Allison Hewitt is trapped in a bookstore. Zombies started to walk the earth while she was at work and she witnessed a regular customer getting her throat ripped out by a zombie. So, she and her coworkers hole up in their break room. They venture out for the meager snacks at the café and front desk, but living in such close quarters is wearing thin especially when there is no access to showers or a working toilet. To stave of insanity and loneliness, Allison starts a blog where she publishes her experiences in the zombie apocalypse using SNet, an emergency military network. As her adventure goes beyond the bookstore, she posts about her budding romance, pseudomilitary bullies, religious zealots, and a zombie squirrel.
Allison Hewitt is Trapped is a zombie novel with plenty of humor, scares, suspense, and romance. I really like that Allison is like me: a lit student with no experience with weapons and is expected to die within the first hour of the zombie apocalypse. She beats the odds and becomes very competent and badass, learning to use weapons and getting in crazy shape due to necessity. Of course not all is roses and rainbows. Her will to survive and the lack of any societal or legal rules causes Allison to commit terrible acts she didn’t know she was capable of, including maiming a man who stole food and leaving him to be eaten by zombies. The zombie apocalypse also doesn’t get in the way of her love life when she falls for Collin, former astronomy professor. I like this aspect because human feeling doesn’t just cease to exist even during a world shattering event.
I really like the frame story and the blog format. The opening page is a letter urging the archive of Allison’s blog to be included in an anthology of biographical essays of important figures from the Outbreak. The author of the letter, Professor Michael E. Stockton Jr., asserts that Allison’s account is easy to relate to for the average person because she did what was needed to survive just like anyone in her situation would. The last page is the response to that later, which I won’t spoil. The blog format is what makes the novel a little more interesting than just a zombie story. I like that Allison is honest throughout, even when her accounts may not paint her in the most favorable way. People from all over the world comment on her blog and shed light on what is going on beyond Allison’s world. They serve as a support group for each other and dispense advice as well as share updates on their situations. This is a unique format is sustained through the entire book.
The only thing I felt was lacking was the one appearance of a zombie squirrel. This proves that the virus can be given to animals, but this fact ignored in the rest of the book. I think it’s significant, especially to those surviving off of hunting and fishing.
Allison Hewitt is Trapped is a good zombie adventure with a strong female narrator. I would recommend it to any zombie fan and fellow lit majors.
My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins