Friday, September 27, 2013

Review - Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux

Author: Madeleine Roux
Release Date: January, 2011
Pages: 340, Paperback
Goodreads Rating: 3.83 stars
My Rating: 5/5 stars
My Content Rating: PG-16+ (Just kissing shown, but some gory violence)

Summary from Goodreads: "One woman's story as she blogs - and fights back - the zombie apocalypse"

Allison Hewitt and her five colleagues at the Brooks and Peabody Bookstore are trapped together when the zombie outbreak hits. Allison reaches out for help through her blog, writing on her laptop and utilizing the military's emergency wireless network (SNET). It may also be her only chance to reach her mother. But as the reality of their situation sinks in, Allison's blog becomes a harrowing account of her edge-of-the-seat adventures (with some witty sarcasm thrown in) as she and her companions fight their way through ravenous zombies and sometimes even more dangerous humans.

I really loved the concept of this book - I mean, a woman blogging during a zombie apocalypse?  What could be cooler than that? Even better - the book totally lived up to its cool concept!  I actually originally saw this book reviewed on another blog and had to pick it up because Allison and I share a last name - obviously it was meant to be!  Thank you, blogger who introduced me to this book (wish I could remember who it was).  I did not want to put this book down (even when I had lots of other things I should have been doing) - I needed to know what was going to happen to Allison and company!

The negatives:
  • Didn't always sound like a blog.  Okay, so the only issue that I had with this book was the fact that the blog didn't always read like a blog to me.  The story was told in a narrative style that sometimes just read like a regular book (with dialogue embedded, etc.) and I found myself thinking, "Is this what it would sound like if someone was blogging about her experiences?"  To be fair, I don't think the book would have worked that well if it wasn't told in this style, so I can't complain much.  Oh, and one other thing about it being a blog that bothered me was that I was sometimes confused about the dates - a few times Allison was telling about past events (when she had missed a few days of blogging) and I was confused about when we "caught up" because the dates seemed to coincide with when she was writing, not necessarily with when things happened.  (Then things would be synced again - like her description of Halloween was on Oct. 31st).  This was a minor issue, though, that I let slide because I was enjoying the book so much.
  • The comments.  Like I said, I loved the concept that this was being written as a blog and I thought it was really fun to read other people's comments at the end of each blog entry.  Not only was the concept interesting, but it gave us insights into what was happening in the rest of the world during the zombie invasion.
  • It wasn't about the zombies.  Okay, I know this sounds like an odd thing to say about a zombie novel, but this book wasn't really about fighting zombies.  Sure, there were some zombie fighting scenes, but the zombies themselves weren't actually that terrifying (something that might bother zombie lovers).  I mean, they kind of shuffled around and they weren't all that hard to kill.  It was really the sheer number of them that made them dangerous.  But, that was okay because the zombies were not really what the book was about.  The book was about what life would be like if you were suddenly trapped in a small space with people you don't really know all that well and what you would need to do to survive.  I loved the first part of the book, where Allison and her "friends" were afraid to leave the small room they were trapped in, but knew that they would have to venture out eventually in order to survive.  I loved that they made their first trek out into the world for "food" - chips, candy bars and soda.  Every decision they made had a huge potential backlash, but they knew that they couldn't just sit and hide in this room forever.  And once they left their protective shell, that's when things got dangerous.  Which brings me to my next point...
  • The danger and the high stakes.  This is a zombie novel.  Really, everybody shouldn't just live happily ever after.  And, well, they don't.  In this book, you don't know who will live and who will die (including Allison herself).  Even with the humans, you don't know who should be trusted and who will just go whack-o crazy and crack under the pressure of the apocalypse.  I will warn you now - characters you love will die, characters you were so-so about will die, characters you weren't so crazy about - yep, some of them will die too.  Zombies are equal opportunity killers.  And once the action picks up (about a quarter of the way into the novel), it doesn't let up.  I was constantly wondering what would happen to my favorite characters next.  Like I said before, I didn't want to put the book down.
  • Allison.  Thank you Allison Hewitt for living up to our last name!  Allison is one of the best female heroines I've run across in quite awhile.  She is by no means perfect - in the face of the zombie apocalypse even she does some morally questionable things (but she realizes it and questions it all right along with us).  Still, Allison is a take-charge, natural born leader who also happens to be incredibly brave and smart and pretty witty as well.  Can't ask for much more than that!
In case you hadn't noticed, I LOVED this book!   Hang on tight while you face the zombie apocalypse - and be prepared for one crazy ride!  5/5 stars.