbelts, folks! This book is a real winner. *coughs bullshit*

4. Cole is a creepy, bossy, and controlling love interest and I was not turned on by his ickyness at all. Get these scary relationships out of YA. It is NOT funny anymore. It’s disgusting.


I am SOOOO tired of relationships like this. So very f*cking tired.

5. The writing really tries too hard. It feels like the author wrote it for a younger audience thinking she knows how teenagers talk and act but she failed miserably. This is worse than that one House of Night novel I attempted to read.

6. The slut-shaming. Because if an unhealthy relationship wasn’t bad enough, let’s add girl-on-girl hate to make it better. BARF.

7. Shallow friends and a mean girl that is just there for the sake of being mean.

8. Inspired quotes like these:

“We’ve talked about this, honey. I believe your dad sees something the rest of us can’t. But before you cast stones at him or me, take a look at the Bible. Once upon a time our Lord and Savior was persecuted. Tons of people doubted Jesus.”

“I paused in front of the building, my eyes wide and my stomach churning. So. Many. Kids. Some were tall, some were short. Black, white. Boy, girl. Rich, poor. Preppy, stoned. Skinny, not so skinny. Clothed, practically naked.”

“He was gorgeous, and I absolutely, no question, had to be drooling. After a quick and hopefully stealthy check–big shock, I wasn’t!–I found myself wondering what color his eyes were. Brown maybe. Or even hazel. Either way…wow, just wow. Deer? Headlights? Hi, I’m Ali.”

“Did they know why? Had Mom? Or had Dad waited to tell her until after he’d bagged and tagged her? Oh, gross.”



Also, the only thing this remotely had to do with Alice in Wonderland was a white rabbit cloud up in the sky that was some kind of stupid portent of doom. I mean, c’mon. Is she serious with this? UGH.

I don’t know. I might add more to this review later. But for now…here you go. It was just…SO. BAD.

44 responses to “DNF Review of Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

  1. Amy

    I was super excited for this one. I don’t like that the guy is bossy and controlling. I don’t like that either. I don’t see how a girl can want to fall for someone who treats them that way. I will still probably read this because I have been really wanting to, but I have lower expectations going in now. Great review Kara!

  2. Darn-it! *sighs* I was looking forward to reading this, but not so much anymore. I get really disappointed when books are packed with religion and not stating/tagged with that fact. I’m SO not reading to be preached Christianity tyvm. THAT is such a turn-off for me that I’ll instantly put the book down and DNF it. Great post! I agree.
    DeAnna Schultz

    • I agree, SacredmOOn. I don’t like to be surprised with religion. If it’s noted beforehand, that’s one thing, but I don’t appreciate it being forced on me without my permission. Thank you for your thoughts!

  3. Yeah, I predicted this would happen. I actually didn’t even notice the religious references, because there was just so much else to be irritated by. Why would anyone do this to an awesome title like Alice in Zombieland?

    • Archer said a similar thing. But me? I ALWAYS notice religious references. There were a ton of things to be irritated by. And I have no idea, but this is my biggest disappointment of the year.

  4. I can’t tell if I am more disappointed in the fact that the whole ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme didn’t play a part in the book or the religious bullshit that is shoved in it. I mean I understand if it was a Christian book but it’s not, like you said, and that just annoys me.
    Thanks for saving me from attempting to read this.

    • It’s not a Christian book. Which is why I felt like I was being indoctrinated. It was almost like subliminal messages or something.

      There were definitely almost ZERO Alice in Wonderland references.

      LOL at me saving you. Thanks. I think.

  5. That really sucks! I love the cover for this book, but thought it was something that was similar to Alice in Wonderland. Knowing that it’s not really marks it down a few pegs. AND I also hate when authors call other creatures zombies that aren’t zombies. Consider me a zombie purist.

    And while I don’t mind Christian fiction, I really dislike it when books that aren’t labeled as such get too hot and heavy with the religion.

    GREAT REVIEW, even if it was a DNF. Thanks for sharing, Kara!

    • It’s not similar to Alice in Wonderland at all. But I hear that Splintered by A.G. Howard is much closer. I am also a zombie purist.

      I agree about the religion. Funnily enough, I do read YA books with religions themes. I read Girl of Fire and Thorns and am actually quite a fan. I read Struck too though I didn’t really like that one.

      Thanks, Kristilyn.

  6. So glad I’m not the only person who felt this way! The writing was bad and there were tons of things happening that made no sense, but the whole zombie thing and the religious stuff sealed the deal for me. SUCH a disappointment. :/

  7. Wow, I wasn’t too into this one in the first place, but it definitely doesn’t seem to be my type of book. I’ve actually heard of a few people being really disappointed with this one. It seems they just added some YA buzz words together, and a good cover and it didn’t matter if it was related to the content inside, unfortunately 🙁

    • That’s a really good assessment actually. It did feel like a whole lot of buzz words. They made it as marketable as possible with every YA trope in the book and hoped it would sell. There was little to no creativity inside the cover. Thank you for your thoughts. 🙂

  8. Sam

    I think I enjoyed this more than you did. 😉 I completely understand why you didn’t like it though. I agree that Ali was irritating at times and that the writing wasn’t brilliant… despite all of that though, I still had fun with this. While it isn’t the sort of book I’ll re-read or even particularly remember down the line, I did appreciate it for getting me out of my brief reading slump.

    Nice, honest review! 🙂

    • It’s awesome that you liked it! I can totally understand this being one of those guilty pleasure reads. I just couldn’t get past the writing. And then all the other glaring errors stood out to me.

      Still, I am glad that it found a fan in you. I love when people have a great reading experience even when it is a book I despised. 🙂

  9. Aww man. I was sooo looking forward to this book. I’ve been burned by Adult fiction writers diving into YA (Sherrilyn Kenyon) and like Gena Showalter, she just didn’t work. I love the marketing machinations at work, based on the buzz this book’s been getting.

    • Yeah, the buzz behind this book is huge. Unfortunately, most hyped up books rarely live up to their expectations.

      Interested to hear your thoughts if you still decide to read it. 🙂

  10. I’m glad I didn’t request this now! I know so many people were excited for it but the negative reviews have been rolling in and it’s easy to see why. It’s a shame that the title/Alic in Wonderland reference was so weak and I am also really sick of abusive/controlling relationships :/

    • Yeah, be glad you didn’t request it. I am also tired of controlling relationships. This book just made me angry because it was NOTHING remotely like the original. Definitely one to skip if you don’t mind doing so.

    • I’d definitely skip it if you think those writing examples are bad. I’ll admit I took the worst ones, but if it makes me eyeroll, I’m posting it. And thanks. I try. 🙂

    • And thank you for commenting. I am going to go try and comment on your blog again and I hope I am not called out as a spammer again. *shakes fist*

      Nope, I am still a spammer. Well, I tried to comment on your Eve review. No dice. 🙁

  11. I have heard so much conflicting stuff about this one, and you know what? Despite all the positive reviews, I am confident that I’d probably hate it with a passion. And your review helped me realize that.

    • Thanks, Megan. I hope you will still read it if you are on the fence, but I am fairly sure of what things annoy you, and I think you would not be a fan of this one. Thank you for your comment!

    • I do. I did not like it at all. I think if you are on the fence about reading it, you should probably try it. Some hate it, some like it. You never know which one you will be.

  12. The marketing team was genius on this one, I have to say. But I do keep hearing whispers of Cole and Ali not being the best romantic pair (bossy and needy, etc). So… fooey!

    • You might like it then. Though I had more issues with the writing than I did with the fact the zombies weren’t really zombies. That was like the last straw that made me put the book down.

      Thing is, the blurb DID appeal to me. I’m just sorry it didn’t work for me.

  13. I LOVED THIS BOOK! It is funny how people can view a book completely differently. For me… I’m not really into zombies nor retellings… so it was exactly what I wanted! Someone recommended it to me, so I gave it a go and fell in love with the series. I’m so excited for book 3! Not everyone can love every book. That’s what makes reading such a personal experience! Sorry you hated it!! 🙁

    • I know this is one of your favorite books! I feel so bad! Like I mentioned to you on Twitter, I think if I had been reading this for the romance and not have had the expectations that I did, I would have felt differently. Thank you for commenting here. When I saw that you had, I cringed. I was hoping you would never find this review. Hahaha!

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