06 April 2018
I Am Still Alive
Marshall, Kate. I Am Still Alive. Viking BYR, 2018.
Jess's mother died in a car accident, and after Jess's leg has healed enough for her to sort-of walk again, she is sent to live with her father, a man she hasn't seen in over a decade. Her father lives in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, and he has warned Jess that he made some bad choices in life, and that if she ever sees a plane landing on the lake, to stay hidden no matter what. When the inevitable plane arrives, Jess's father is murdered, his cabin is burned, and Jess is left alone in the wilderness. Will she be able to survive the harsh Canadian winter, and what will she do to escape in the spring?
I am a sucker for survival stories - I remember wearing out my copy of My Side of the Mountain when I was in elementary school. This book has a large survivalist plot; Jess spends a lot of her time building shelter, attempting to hunt, trying to stay warm, etc. Much like Mark Watney in The Martian, Jess is completely alone, and her mistakes could be fatal. There's also the element of a thriller in this story, as Jess knows her father's murderers are going to return, and she has to decide if she is going to fight them and steal their plane or hide until they are gone.
I will admit I skimmed the final fight scenes, as I do in every thriller I read. I loved the build up to it, and the "before" and "after" chapters didn't jar me as they have in other stories. This is a compelling read and a great one to give to teens who enjoy survival stories.
Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: violence
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
Read-Alikes: The Martian, My Side of the Mountain, Peak, The White Darkness
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Edelweiss for the purpose of review.