Lost in the wilderness of Canada, alone, and injured, will Jess be able to survive?
Sixteen-year-old Jess hasn’t seen her father in ten years. She’s just been through a tragic car accident that killed her mother and left Jess with months of physical therapy and a permanent disability, and all she wants is to make it through the next two years and graduate from high school. When she hears that she’ll have to move to the wilderness and live with her father for those years, her only goal becomes escaping or convincing him to let her leave.
Her dad lives in the remote wilderness of Canada, above Alaska—so removed from civilization that Jess is the only passenger on the tiny plane she takes to get there. She begrudgingly starts to rebuild a relationship with her survivalist father, but soon after she arrives some “friends” from his past show up and wreak havoc. Lost, alone, and separated from everyone and everything she’s ever known, Jess—along with her one ally, her father’s dog Bo—must fight to survive the winter.
I Am Still Alive alternates between “Before” and “After” sections, which ramp up the suspense and dole out backstory slowly enough to keep readers intrigued. Jess is a relatable heroine, terrified and with almost no experiences in the outdoors besides the few weeks of lessons her dad was able to give her. It’s incredibly satisfying to see her struggle, fight, and hold her own (sometimes!) against the elements and the cruel winter weather. Even simple things, like finding firewood or something to eat, become life-or-death scenarios, and her experiences definitely put our relatively comfortable lives into perspective!
This novel is an action-packed wilderness survival story, with an added element of family struggles and adjusting to life with a disability. I would highly recommend it for older YA readers, due to its serious themes and intense subject matter.