Book Review: I Am Still Alive

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**



Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Several months ago, I was in a Target book aisle picking up two copies of A Court of Thorn & Roses by Sarah J Maas for Andrew and I to read for our book club. Like usual, I was looking at the rest of the books just to see if there was anything new out that I haven’t seen or heard of before.. when the cover of this book caught my eye. I’m a sucker for historical fiction especially when the cover has a girl in a pretty dress. Next being the title; I am morbid and have a slight fascination with unsolved crimes.  I hadn’t planned on buying a book for just myself. Especially, cause there were several other books on my TBR i needed to get to do (and still do) but the price was right and I felt compelled to do so.

As you can assume by the name Stalking Jack the Ripper is about pretty much just that. The author does a great job at combining the fictional story she is creating with the historical facts of the actual case. We follow Audrey a young high society lady who is fascinated in learning the work of her uncle…. a medical examiner. She loves the observation skills, medical knowledge and police work that goes into it but is very aware that it is frowned upon for a lady in general.. let alone her status to engage in.  Soon into the books we are meeting The Ripper’s victims and piecing the puzzle together. It seems the ripper could be someone close to her.. but we aren’t quite sure who just yet.

Audrey struggles with societal pressures, romantic feelings and an over protective father all the while trying to solve the case and catch Jack the Ripper. Although, I enjoyed the book overall. I would have been happy with a little more world building and the absolute ending wasn’t my favorite, but did the job. The one thing I struggled with was that I wanted Audrey to be a little more badass. (She is, and he knowledge of fighting is pretty historically accurate) BUT given the knife wielding girl on the cover; I was expecting someone more assassin like. Also,I am intrigued by the supernatural elements that will be at play in the next book in the series.. which I will eventually read but I am not dying to get my hands on at the moment.

Buy the book here: Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble





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