I assumed, because of the title and blurb, that this book is a retelling of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, A
Alice Bell "Ali" never believed in the monsters that her dad has lived in fear of. She missed out on a lot of things ordinary girls her age are enjoying, like going out to a party at night for one, because in her home, no one is allowed to go out after dark. On the day of her sixteenth birthday, her little sister Emma, whom she adores more than anything in the world and is the only person who remembered her birthday, asked her to ask their mom to let Emma dance in her ballet recital which would end at night. She tried to make her mom feel guilty about forgetting her birthday and their situation but she was still surprised when her mom said yes, she didn't think it would work. On their way back home, as they were passing by the cemetery, her mom lost control of the car when her dad tried to get hold of the driving wheel to veer their car away from the monsters he was seeing. That night, she not only lost her family, she started seeing the monsters too.
Alice in Zombieland is my first Gena Showalter book (it made me very excited to read Wicked Nights!) and I really enjoyed reading it, one of the reasons being, she's an incredible storyteller and her writing, beautifully fluid. The story started out strong and evocative, particularly, Ali's love for Emma and how she couldn't even think of Emma's name when she was in the hospital. As a "horror" book, there were a few creepy scenes like when Ali saw the zombie bride, but there wasn't a point in the book that I felt scared for Ali, maybe because she seems too strong with her unique abilities. I thought the entire book was engaging from start to finish and the characterization was first-class, even her grandparents are endearing. What made me decide that I like Ali is how she made up her mind to honor her family's memory, when it was so hard for her to even say Emma's name, by remembering them and doing her best to not let what happened to her family happen to others. What I don't like about Ali is that she is sometimes so like the usual YA-heroine. When she started stalking and obsessing about Cole, the fierce, intense boy in her new school, even if her new best friend did suggest it, I thought it was so "Lucy" (from Fallen), but it wasn't so bad. I like how Cole is so protective of everyone around him. He and Ali have great chemistry but he could be hot one moment then cold the next when it comes to them being a couple and whether Ali can be included in his group, it could get a little frustrating. Overall, I thought this book was very good with the well executed action scenes, the witty and funny dialogue, and the just right pacing. I can't wait for the next book already!