Book Review: I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall

Back in June, I had the opportunity to meet Kate Alice Marshall and Natalie C. Parker for a mini book discussion. I say mini because it was a last minute thing and only two people showed up. I was lucky enough to get an arc of I Am Still Alive and an arc of Seafire, but this isn’t a Seafire review, is it? That will come later this month!

Today is about I Am Still Alive and how brilliant it was. When I first heard about this book, I knew it was going onto my TBR shelf. I have been getting into YA thrillers and this book definitely counts as a thriller.
I got this arc for reviewing from Quail Ridge and Kate Alice Marshall for the Teen Advisory Board.

I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall, published July 24th 2018 by Viking Books. Intended reading age is 12+. Strong language and violence throughout the book is present.

Publisher description:
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.

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book. Normally when I read a new book, it takes a few chapters for me to become fully involved. I started this at the end of June and then immediately went on vacation. I only just picked it up again yesterday after seeing John Green’s praise for it on twitter and I read it in one sitting. It was fantastic. I even cried towards the end. I was rooting for Jess and Bo the whole time.

Jess has had a pretty crappy life. Her father abandons her as a young girl, her and her mother gets into a car accident which kills her mother and injures Jess severely. She is put into foster care until the state can find her dad who is supposedly living in Alaska, but when she gets off of the plane a strange man named Griff meets her at the airport to take her to the wilderness of Canada where her dad has been living off of the country this whole time. Then her dad is killed. It is becoming Winter. Jess is a disabled teen with no survival knowledge. Like I said, a pretty crappy life.

I really liked Jess’ character. I enjoyed how much she adapted and she really put me into the mindset of a teenager with no knowledge and scared for her life. I thought some things were unrealistic, like her not having the knowledge to survive on her own and then the next page her thinking ” squirrels don’t have many calories but I’m not moving much so it’s okay” or “Cold will kill me first, so I have to do this and this and this before anything else” etc. I guess what I’m trying to say is I was just a little bit confused. I know I would not have been thinking those things.

The ending was a bit anticlimactic in my opinion but that is okay for a debut. I was devastated about what happened after she finally got in contact with someone. I was kind of knew what was coming but I was still sad.

One of my favorite parts of this book was whenever it felt so real, it was like I was there. I got up after finishing this book, super hungry, and it took me a solid minute to remember that I could go to the kitchen and get some food, that I wasn’t the one starving.

One thing I would’ve liked to see is how Jess acclimated to being back in the world. The poor girl is gonna have some serious anxiety and PTSD and I would’ve liked to see the trauma instead of it being brushed over by her hanging out with her therapist and step father, and hanging out with her friends who don’t ask questions.

In the end, I really enjoyed this book. I know the things I have issues with are because it is a debut and that Kate Marshall just needs time to improve. I will most likely be checking out her next book, whenever that may be!

My overall rating: 3.5/5 stars
Links to purchase I Am Still Alive: Quail RidgeBook DepositoryKobo


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