I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall

I Am Still Alive

Kate Alice Marshall

When Jess is stranded in the woods she must fight with everything she has to survive because she wants revenge on the people and circumstances that have brought her here.

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"This tense wire of a novel thrums with suspense. . . . [this book] just might be the highlight of your summer.”–The New York Times

Cheryl Strayed's Wild meets The Revenant in this heart-pounding story of survival and revenge in the unforgiving wilderness.


After: Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive—for now.
 
Before: Jess hadn’t seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.
 
After: With only her father’s dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she’s stronger than she ever imagined.

Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father…and she wants revenge.


Advance Galley Reviews

In 'I Am Still Alive', Kate Alice Marshall gives us a solid, exciting, & bold survivalist read.This tale is reminiscent of- or maybe more easily explained as, similar to a modern 'Hatchet' by Gary Paulsen, in which the author even gives a shout out to. Some other tales I found myself remembering while reading this one are: 'Lord of the Flies' and 'Island of the Blue Dolphins'. I can see some resembling undertones of all three of those amazing novels, while 'I am Still Alive' does hold it's own on being it's own unique read. The fact that the main character Jess tells her story in short chapters of before, after, & seasonal parts makes this tale super fast paced, and compulsively readable. A good book makes you think and feel and care.... If your still thinking about it later, days after reading the last words on the pages.....thats a great book!

Somewhat decent but a rather slow paced story. Not really my cup of tea overall.

3 Stars... I love a good survival story but this story felt like a non-stop pity party from start to finish. I got so tired of listening to Jess cry and feel sorry for herself. It was just way too much. I seriously found myself having more sympathy for the dog, then I did Jess. It definitely needs more action and suspense and less whining!

Decent story, book was slow paced. This was a put it down and pick it up when you have nothing better to do type of book.

I received a free advanced copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book. It caught my attention from the beginning. I wanted to know how Jess gets into the situation where her cabin burns down and she's stuck alone in the wilderness. How unlucky is she that she survives a car crash that leaves her with a damaged leg only to have this happen after being sent to live with a father she never knew? I liked that you get the story in bits and pieces through her journal. And, most of all, I wanted to know if her and Bo survive.

I liked this book well enough. I decided to read this book because the premise sounded rather interesting. Having never read this author before, I really didn't go into the book with too many expectations. I found it to be a pretty easy read that I did enjoy. I did feel like there was something missing from the story that could have taken it to the next level for me but I am glad that I took a chance and decided to read this one. Jess has not had it easy lately. She was recently in an automobile accident with her mother. Her mother did not survive the accident and Jess sustained some pretty serious injuries. She has spent time in the hospital recovering and was eventually placed with a foster family. Eventually she is sent to be with her father who has not played much of a role in her life and lives off the grid. There is no way that Jess could have prepared herself for living with her father. He lives in a tiny cabin in the middle of the woods in Canada along with his dog, Bo. He has very few connections to the outside world and lives off of the land. When Jess arrives, he starts to show her some of the skills she will need to know in her new home. Jess really doesn't have a lot of interest in learning the things her father is trying to teach her and is mad at the whole situation. The book is written as Jess's journal and starts out with alternating chapters of before and after which I thought worked really well. It becomes quite obvious that this have taken a wrong turn very early in the book but it does take some time to find out exactly what did happen. This is a story of survival. Jess finds herself alone in the woods with no shelter, few supplies, and not a lot of skill with only a dog as support. I did like Jess as a character. I felt so bad for Jess and her desperation feels very authentic. She has a lot of small victories and quite a few set backs, all of which could prove to be fatal. I would recommend this book to fans of survival stories. Jess is a tough character that is working hard to survive in a nearly impossible situation. I wouldn't hesitate to read more of Kate Alice Marshall's work. I received a digital review copy of this book from Viking Books for Young Readers via First to Read.

Survival stories are real hit or miss for me. I especially get bogged down if there's a walking/ journey aspect. (I call this Wasteland Wandering.) So I'm always a little cautious when I pick up a survival story. But something about this one seemed like it would be a good fit. After her mother dies, Jess is sent to live with her estranged father. She doesn't know him hardly at all and is not pleased to learn that he is a hardcore survivalist living in the Canadian wilderness all alone. Then her father is murdered before her eyes, and Jess is truly and utterly alone. The cabin has been burned to the ground and winter is coming. I Am Still Alive is part survival story part revenge story. And I really liked it. The survival aspect is very engaging. How would Jess survive with basically no outdoor skills? The before/ after structure keeps the reader hooked, and I think also helps it from getting to wasteland wanderish. Kate Alice Marshall's debut is quick read. I really liked the Canadian setting. It's very well described. Jess is the sole character for a good portion of the book, but she is definitely engaging enough to pull that off. Four stars.

Jess is left alone in the forest to survive by herself after life hits her twice first with the dead of her mother and then taking her father away. So she has a disabillity and need to learn how to survive when mother nature is not cooperating. For me this book wasn’t what I expected, I thought it will be a page turner but insted i felt it a little slow on some parts... Also, there were some times when the plot about her father felt a little forced. To me this will be a 3 star rating .

I’m always annoyed by survival stories that feel like the stakes are low, or nonexistent. Often we follow a protagonist who is SUPER well trained, or the actual dangers of being stranded in the wilderness are overlooked to make a story more dramatic. This story is plenty dramatic, and PLENTY realistic. We watch Jess struggle, and suffer, and fail. We cheer for her and cry with her. A great read, 4/5 stars.

I enjoyed I Am Still Alive. It reminded me a lot of the book Hatchet, a book I loved as a kid. Hatchet was even referenced in I Am Still Alive. Overall an entertaining read that I could not put down. I love survival stories even though they remind me that I would be a goner. Jess is a strong leading character and Bo is a great sidekick to have. Rating 3 out of 5 stars.

I thought this book was a unique story about survival. It really catches your attention and you don't want to stop reading. I liked the pace of the story. There is plenty of suspense as well. Also if you are wanting to read this based on the revenge part, then I wouldn't recommend it. Most of the book is about survival.

I Am Still Alive by Kate Marshall 2 stars Jess is completely alone in the wilderness. Her father is gone and the cabin is burned down. She has to survive with only her dad’s dog and a few scavenged supplies from the remains of the cabin. Jess knows she doesn’t have a long time to time survive before the cold kills her. She must seek out food, build a shelter, and keep herself warm. She has to stay alive because she wants revenge on the men who killed her father and put her in this predicament in the first place. I’m not sure where this novel falls genre wise. It’s a survival story at its core but it is meant to be suspenseful. Surviving in the wilderness is scary but surviving alone and with a handicap is scarier. Jess’ situation is much more horrifying because she isn’t supposed to be in the woods in the first place. She’s supposed to be getting therapy and going to high school, but her dad prefers to live off the grid. Marshall takes this situation and uses to up the scales. The content can be shocking and huge warnings for animal cruelty because she is hunting to survive and at times it seems almost like a callous reaction. If I’m being honest, this book is kind of boring though. Besides the basic concept it’s not all that gripping. I was more invested than her relationship with her dad’s dog, Bo, than I was with her trying to stay alive and get revenge. Marshall isn’t a bad writer, but I wasn’t gripped by her style of storytelling. I found this book easy to put down and it wasn’t a priority for me to finish it. I was just kind of meander through the experience of reading this book. I didn’t really hate it, like it, or love it. I was in the weird category of indifference. This is worse than the MEH category for me because MEH means mediocre, but indifference just means that I couldn’t be bothered. There was a couple of great paragraphs and sentences that I really enjoyed, but nothing about this story stuck with me. It’s forgettable. “To survive you need to learn to hold contradictory things in your head at the same time. I am going to die; I am going to live. There is nothing to fear; be wary of everything. In this moment I find a new contradiction. The indifference of the wild is terrifying—I want to be remembered, to leave a mark. And it is freeing, knowing that the forest does not care, does not judge. My failure will go unmarked—no mourning, no mockery. For the first time in my life, there are no expectations of me at all. The only thing that matters is what I want, what I can do.” Whimsical Writing Scale: 2 Jess is a very sad character to follow. Her situation feels hopeless and she has the worse luck (probably because of her lack of knowledge about survival). I didn’t really like Jess though. I just couldn’t be bothered with her at times. She didn’t feel like she had a lot of personality. I found it hard to root for her because I didn’t know her. She was just there and had all these problems, but if you asked me what her dreams are or what qualities I’d use to define her, I’d struggle a bit. Besides the obvious trait of having a lot of willpower, she didn’t go beyond that for me. She felt one dimensional. Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2 The Villain- Listen, this is probably the part of the book I liked the least. It went from surviving to revenge and it became too much. It was kind of convoluted and it just seemed like Jess’ desire to survive was thrown to the wayside. Plus, I still don’t the motives behind these killers and it was just weird. Villain Scale: 1.5 There is a couple of characters, but it’s interactions of the past. There’s her dad who is a weird character and we don’t know anything about him. It’s weird because I think I’m supposed to feel sympathy towards him and I kind of do, but also, I don’t because who even is he. Bo is the star of this book and if dog deaths destroy your soul avoid this book at all cost. Character Scale: 1.5 Overall, this isn’t a bad novel. Like I said earlier, I’m indifferent towards it. It didn’t anger me or incite a lot of emotions, but I think fans of survivalist stories will enjoy this one. Plotastic Scale: 2 Cover Thoughts: I really like this cover. It’s creepy and it looks ominous. Thank you, First to Read and Viking Books for Young Readers, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Jess was unbelievably strong character that faced all odds to survive alone in the world. She was able to be successful ever after losing her mother and her father. I found this character to be admirable and I really developed a place in my heart for her trials. I seldom read survivalist novels, but this was definitely a welcome change. Thanks for the ARC, First to Read.

I found the beginning a little juvenile and obnoxious. However, Jess finally grew on me as did the (slightly unbelievably intelligent) Bo. Oh, sweet Bo. I cried real tears for that dog. Which I don't do easily. As soon as the journal entries ended I found the book much more enjoyable and was satisfied with the realism of the events and the ending. It didn't end easily which was more believable and enjoyable.

Jess is alone. She is angry, hurt and struggling to stay alive. First she lost her mother in a car accident that left her injured and facing months of physical therapy. Then she was shipped off to live with her father in the Canadian wilderness. She barely remembers her father and she doesn't want to live with him in the middle of nowhere. No radio. No electricity. No nothing. Soon after she arrives, her dad is gone too and Jess is left to face the wilderness alone. Can she survive? I love this book! Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. I had to find out what happens! I binge read the entire thing. The story is suspenseful and compelling. Jess is stronger and more capable than she believes at first. As she struggles to learn how to hunt and keep herself dry and warm, she comes to learn just how intelligent and resourceful she is. She not only takes care of herself and her dad's dog, Bo, but she prepares for a showdown with the people who took her father away. She knows they are coming back....but she's going to be ready for them. It's quite the showdown in the end! Great book! I have a weakness for suspense thrillers set in the wilderness. This book was just what I love! I'm definitely going to read more by this author. The story was well-written and the pacing kept the suspense going from beginning to end! I don't binge read books very often...but this one I just could not put down. **I voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book from Penguin via First To Read. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

Every time I read a book like this I realize how very dead I would be if I ever got lost in the woods! Put me up in the wilderness of Canada or Alaska and throw me in complete darkness and snow - and forget it - I might last 5 minutes. Jess is alone. Her mother dies in a car crash, severely injuring here and now she's got no-one. She's only 16, and is in turn, forced to go live with her estranged father who she hasn't seen in about 12 years. Dad is a homesteader, and off-the-grid, he hates the government, and is living off the land. They are out in the middle of nowhere in the rough Canada wilderness, and this life she's dumped into, is a harsh shocking reality. But then something goes horribly bad. Her father is dead. And Jess is alone. Cue me freaking out! We read through journal entries Jess writes about her life with her mom - before. Her brief time with her dad - before. And then we reach - after. Where Jess has no-one but a loyal dog-wolf hybrid, named Bo, and her own sheer willpower. Will she survive the winter in Canada? How will she eat, stay warm, and even just survive walking through the wilderness when her body is still hurting and broken. And who killed her father? This was an easy breezy read that had me sucked in front start to finish. The writing is really good and I enjoyed the suspense and found myself rooting for Jess (and Bo!) to survive. A really good book.

I really enjoyed this book. I liked it when back and forth in time to set up the story and was clearly labeled at the beginning of each chapter so I didn't get confused. I liked how Jess grew throughout the book, she started out so so broken. I loved Bo! Some of Jess's decisions were pretty terrible and I found myself internally yelling at her stupidity. But she's just a teenager, teenagers can be stupid! Overall, I really liked the book and look forward to more by Kate Alice Marshall.

3 stars These reviews are the hardest to write. Positive reviews are just a lot of gushing. Negative reviews are just a lot of nitpicking. But smack dab in the middle 3 star reviews? Oooh, these are so hard. There are pros and cons to this book, and in the end, it kind of felt like the pros and cons balanced each other out and made a very solid 3. Imagine it being red as the cons and green as the pros and this book is that brown you get when you mix red and green. Meh. This book was so damn entertaining. Survivalist stories almost always are, if you take out the boring things and make enough random animals attack you and make the character do stupid things. Kate Marshall did a really good job of making the survivalist part entertaining, and I didn’t feel like she did anything too stupid when talking about survival (except for one instance which I’ll talk about later). Most of her actions were pretty decent, and you could tell how Marshall wrote about Jess’ emotions clouding her judgement and making her do not so smart things. I was definitely entertained, proven by the fact that I read this over the course of two and a half hours in one sitting. Just me, in bed, cuddled in my blanket (to ward off the fictional cold, of course) frantically tapping my phone to read the next page. I thought the pacing was definitely a highlight of this book because it kept me engaged and hooked into the novel. Likewise, this is one of those circumstances where I felt like the before and after structure was a good narrative choice. It made the suspense bigger, and wasn’t like a cop out in skipping the intense scenes. I think the background “how she got to the middle-of-nowhere Canada” was important and the now “survival” story was important too, and this was a good choice to blend the two. But, there were a considerable amount of downsides. I mean, first of all, the before & after plot structure didn’t have a lot of plot. She didn’t really grow as a character (she literally chose the worst way to escape–through revenge, not character growth) so it’s not really a character-based plot (if it is, yikes). And there’s almost half the story which is background on her coming to Canada and disliking her dad and getting in a car crash, while the other half is her trying to survive and work out a whacked revenge scheme. It just felt like the overarching storyline didn’t have a lot to it. Survivalist stories usually don’t. Although it’s certainly entertaining, I feel like there’s still a lot left to be desired in terms of actual plot rather than entertaining scenes. Also, the entire book could have not happened if the MC actually did something right. Like, oh my god. This is kind of a spoiler, but it’s so outlandish and in the first 100 pages that people deserve to know. A guy arrives in a plane and sees the burned down house and the main character, who is stranded in the boonies with basically nothing, SHE DOESN’T CALL OUT TO HIM because she’s scared he’s one of the bad guys. Well, guess what? The bad guys have guns. Did this guy have a gun? Not that I know about. Did this guy have sidekicks? Not that I know about. It was a single dude in a plane, and she was standing at the edge of the woods, intentionally letting her chance of escape slip through her fingertips because he could have been a bad guy. I wanted to throw my phone across the room, because this is so frustrating. Look. I get that she’s scared, but if you’re scared of what “might happen,” you might as well never leave your house. Or maybe it’s time to build a bunker. This felt like such a frustrating move on her part, and it spoiled a lot of the book for me because you know that the after wouldn’t really have happened if she just! called! out! Though overall, this did end up being a pretty entertaining read. If you’re a hardcore survivalist fiction fan and you’re willing to overlook said mishaps, then I’d recommend this to you. But, if you’re as frustrated as I am about that decision, then this book probably isn’t worth your time.

This book could be a YA version of the movie The Revenant except with a super-tough teenage girl, Jess, as the main character. An absolutely riveting story of survival that I could not put down! A little bit of suspense, a little bit of mystery and a whole lot of survival skills in the Canadian wilderness. Some violent scenes but a gripping portrayal of a young girl trying to survive alone in the wilderness. Definitely worth your time!!!

It took me about 80 pages to really get into this one, and once I did, it was a real page-turner. It's a very gripping survival/coming of age story of perhaps the world's unluckiest teenage girl. I really enjoyed it right til a point near the end where something extra bad happens. I hate to give a spoiler, so I will just say it's something that rhymes with "the bog bies." I just couldn't get past that, and I finished the book with a bad taste in my mouth. Seriously wish books came with warnings for that.

Oh my goodness. What a page turner, I stayed up late reading it because I had to know what happens. I definitely recommend this book. Jess is so strong and resilient.

Wonderful book full of bravery and suspense. The lead character is a beautiful strong girl and because of that I will be highly recommending this book to my niece and cousins.

I keep starting to write something about this book and then erasing it and starting again because I'm still processing what I just read and it left me with so many feelings. I Am Still Alive was a way less-boring Hatchet with a kickass female lead. Jess's evolution from justifiably-pouty teen stuck in the Canadian wilderness with her crazy father into an unbelievably resourceful and resilient wilder-woman was riveting and strangely believable considering all of the unbelievable things Jess has to do to survive.. As if an intense wilderness survival story wasn't enough, another thread featuring men with guns and a mysterious buried crate is also happening. Don't worry, it's not one of those pointless storylines that's thrown in to pump up the action. It's all weaved together nicely into a final insane showdown. I'm pretty sure I didn't breath for the last 20 pages or so. But when it really comes down to it, I think I loved I Am Still Alive so much because it was a beautifully written story of finding meaning amidst terrible tragedy and courage in the face of unfathomable fear. I'm surprised this was a debut novel - I can't wait to see what Kate Alice Marshall writes next.

There are some spoilers in this post. I thought the book was fun and full of adventure. It was a decently quick read because the story flowed well. However, the dog dies. And that brings the overall story way down for me, especially because the dog dying felt like lazy writing to me. Somehow the dog gets shot - in the shoulder, makes it all the way home, and then dies right as they're being saved? It just didn't make any sense. Especially because the dog died because she shot him, not from the original wound. That basically ruined the rest of the book for me because it just felt different from the rest of the survival story.

I was privileged to get a copy of this gripping survival novel by Kate Alice Marshall from Penguin's First to read. Although many will compare this novel to other classic survival novels, I feel as though it would be a disservice to this novel to be lumped in with others as it has distinctly different characteristics. The Protagonist is a young woman struggling with real world issues, death of a parent, reconnecting with an estranged one and new surroundings. That on it's own would make a great novel, but there is so much more to this novel. Could not put it down. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you First to Read for the advanced copy of this book. The book is good. It is full of suspense and surviving. I couldn't put the book down because the plot is interesting and easy to read. I felt sad in some parts of it but I enjoyed it. I Am Still Alive reminds me of a book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. If you are looking for a YA book that is about the main character surviving, then you should get this book.

The survival instinct can be very strong. Jess, a 16 year old, is the testament to that; she has survived a car crash which caused the death of her mother and left Jess with physical impairments to overcome; she is surviving being sent to live with her father who she is surprised to discover is living off-the-grid in wilderness Canada. But, Jess finds herself with a strong survival instinct. She needs it when her father is killed by some acquaintances and she is left alone with a burned cabin, no phone, very few supplies and Bo, her father’s wolf-dog. Sometimes, she wishes she didn’t have the strong survival instinct and could just let herself die as the days go by and winter quickly comes. But with what she gleaned from her father in the short time before he was killed and her own determination, she finds herself with shelter and crudely hunting for food. She and Bo are surviving, she finds herself growing stronger and they are hoping for the return of her father’s friend who dropped her off months ago to rescue them. Then the men who killed her father returned and she wants revenge. The book is easy reading with gritty details of survival but is a testament to strong spirits. The author makes you care about Jess and Bo, keeps the plot moving quickly and has wonderful detailed descriptions of the lake and wilderness. Thanks to Penguin First Reads for an early copy.

Some people have compared this to Into the Wild, and while I see the obvious similarities between the themes and even basics are so wildly different I can't see it. While I appreciate Into the Wild, I think that's a good thing. This book is much easier for teenagers (especially female teens) to relate to and get. It's not the story of someone giving up what they have to pursue Emerson's thoughts. It's the story of someone just trying to deal with cards they've been dealt. Well written. Fast paced. Sad at times, but ultimately filled with joy.

Jess has just had her life turned upside down after a horrible crash that has left her with a disability and no mother. She is being sent to live with her father who she hasn't seen in 10 years. He lives in the middle of nowhere and is one of those people who live from the land. She is there a week when her father is murdered in front of her and the house is burned down. She is forced to learn to live from the land and has no experience at all about how to live. Will she last through the winter, or die trying to survive.

Jess Cooper is a girl who is recovering from a horrific car crash in which she loses her mother. She also is considered disabled because of the damage she sustained not just from the initial crash but the fire that followed. Now, rather than living in a foster home, she goes to live with her father whom she hasn't seen since she's a young girl. Thinking she's going to live in Canada, the plane takes her to an extremely remote location where there are no neighbors. Her father lives off the land and so Jess must learn to survive that way too, except she's so mad at her father for abandoning her, she is pushing back and not really paying attention. Which she sorely wishes she had when the sketchy men her father was dealing with shoot him and burn down the hand-built cabin they live in. Now she must learn to live in the harsh climate if she wants to survive. Having only her father's dog as a companion, things are sure to be hard. This was a great story, it reminded me a bit of My Side of the Mountain except Jess has the worst luck, nothing goes right. The author did a great job portraying what life would be like and wrote great characters, it's a very good storyline. Loved this book.

This story of a young girl's survival in the far north is pretty good......it's a survival story, so there are tough obstacles & hurdles that she must find a way to overcome & some scenes of violence & gore....but it fits the story. I might really rate this a 3.5 of 5 stars (5 being the best), but rounded up to a 4 star due to the easy, compelling readability of the book. It really moved right along, & was hard to put down. I think it fits nicely in the YA genre, but anyone would enjoy it. 'Easy read, hard to put down'....sounds like a good review to me! I received this e-galley from Penguin's First-To-Read program, in return for my own unbiased, fair/honest review.

I had the privilege to read this book through Penguin's First to Read, finding a gripping read in the survival genre from a young woman’s perspective. This work fit the speed and moderation of much of the YA thrillers of recent memory, but with some unique structural considerations and as real a protagonist as possible, considering the confines of the piece. Marshall picks up on the necessities of the winter survival story (with a passage offering winking nod to Hatchet and its copycats), and keeps the most enthralling points. The structure of the story in the first third, a diary recounting the struggles of protagonist Jess, is dropped a bit too summarily, in my view, and the time jumps before the third act are also somewhat convenient for the reader who was following the struggle more devotedly than the conspiracy. Overall, however, I did rip through the book with the ferocity of a lone wolf at forest’s edge (which of course also shows up in the pages of this text), and I appreciated some of the bleakness that matches the genre’s growth from the Gary Paulsen generation. While I wouldn’t call it light reading, this book keeps good pace and provides plenty of tension to fit any season.

Kate Marshall tells an intoxicating tale of survival and revenge in I am Still Alive. When 16 year old Jess is stranded in the wildness alone, she must fight to survive and some days thinking about revenge is the only thing that keeps her going. Kate Marshall's writing is absolutely brilliant and has a way of keeping you engaged throughout the story. I particularly loved the way Jess' disability was so accurately included. As someone who deals with my own disabilities from a younger age, I was drawn to this commodity. I could feel Jess' suffering, her determination, her fight. I stormed through this book in one day, longing for answers. I hadn't read a survival story quite like this one before. And while I expected more of a thriller aspect to it, I still wasn't disappointed when that component never really surfaced. There were moments in this book where I cringed (hunting animals and the details that go with it) but I do feel like they were necessary elements to make the story come to life. All in all, I loved every moment of this book.

I Am Still Alive is a dark and twisted read! It was so full of suspense, I couldn’t put it down! I would definitely recommend it!

I had the opportunity to read this book I Am Still Alive, and I really enjoyed it. I couldn't wait to find out what happens next. It seems like a lot of books lately switch between characters or time periods and this book is no exception. It switches between before and after until there is only now. The main character, Jess, is a sixteen year old girl who has been through a lot in a short amount of time. She finds her inner courage, and her survival instinct is strong. I really enjoyed her character. She is a fighter, and she realizes that she is stronger than she knows. This is a great story. It has loss, tragedy, death, resilience, survival, and an awakening. I would definitely recommend this book.

Jess is all alone. Her mother has died leaving her to fend for herself. The state sends her to staty with her only living kin, her father. But he lives in the middle of the Canadian woods, hiding from his past. When the two worlds collide it leaves Jess alone, wondering how she will face the future alone again.

Improbability notwithstanding, this is an entertaining story of a teen girl who is sent to live with her estranged father after the death of her mother. That she ends up in the back of nowhere and is quickly thrust into life and death survivalist mode was certainly not what social services had in mind. Bo, the wolf-dog, held my attention and pulled me along the tale of survival and revenge

Wow. I don’t even know where to start about this book. It’s about Jess who is basically trying to survive alone in the woods. I’m really not doing it justice but that’s the super basic gist. She is tested in so many ways and if this book taught me anything it is that I would die if I was ever in this situation. You don’t have to like camping to enjoy this book. (I hate camping. It’s so not my thing.) If you like strong MCs - difficult circumstances - and high stakes this book is for you.

16 year old Jess Cooper is still recovering from the fatal collision that killed her mother. She is sent to the remote Canadian wilderness to live with a father she barely knows. When tragedy strikes once again, Jess finds herself alone with only limited resources and her father's dog Bo. The cold will kill her first and winter is coming. With little hope of rescue she must remember to be smart not strong, if she wants to survive. I Am Still Alive, is a YA contemporary fiction about a young girl who finds herself alone in the Canadian wilderness. I don't want to spoil too much of the plot but there is quite a bit of suspense and a hint of mystery as well. The novel transitions with the character retelling the events as either before or after, with the pivotal moment explaining how she ended up alone. The plot is primarily about her enduring nature and the elements but there is a parallel story that connects to her father as well. I really enjoyed this novel and ended up finishing it in an afternoon because I just couldn't put it down. An exciting and engaging novel about enduring life's challenges; a must read for 2018.

Lately it's unusual for a book to hold my attention to the point that I don't want to put it down. This book did that. The last part of the book felt very suspenseful and had me reading quickly because I just wanted to know what happened. This is a survival story, but its more than just that. It's a story about a young woman who is broken, physically and emotionally. Through horrific events she pieces herself back together. Through this process becomes stronger than she ever would have been had those events never happened. It's a story of resilience and it's a very good one at that.

Sixteen year old Jess is at the mercy of nature and the crew of men who murdered her father. She has to use the survival skills Jess learned in the short time that she was reunited with her father in order to find a way to live through winter. I was hoping for more details, such as learning to make acorn flour that was outlined in My Side of the Mountain. Due to a fortuitous turn of events in school physical education, Jess happens to be adequately proficient in bow and arrow hunting. My favorite character was Bo, the dog. Be warned that nature is brutal, and both Bo and Jess have to engage in vivid depictions of killing animals. I finished the book in one reading because I had to know if Jess was able to get revenger for her father's murder. Thank you to First to Read for providing an advance copy of I Am Still Alive.

This book draws you in and makes you want to know how it ends. My heart broke for Jess, but at the same time her grit and determination were admirable. I have to admit I shed a tear at the end. The plot and writing were good and I would definitely recommend. Thanks Frist to Read for my advance copy!

--Thanks to First to Read for providing me a complimentary copy of I AM STILL ALIVE by Kate Alice Marshall in exchange for my honest review.-- A common failing of most young adult books that have recently hit the stores is the lack of originality. "I am Still Alive" is a book that in many ways falls into this same problem. The book is set in the middle of a Canadian forest and has a strong theme of survival. In many ways it reminds me strongly of a book called "My Side of the Mountain." The author tries create the feel of an original story in two main ways. The first way is to split the narration, so that you have the story line of before the tragedy and after the tragedy running side by side. This effect ends up being annoying as throughout the read I simply wanted to know what was happening at a given time. The second thing the author does to create a unique story line is to add a second level of the story. This accomplishes the task of making the story unique much better. Throughout the book, I was astonished by the general implausibility of the story line but I was also intrigued and wanted to read more. The author does a good job of drawing the reader into the story and convincing us we want to know how the story ends. However, once I got to the end I felt kind of let down by the ending. It seemed like the loose ends were just thrown together to finish the story. Overall, I would say this book is good for a quick read. It doesn't have much of substance or extreme originality but it is still enjoyable for a read.

***Thanks to First to Read for providing me a complimentary copy of I AM STILL ALIVE by Kate Alice Marshall in exchange for my honest review.*** ——>WARNING: dead animals, some graphic

 


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