Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux

Allison Hewitt is Trapped: A Zombie Novel
by Madeleine Roux
St. Martin's Griffin, First Edition
January 2011, 348 pages.
ISBN: 987-0-312-65890-8

Description on the book:

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.

My Review:

Madeleine Roux delivers a fun, kick-a** zombie apocalypse novel in Allison Hewitt is Trapped. Allison is a grad student working part-time at the Brooks and Peabody bookstore when the outbreak begins. The bookstore "was attacked by the infected" a.k.a. insanely hungry zombies. Along with three coworkers and two store regulars, Allison finds refuge inside the break room protected behind a heavy reinforced door. But how long will their resources last?  Of course, they must ultimately leave the room (and bookstore) due to supplies and sanitation issues (yuck!).  They find the outside world populated with "groaners" (loud quick zombies) and "floaters" (their quiet slower counterparts). While sometimes impulsive and stubborn, Allison is definitely a feisty leader and becomes pretty handy with an ax.  Despite overcoming many challenges, the characters make some major survival mistakes in the process. Obviously poor judgment leads to unfortunately gory circumstances. 

Written in blog posts, the book chronicles Allison's survival experiences using her laptop powered by electric generators and the military emergency wireless network SNET.  As I started it, I thought reading a whole book of blog posts could get really annoying, but I lost that concern halfway through.  I loved Allison's storytelling. It switched effortlessly from describing their daily events to sharing her feelings like a journal. The blog is Allison's connection to survivors around the world who stumble upon it.  It becomes a comfort to her and her readers, plus a way to share advice and information.

This is definitely NOT a YA novel. There is a lot of language, which isn't necessary a bad thing.  I would have many choice words if crazed zombies attack.  Each chapter title (or blog post) is named after a book: Heart of Darkness, In Defense of Food, Sense and Sensibility, etc.  As a self proclaimed bibliophile, I love this homage.

Allison is courageous (in a brash I'll-stick-my-neck-out-to-save-you sense) yet still approachable.  I felt most of the minor characters were believable (Holly, Ted, Julian) except for a few personalities that fell flat (Collin...I didn't really buy that storyline).  Even though I'm a new reader to the zombie apocalypse genre, this book was a fun, suspenseful read.  I look forward to Roux's upcoming sequel, Sadie Walker is Stranded.

My Rating: 4 out of 5

My Favorite Passages:

"I throw the nearest thing, a monster copy of Whitman's collected works, and it hits a zombie square in the face. It doesn't stop it but it sure as hell slows it down." (pg. 22)

"Here we meet a few of our undead friends and Ted and I get to practice our golf swings. I've never cared for golf much but I could certainly learn to love it. The driver is light but vicious." (pg. 53)

"I don't want to regret or hate, I want to be the person I was before all of this started: Allison Hewitt, Graduate Student, Student of Literature, Faulkner Enthusiast, Field Hockey Player, Daughter, Normal Person. Those titles don't exist anymore." (pg. 120)

For More Info:
Allison Hewitt is Trapped on: Amazon, Facebook, GoodReads
Madeleine Roux's blog

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