Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

My thoughts:

Expecting zombies in Wonderland with Alice in Zombieland? Think again! I was expecting this to be a retelling of Wonderland with plenty of zombie bashing. After reading this book, I have to say the title misled readers to believe it revolved around the Wonderland world. Even though it barely has any aspects of Wonderland in the book, it wasn't that bad.

So our main character Alice has always lived a very sheltered life. No dating, sleepovers, etc. All because her dad believes that monsters lurk out at night waiting to eat them. Alice has never believed her father, and has always thought he was mentally unstable. The one night she finally manages to get her family out of the house, is the night everything falls apart. The monsters she never believed in gruesomely took the life of her family members.

Alice's life is turned upside down. She now lives with her grandparents and goes to a new school. On her first day her new friend, Kat, introduces Alice to the most popular clique in school. They are notorious for being bullies around the school and have a bad rep. Makes me wonder how the hell they became so popular. I guess they must have bullied there way to the top. The leader of the clique is Cole. When Alice first looks at Cole, she has this vision of the two of them making out. It was insta-love from there sadly. Typical intense attraction for each other with barely any buildup. The thing is I liked both of them together, but the insta-love made it so predictable.

Zombies are not your typical zombies in this book. According to Cole and his rag-tag zombie fighting team you can only kill the zombies in the spirit realm. Once in the spirit realm you shouldn't speak because it has the ability to make things actually happen. As Cole explained, "So, if you say something like, 'This zombie is killing me,' and you're convinced that he is, in fact, killing you, he absolutely will succeed in killing you, and there will be nothing more you can do to stop him.". Also in the spirit world one can bring weapons along, but it doesn't kill the zombies. It only disables them or slows them down.. To eliminate a zombie in the spirit world, one must truly believe that they can defeat a zombie. When a person has the will to kill a zombie, a glow emanates from the hand. If you get bitten by a zombie, there is an antidote that has to be used within an hour. Interesting ideas on how zombies were presented in the book, but at times I found it all too complex. I missed the traditional elements of zombies lore throughout the book. Classic ideas such as zombies shouldn't be tampered with much. I think it should stick more to the original ideas. That's just me though.

This was not Alice in the world of Wonderland killing zombies. Even though, that would have been awesome if the author did go that route. I still found some moments where I was rooting for Alice and her friends to overcome the zombies. Other than that it's your typical insta-love story that's pretty much everywhere.

Rating: C

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Waking

Summary from Goodreads:

From the writer of Zenescope's smash hit Wonderland trilogy and Image Comics' The Gift comes Raven Gregory's newest tale of horror! In the big city, police detectives investigating routine murders discover that the victims of these crimes are coming back from the dead in search of those responsible for ending their lives. Now the detectives are in a race against time to find the source of the recent "wakings" before the victims deal out their own brand of bloody justice. Meanwhile, a father with an incredible ability must choose between avenging his daughter's death - or losing her forever!

My thoughts: 

The Waking goes beyond the typical zombie horror plot everyone knows about. Yes, we all know that zombies kill for practically no other purpose than to eat human flesh. It's refreshing to read a comic series such as the Waking, that strays away from the stereotypical zombie themes.

The four detectives in the story play a pivotal role in discovering the zombies. I loved the funny and witty dialogue the detectives had. It gave the story some levity. The detectives begin to unearth some truths about why zombies are rising. Complicated decisions are made, and life for all of them are changed with the aftermath.

I was actually rooting for the zombies this time around. It's not like the zombies were targeting random people. They were exacting there revenge on the person that murdered them. Once they killed off the person responsible, they ceased to exist. Even the detectives in the story were questioning whether or not the zombies were doing the right thing.

Tons of gore with some nudity here and there. Don't let this sidetrack you though! The Waking's unique take and compelling story will definitely win zombie fans over.

Rating: A

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Allegra by Shelley Hrdlitschka

AllegraSummary from Goodreads:

Allegra thinks being at a performing-arts high school will change her life and make her a better dancer. But high school is still high school, complete with cliques, competition and cruelty. Allegra's refuge comes in the form of a class she doesn't want to take--music theory, taught by a very young, very attractive male teacher. Soon all Allegra can think about is music composition--and Mr. Rochelli. But has she misunderstood his attention, or is he really her soul mate?


My thoughts:

I was very hesitant to begin reading this book. The whole student/teacher romance was something I personally didn't want to read. After finishing the book, I realized the book doesn't go there. It focuses  mostly on music, dance, and teenage confusion. 

I didn't know what to think of Allegra at first. Throughout the first couple chapters she was extremely judgmental towards others and demanding. She threw a hissy fit when her teacher Mr. Rochelli decides not to sign her drop papers. Even worse she forged the papers to get out of his class. He was kind enough to say he signed the release form, but then changed his mind. Allegra wasn't even gracious enough to say thank you for the save. I swear at times I wished someone would just put her in place!

As I continued through the book, I realized Allegra has social anxiety. She puts up a wall with people and is reluctant to let them in. I finally understood why she acted the way she did. 

Starting out in a new school gave Allegra the perfect opportunity to make friends. She meets Talia, Spencer, Molly, and Sophie. Once they find out Allegra's dad is a part of the band called Loose Ends, they want to meet him. I was uncertain if they truly wanted to be her friend or not. Sometimes it seemed they only cared about her father's band practices and autographs.
Allegra finds out her parents are separating. The comfort of making music with Mr. Rochelli makes her forgot about her home life. She able to confide to him about her home troubles. He even tells her about his own problems of how his mother died a year ago. Instead of the student/teacher relationship they had earlier in the year, it blossoms into a friendship. She interprets this wrongly and thinks that he might be in love with her. He makes it clear immediately to her of how she is his student and he is her teacher. Ultimately, her "friends" find out about the relationship Allegra and Mr. Rochelli have been having. They jump to the conclusion of it being more than friends. Allegra denies it, but they think otherwise. Everything spirals out of control for both of them.

The book almost had me in tears the last couple chapters. I wasn't expecting everything to unravel the way it did. Despite the lives of both Allegra and Mr. Rochelli being changed forever, the book does end on a fairly happy note.

Quote from book: 
"The pain is not so bad when someone else gets it. Part of me even wants to embrace the pain and remember those magical moments of composing, when the surge of music swept through is, intangible until the notes were on the page and then brought to life through the combination of instruments."

Rating: A