Have you ever just scanned over a books summary and kind of infer what you think the book is about? I totally did that. I first saw this book on Penguin’s First to Read Program, but didn’t get it. From what I read it was a book about a girl surviving in the wilderness and getting revenge and for some reason, I thought it had to do with high schoolers. So I assumed it was like a book about like a mean prank or something and they leave the main character in the woods and she has to fight for survival and then gets revenge. BUT that is not what this book is about… it is about survival and revenge.. I just for some reason made up the last part when skimming over the summary. Although, as I type this up.. maybe, i should write that book.. or does it already exist? It probably already exists. Anyways, with that in mind… when I received an e-mail from Penguin/Viking to review I Am Still Alive by Kate Marshall and participate in this blog tour (which upon editing have realized was suppose to go up YESTERDAY and not today.. OOPS!); I quickly said yes, thinking that was what the book was about. Very quickly into the book however, I realized I was wrong and because it was so apparent in the beginning I wasn’t disappointed by it.
The book follows Jess Cooper who is reconnected with her estranged father after an accident kills her mom and leaves Jess disabled. Jess thinks he father lives in Alaska, but is in for shock when he lives off the grid, somewhere in the Canadian wilderness. Jess isn’t a fan of her time there, but is quickly in for a rude awakening when her father is killed and the cabin they live in burned down. She now has to fend for herself and plot revenge against the people who killed her Dad.
The book is told through Jess’ journal and the first half is told in Before the incident and after it. Then also broken down into seasons. The book is a very quick read, when formatted like this. However, I think you could have done without the concept of her writing in a journal, as that is really all it is a concept, one we only know about cause she mentions it in the beginning but isn’t really executed in the writing style or important to the story line. With how quick paced the book is it only really feels like she has been in the wild for a few weeks not several months and frankly, with all the mistakes she made that would normally prove fatal. Realistically… Jess would not have survived. As far as the revenge part of the book goes.. It isn’t your typical idea of revenge. I would think of it more as trying to survive and a little bit of payback, not a scheme of revenge.
With all that being said.. I DID enjoy the book. It was a quick read that gave me every 80’s and 90’s kids surviving in the wilderness movies nostalgia. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if it went into greater depth. More back story of Jess’ life, more backstory of her Dad’s, more time of the two of them together and a few more actual challenges in the wilderness. I’m Still Alive is a solid 3 star book. Not a bad book but not a book I loved, either.
**I was given this book in exchange for an honest review**