Book review by Aarene Storms: I am Still Alive

Saturday, November 30, 2019

I am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall

Jess divides her life into "before" and "after" as she narrates her tale.

BEFORE, while still recovering from the car crash that killed her mom, Jess goes to live with the father she barely recognizes: a survivalist with a dicey past.

AFTER, she is alone with only a dog for company in the remote Canadian wilderness. No shelter, no food, no weapons, no skills.

BEFORE, she wants to return to civilization.

AFTER, she wants to survive... and she wants revenge.

I remember reading Gary Paulsen's classic survival story Hatchet when it first came out in 1987, and being so frustrated when the main character did stupid stuff that nearly got him killed. I experienced the same kind of frustration with Jess in this book: she nearly dies in so many preventable ways!

And yet.

I read the whole book in two days. It's not a perfect story, but it certainly kept me turning pages.

Some cussing, some drinking, and a lot of blood and violence. Recommended for readers who enjoy suspense, survival, and for those willing to forgive a character for making dumb mistakes, ages 14 to adult.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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