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Allison Hewitt Is Trapped by Madeleine Roux
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Allison Hewitt Is Trapped (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Madeleine Roux

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2173353,683 (3.88)13
Member:SpongeBobFishpants
Title:Allison Hewitt Is Trapped
Authors:Madeleine Roux
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2011), Edition: Original, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Fiction, Science Fiction/Horror, Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Rating:****
Tags:Permanent Collection, Science Fiction, Read 05/2011

Work details

Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux (2011)

Recently added byarena55, arena50, cheekylala, Cynical_Ames, private library
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  1. 30
    Feed by Mira Grant (justrumbelledearie)
    justrumbelledearie: Another fierce female blogging the apocalypse.
  2. 20
    The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell (cmwilson101)
    cmwilson101: Both unconventional zombie stories with plucky heroines.
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English (32)  French (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Allison Hewitt is trapped. Specifically, she's trapped in the bookstore where she works by the start of the zombie apocalypse. But, hey, at least she's able to blog about the experience!

Objectively, I can't call this one particularly good. It's full of not-quite-right, suspension-of-disbelief-breaking details, starting with the whole idea of the hero being able to blog right through the apocalypse. The writing often attempts to wax philosophical or poetic and just comes across as overdone or silly, instead. The characters seldom react in ways that feel believably human. And it adds absolutely nothing new to the zombie genre. The one semi-original wrinkle is the blog format, but if the back cover hadn't helpfully informed me that the story in fact started out as a blog, I'd be wondering why on earth the author bothered, since it doesn't do much of anything interesting with the format. (And if you've got a craving for a story featuring bloggers and zombies, trust me, you don't want this one, you want Mira Grant's Feed trilogy, instead.)

All that having been said, though, and despite being highly aware of all those flaws the entire time I was reading, I still found it reasonably entertaining, in a stop-thinking-and-keep-turning-pages kind of way. Mostly I think that's because I am, for reasons I do not understand, ridiculously easy to please when it comes to zombie stories. But the bookish angle also helped; Allison actually gets out of the bookstore fairly quickly, but the literary references continue throughout the novel, most notably in the chapter titles. And there's a scene, early on, where she comes very, very close to getting eaten because she's desperately trying to grab some books when she's supposed to be grabbing food. It's actually a bit of an eye-rolly moment, and I like to think that, unlike Allison, I would not be remotely stupid enough to put down my weapon and walk away from it while flailing around for books. But, well, that aside, I think there's an extremely good chance that's exactly how I would die in a zombie apocalypse. And that flicker of fellow-feeling took me a surprisingly long way. ( )
  bragan | Sep 30, 2014 |
On the scale between the excellent ([b:The First Days|9648068|The First Days (As The World Dies A Zombie Trilogy #1)|Rhiannon Frater|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1312075271s/9648068.jpg|5431515]) and the atrocious ([b:Married With Zombies|7716140|Married With Zombies (Living with the Dead, #1)|Jesse Petersen|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1265814659s/7716140.jpg|10450081]) zombie novels this sits somewhere in the middle.

Allison is working in a bookstore when zombies attack sending her and the rest of the staff behind the reinforced door to the backrooms. There they wait for rescue and struggle to subsist on what they have. Allison discovers a wireless internet network and searches for information and other survivors which escalates into blogging her experiences while others from around the world comment. The pace picks up when a zombie squirrel* enters the picture and shatters all illusions of their relatively safe existence thus far, and Allison continues to post as survival forces her to travel.

Personalities and physical descriptions are fully formed. Most of the characters are quite distinct apart from the Black Earth Wives, the remains of a religious community who evolve into faceless, cardboard-cutout zealots hellbent on stamping out the sinners and the damned (zombies) and re-populating Earth by means of kidnap and rape of surviving men and women, and those who refuse are either burned alive or sacrificed to the walking dead. Nice.

Roux/Allison shied away from giving details in certain areas. Apparently being able to clean your ears is more important than having tampons. Things like intimacy and sex are omitted or very briefly mentioned at the wrong moments. Allison's relationship with Collin is ambiguous for a while because not enough information is given. Are they together? Are they having sex? Do they even have condoms? We find out later there was a limited supply of condoms but at a point when this was no longer an issue for Allison.

There's a strong focus on relationships. Allison's need to reconnect with her mother -a cancer sufferer, the trials and tribulations of two marriages and an engaged couple, plus Allison's own romance issues, and the responsibility of caring for children. It get's pretty messy. I'm disappointed by the out the author gives for Collin and Allison from his marriage by pairing his wife and nephew up and leaving them elsewhere. It's inexplicable when Lydia obviously wanted Collin. I guess there wasn't time to explore that side of things.

Allie makes some understandable mistakes, however, some of her decisions are either TSTL or extremely rash. In particular, her decision to sneak out and leave the group to go it alone, which under the circumstances I can understand why she would want to do this but it seemed an incredibly stupid thing to do and perhaps selfish for depriving a group she's come to know and care about of a valuable resource. Her sadistic revenge on the thief I tried to put down to adrenaline and stress but it's hard to forgive when she had the option to kill rather than torture and maim. Roux appears to realise she's turned the audience against her heroine and has Allie feel remorseful and shock at her own actions at a later date. After this her likability fell through the floor. And her crazy, outlandish heroics fell on deaf ears.

Far more detail is given at the beginning with a slower pace becoming increasingly rushed to a short, summarized ending. Frustrating and unsatisfying. I felt Julian was short-changed and deserved more page time to discover his motivation for leaving his only family and how he felt about it. I'm not even sure we get a proper physical description other than his injuries. I was sad at his passing. Mourning deaths is almost non-existent, once they're gone, they're gone although only unnecessary and useless characters die except for Julian, a doctor. Zombie cliche alert. "MY SON ATE MY BABY GIRL!" was as close as we got to heart-wrenching grief.

*Eating meat will have to be a thing of the past if animals can be zombified. Also, the human race may be f*cked. Maybe it only affects mammals though. That would explain why the fish and birds seemed unaffected. Then again, the squirrel is the only infected animal we come across. So, can animals be infected, or not?

Overall, it didn't really work for me.

2.5 stars. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
Not really impressed with these zombies. Or the constant language. I didn't feel it was necessary. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
100 years have passed since the initial Outbreak back in 2009. With society slowly rebuilding, a small University press is assembling a collection of biographical essays to outline the hardships and successes occurring once the Outbreak was brought under control. To this end, Professor Michael Stockton, Jr., believes the story he uncovered may be of interest to the editor of the collection and sends him one blogger's account of the first months of people trying to survive in a world suddenly turned upside down by the dead who've somehow reanimated.

The posts begin with Allison Hewitt trapped in a Brooks & Peabody shop on the night of September 15, 2009, when the infected first attacked the store. She and a few employees barricade themselves in a back room, and after a few days, Allison manages to find a signal connecting her laptop to the military's emergency wireless network. She begins a record of the events of the past days and what life is like, being stuck in the back room, not knowing what's happening to the rest of the world. A sudden disaster changes people, and Allison retells these changes and the relationships of the group as they try to find a way out of the shop before their meager food rations run out.

She finds other survivors out there, thanks to the comments on her posts, filled with words of encouragement as well as bits and pieces of news. And through her chronicle of events, of the other survivors she meets, and the constant threat of the undead lurking in the background, she creates a snapshot of the new world as it adjusts and evolves.

What I like about "Allison Hewitt Is Trapped" is the focus on the relationships and group dynamics, how people react when forced into difficult situations, even falling in love with someone unexpected. The undead still exist, keeping everyone on their guard, and they make their presence known in many a gruesome way, but the struggle to be alive comes first and foremost. Maybe it's a preference of mine. All the blood and guts and gore can get boring after a while, so allowing it to take a backseat or even to cause a delay in posting allows for the characters and the story to take shape. I've read epistolary novels before -- "The Color Purple", "e", even "Griffin and Sabine" -- but this is the first told solely through blog posts, and it worked for me, adding tertiary characters acting my thoughts out or creating tension when, as I mentioned before, no posts appear for days and the concern in her readers' comments made me continue on to find out what happened.

"Allison Hewitt Is Trapped" is a fine novel of the undead, and being a blogger myself, I enjoy the idea of using that medium to tell a complete story. Definitely worth a read. ( )
  ocgreg34 | Jul 16, 2014 |
Being trapped in a book store when the Zombie Apocalypse hits - now that is where I would want to be when the crusty creepers finally make their appearance. Immediately this book pinged my radar as a 'must' read.

What made it even more appealing is that Allison blogs all of her encounters. That this is actually how the story is told - via her posting the events on the blog should grab all you blogging junkies by the nose. In the beginning blogging is what she does to get it all out of her head but ultimately turns into her reaching out to the other people in the world who've managed to stay 'connected'.

Allison moves through each series of events making bonds and breaking them *KaPoW* style. She is learning about that ugly monster that lives inside us all and how much it loves a little shiny red ax. (Imagine Tabitha at this point doing a high kick like some comicbook hero wannabe complete with sound effects!)

This book is light on the gore for those that don't like their zombie books to be a brain munching gut fest - but what it lacks in gore it makes up in snarky humor. It even has a dash of romance. This gem had me laughing out loud! Allison is definitely a gal after my own heart. I could only hope I would kick as much zombie tookis if the time were to come. There is really something that endears me about a heroine that would risk possible infection and death just for a read, any read.

Favorite part of this book? - 'let's go fly a kite...." Read it to find out - because I rate this book absolute Rocksauce!
( )
  Pabkins | Jun 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
"I've never laughed so much while being so creeped out...Roux did the impossible: she made zombies funny."
added by cmwilson101 | editAmazon, New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson
 
“Madeline Roux doesn't just offer an engaging and addictive adventure story, though she's certainly done that; she manages to answer the eternal question all of us must ask ourselves eventually: "When the zombie apocalypse comes (and it will come), how will I handle it?" For my part, I hope I manage it with as much humanity and determination as Allison. But I would like to make a request for bigger weapons.”
added by cmwilson101 | editAmazon, New York Times bestselling author of The Others series Christine Warren
 
“Finally, a zombie apocalypse done right. ALLISON HEWITT IS TRAPPED is a smart and furious thrill-ride, touched with just the right mix of humor and romance. Madeleine Roux's stunning characters and breathless action are unforgettable.”
added by cmwilson101 | editAmazon.com, New York Times bestselling author of Magic Bleeds Ilona Andrews
 
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Book description
One woman's story as she blogs about — and fights back against — 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.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312658907, Paperback)

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.

 

“Madeline Roux manages to answer the eternal question all of us must ask ourselves eventually: "When the zombie apocalypse comes (and it will come), how will I handle it?" For my part, I hope I manage it with as much humanity and determination as Allison. But I would like to make a request for bigger weapons.”

--Christine Warren, New York Times bestselling author of The Others series

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:39 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Allison Hewitt and five colleagues are trapped together at their bookstore when the zombie outbreak hits, and she records events on her blog.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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