Proud book geek and YA enthusiast. Can also find me at my other book blog home www.tyngasreviews.com
Alice Bell loses her entire family in a car crash one night caused by the very monsters she's convinced her father has been imagining all her life. When suddenly, she can see these monsters that she's never before been able to view, her whole life changes.
Or at least, it should have. That was my first issue with this book - when Ali could see the zombies, it didn't really seem to phase her all that much. I didn't get the sense of world-rocking revelation that I would have expected. It seemed like she went on with her normal business as usual for the most part, and seemed to obsess more about the new boy in her life, Cole. As others have said, the Alice in Wonderland storyline is really just for name - aside from the daisy chain on the first page, and the chapter titles, there's nothing more that this Alice's story shares with that of Alice Liddell's.
I did enjoy Ali's character, though she seemed sometimes convoluted. I loved when she didn't let Cole give her any crap or tell her what to do, but then there were times that all he had to do was flex a muscle in her general direction and she would melt back into his arms. It just didn't ring that genuine to me.
Ali and Cole's relationship just did not sit very well with me. He's just mean and distant, and I couldn't really nail down exactly why they should be together. Part of the reason I was frustrated with their relationship, is because Ali's earliest objections to dating Cole are that she doesn't even know him. So Cole says that they will fix that by getting to know each other.
Then the author pulled one of these: "For the next few months...."WAIT - what?! I was so mad! Are you honestly trying to tell me that you just skipped over a few month's worth of info in a zombie novel? The few months during which Ali actually starts to take the zombie fighting seriously and does this "getting to know each other" and training with Cole - and you're not even going to tell me about it?
As far as secondary characters, this is where this book totally rocked. Ali's best friend Cat was HILARIOUS. The scene when she first meets Alice was absolutely hilarious. Even better because I was able to listen to it, rather than just read it, so all the sarcasm and run-on sentences were just that much funnier. Ali's grandparents were also so cute, trying to catch up with the teenage slang. Some of the things they would say to Ali were completely ridiculous.
There were lots of inner-thoughts mixed in with the actual dialogue. In a normal book, this is fine - great even - because they can italicize or bold the inner dialogue to differentiate it from what the characters are actually saying. The audiobook didn't translate all that well in this case, because there were dozens of times that I'd get her inner dialogue mixed up with what she was actually saying, and I have to admit, it did get frustrating.
I can't say this book was boring - it absolutely wasn't. I never even considered not finishing it, even with some of the things I mentioned above. It wasn't a train wreck, it just had a few fatal flaws for me. Who knows, maybe someone else wouldn't be bothered as much by that, but for me, the little things killed this one, even though I was SO amped up about reading this book.