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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

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2353849,137 (3.84)14
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)

  1. 30
    Feed by Mira Grant (anngeht)
    anngeht: 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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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
3.5 stars

I loved how this zombie, apocalypse-style book began with a bang in a bookshop of all places. The survivors, an eccentric group mix, were trapped for survival in the back storage room. Soon it was inevitable for them to leave the sacred place, however, venturing up into apartments nearby and then out into the world. I won't spoil the trip of the voyage, but while it was sad to leave the bookstore (I'm such a book dork), their journey continues on interesting routes and explorations.

Allison as the main character is likeable in ways - she's a literary student, which is always a superior choice. Throughout the novel sometimes she reflects on the importance and love of books. Overall she's a loyal kind of gal and really wanting to find her mother again. She's certainly cold enough to survive in this twisted world. I don't know the exact source, but I couldn't find myself falling in love with the protagonist, which made it harder to rate the book higher and get a fuller enjoyment out of it. Other characters, while not always fleshed out through thorough exploration, helped keep the novel afloat.

As far as zombie tales go, this one's mild. Compared to others of it's ilk, there's not as many undead attacks, little gore, and violence is used when needed but not continuously. These aren't really criticisms - I don't need endless violence and blood splatter to create good zombie efforts. But the sedate events blended with the calm protagonist and writing style did not result in a tension filled or action paced book. You want to know what happens, of course, but there's little hurry to get there.

I dig how the author established two types of zombie identities. Her writing style is easy to follow - sophisticated but not drug down, to the point and excellent with inner reflection.

I must say one of the better things about the book was how it was written - as a blog, with comments from a few select readers around the world. This cool twist in technology was a new way to connect, although I wonder if some wondered at times if she was exaggerated her heroic efforts. Other times I wondered how she could realistically write this stuff after the fact considering what situations and locations she ends up in.
The reader comments opened a window into the mind of other characters we never get to actually see, and for some reason this was one of the better things of the book. I only wish there could have been more comments as these are kept sparse.


( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Allison Hewitt was hard at work in a bookstore when the zombie apocalypse broke out. Now she's trapped in the store room with her boss, a few coworkers and a couple of the store's regular customers. For now, things seem okay because they have a few supplies but Allison knows that they cannot afford to stay in the store room. As she and her compatriots look for someplace safe to live, Allison cannot stop thinking of her mother who has cancer. When Allison learns that her mother may have moved on to a place called Liberty Village, Allison must choose between staying with her fellow survivors or heading out on her own to find her mother.

What drove me to read Allison Hewitt Is Trapped, is the fact that the book is written in a series of blog posts. For me, this amounted to a unique device to tell a story. Unfortunately, the blog concept didn't really work and left me wondering if Roux had actually read a blog? If you are writing a blog post about something which happened, it should read like a recollection and not like the events are current. Furthermore, writing about past events should evoke some kind of personal introspection which these supposed posts were absolutely lacking. The only way in which Roux stayed true to the blog format was by having comments at the end of each entry. The comments became the only real representation of a blog post; however, they also served to pull me out of the story because they included brief snippets from what I would call less than side characters and their peril.

It has to be said, Allison's ability to keep her laptop safe and continue to find free wifi to post as the world falls apart really made no sense to me whatsoever. Why would someone prioritize this as a form of record keeping in a zombie apocalypse?

Chick-lit is a guilty pleasure of mine but after reading Allison Hewitt Is Trapped, I'm not sure that it lends itself well to a dystopain zombie setting. The very nature of a zombie apocalypse means darkness and suffering juxtaposed to Allison's upbeat attitude really felt at odds; it made this apocalypse seem so sanitized. I was particularly irked by Allison's love life. She doesn't know if her mother is alive or dead, is fighting for food and shelter, yet somehow she manages to fall in love with an older married man. Given the threat to her life and safety, am I really supposed to find her drama as the other woman believable or even interesting? Every time Allison went on about how much she hated Collin's wife, I couldn't help but shake my head. Who the hell would be worrying about this shit now? Worse still, Allison stopped just short of wishing his wife dead on several occasions and then had the nerve to wonder if she is a bad person.

I think it would have helped had the characters had any depth to them whatsoever. Allison throwing snark and shipping people eg, "Hollianted", does not make up for the fact that none of these characters felt like real people to me. The religious cult which developed on campus just felt like a silly segue that went nowhere. Sure, I can get behind people seeing an apocalypse through a religious lens but the way this cult of women functioned simply didn't make any sense to me. It all felt like a really crappy version of The Handmaid's Tale.

If all of that is not enough, there's the purple prose.
Somehow the radio the didn't quite convey the loveliness of his reading voice. It distorted it, as if all the death and ugliness hanging between us in space had corroded the quality of his voice until ti was a thin imitation. Even then, even with Zack next to me, it had been beautiful; but now, seeing him, being in the same room as the text and the man and the voice, it's incandescent.
Potential.
There are times when out potential grows weary of trembling in shadow and comes suddenly, violently, to the fore. Like a song forced through our pores, or water crashing over a broken dam. that potential arrives, determined, demanding out attention. Maybe there are other thing in that locked vault-maybe there's more than just violence and deception and coldness. Maybe there is a radiance, love, a kind of longing that singes you inside. (pg 121-122)
For all the faults of Allison Hewitt Is Trapped, erasure is not one of them. Renny is a lesbian who is captured by the religious cult for the purposes of reproduction. Allison manages to help her escape and from that point on, Renny and Allison are pretty much ride or die friends. I like that Renny is very clear about who she is and what her sexuality is. Prior to the apocalypse when dealing with her homophobic mother who thought that Renny's lesbianism was a fad, Renny made it clear that not even at the end of the world would she be interested in a man. When the end of the world does happen, Renny decides that for the good of mankind she might be willing to procreate but that doesn't change her sexuality. When Allison jokes that if she were "into pussy" that Renny would be her first choice, I love that Renny responds, "you should be so lucky." This really is a stab at the idea that LGBT people will just sleep with anyone and don't in fact have a type. Later, Allison even acknowledges that she's out of Renny's league.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Jun 7, 2016 |
I loved this book. It's a great story and Ms. Roux has a whimsical style of writing that hooked me right away. I also loved the concept.

Nutshell blurb: A zombie outbreak has occurred and Allison Hewitt is trapped in a bookstore with colleagues. She blogs about her experiences of trying to survive.

What? You might ask. How the heck could someone maintain a blog during a zombie apocalypse? And you would be right to ask. I felt that the author did a great job of addressing this issue. Apparently there's something called SNet that the government and military have implemented in case of an emergency such as the one in this book. The interesting thing about this concept is that the laptop remains at the centre of the action at all times. It is something to be protected otherwise, there's no story. Ms. Roux does a great job of explaining the continued use of a laptop when there's no electricity or when the living dead decide to launch an attack on our heroine.

I liked the characters and could sympathise with Allison. My one disappointment (and it's a little one) is that I felt as though the end was a little too wrapped up for me. It's not completely tied with a bow, but I felt that the romantic connections were a bit contrived. I don't want to say anything else as I don't want to spoil it for you if you decide to read it.

All in all, it was a fun read. ( )
  BuffyBarber | Jun 5, 2016 |
Overall, it is an above average zombie novel with decent writing and decent characterizations. The flow of the story was off a bit though - it felt like 3 vignettes woven together, and not all parts were equally sensible. Part 1 was Allison trapped in a store where people behaved pretty much as you would expect. Part 2 was Allison in a re-purposed FEMA camp which, for 3/4 of the section was reasonable behavior, but then, last 1/4 stuff happened that made no sense and was based on some strange stereotype around religious women. Part 3 was a 'road trip' segment which felt the most rushed (i.e. Allison did a lot of stuff in part 3 while parts 1 & 2 she kinda just sat around on her bottom and ordered people around).

The weakest part was the 'romantic' component... I had thought I read that Collin was in his 50s, but when Allison took up with him, I figured I must have mis-read it. This whole relationship is glossed over, however - other than a couple mentions that they shared a tent, there was not much contact/mush between them. Until she leaves, which... was weird, because all of a sudden this relationship which was pretty understated to this point became front and center to her motivation to leave, on her own, in a zombie infested world. Then the next 1/4 of the book focuses on her pining over him.

It is wrapped up okay - and the female characters were competent and real and not there as man-prizes, so that is a big shift in zombie fiction. And I did kinda like Allison... I just thought the actual storyline was a bit choppy, and the romantic component was contrived. I also quite liked the blogging component which allowed for little glimpses into how the apocalypse was affecting people outside of Allison's sphere.

I will certainly read more by this author - if only because these female characters are not merely vaginas. ( )
  crazybatcow | Mar 26, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:44 -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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