Thursday, July 12, 2018

I Am Still Alive by Kate Marshall

I Am Still Alive Releases on July 24th!
I Am Still Alive by Kate Marshall

2 stars

Jess is completely alone in the wilderness. Her father is gone and the cabin is burned down. She has to survive with only her dad’s dog and a few scavenged supplies from the remains of the cabin. Jess knows she doesn’t have a long time to time survive before the cold kills her. She must seek out food, build a shelter, and keep herself warm. She has to stay alive because she wants revenge on the men who killed her father and put her in this predicament in the first place. I’m not sure where this novel falls genre wise. It’s a survival story at its core but it is meant to be suspenseful. Surviving in the wilderness is scary but surviving alone and with a handicap is scarier. Jess’ situation is much more horrifying because she isn’t supposed to be in the woods in the first place. She’s supposed to be getting therapy and going to high school, but her dad prefers to live off the grid. Marshall takes this situation and uses to up the scales. The content can be shocking and huge warnings for animal cruelty because she is hunting to survive and at times it seems almost like a callous reaction. If I’m being honest, this book is kind of boring though. Besides the basic concept it’s not all that gripping. I was more invested than her relationship with her dad’s dog, Bo, than I was with her trying to stay alive and get revenge. Marshall isn’t a bad writer, but I wasn’t gripped by her style of storytelling. I found this book easy to put down and it wasn’t a priority for me to finish it. I was just kind of meander through the experience of reading this book. I didn’t really hate it, like it, or love it. I was in the weird category of indifference. This is worse than the MEH category for me because MEH means mediocre, but indifference just means that I couldn’t be bothered.

There was a couple of great paragraphs and sentences that I really enjoyed, but nothing about this story stuck with me. It’s forgettable.

“To survive you need to learn to hold contradictory things in your head at the same time. I am going to die; I am going to live. There is nothing to fear; be wary of everything. In this moment I find a new contradiction. The indifference of the wild is terrifying—I want to be remembered, to leave a mark. And it is freeing, knowing that the forest does not care, does not judge. My failure will go unmarked—no mourning, no mockery. For the first time in my life, there are no expectations of me at all. The only thing that matters is what I want, what I can do.”

Whimsical Writing Scale: 2

Jess is a very sad character to follow. Her situation feels hopeless and she has the worse luck (probably because of her lack of knowledge about survival). I didn’t really like Jess though. I just couldn’t be bothered with her at times. She didn’t feel like she had a lot of personality. I found it hard to root for her because I didn’t know her. She was just there and had all these problems, but if you asked me what her dreams are or what qualities I’d use to define her, I’d struggle a bit. Besides the obvious trait of having a lot of willpower, she didn’t go beyond that for me. She felt one dimensional.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2

The Villain- Listen, this is probably the part of the book I liked the least. It went from surviving to revenge and it became too much. It was kind of convoluted and it just seemed like Jess’ desire to survive was thrown to the wayside. Plus, I still don’t the motives behind these killers and it was just weird.

Villain Scale: 1.5

There is a couple of characters, but it’s interactions of the past. There’s her dad who is a weird character and we don’t know anything about him. It’s weird because I think I’m supposed to feel sympathy towards him and I kind of do, but also, I don’t because who even is he. Bo is the star of this book and if dog deaths destroy your soul avoid this book at all cost.

Character Scale: 1.5

Overall, this isn’t a bad novel. Like I said earlier, I’m indifferent towards it. It didn’t anger me or incite a lot of emotions, but I think fans of survivalist stories will enjoy this one.

Plotastic Scale: 2

Cover Thoughts: I really like this cover. It’s creepy and it looks ominous.

Thank you, First to Read and Viking Books for Young Readers, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
 Are you interested in reading I Am Still Alive? Do you like survival stories? Let me know down below in the comments!


  1. Replies
    1. I thought about DNFing, but it was holding my attention enough for me to finish it. Sorry this one didn't work out for you either!


Books I've Read in 2018 #51-54

  Hey, everyone!! It's so good to post another video and I'm behind on filming by months, but here is a video from some books I r...