Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: Alive by Chandler Baker

Alive by Chandler Baker
Released-June 9th 2015
Pre-Order- Amazon / B&N

Stella Cross's heart is poisoned.After years on the transplant waiting list, she's running out of hope that she'll ever see her eighteenth birthday. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive.Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred by strange side effects: Nightmares. Hallucinations. A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Then Stella meets Levi Zin, the new boy on everyone's radar at her Seattle prep school. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi are inseparable.
Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart?After all, the heart never lies...does it?
My Thoughts: 
Well dame! This book is not what I was expecting. Alive is a spine-tingling, creeptastic thriller contemporary that was both emotionally moving and chill-worthy. I get all goose-bumpy just thinking about it!

Stella Cross, was only 15 years old when her heart started to fail her and has been on a waiting list for a transplant for the last two years, but she finally gets the heart transplant that saved her life. Not being able to really do anything since she got sick, Stella is living large and doing things that she wouldn't be able to do before. But the side effects are starting to wear her down. Hallucinations, nightmares and extreme pain at the same time each day has Stella writhing in exhaustion. So when new student, Levi Zin arrives and he and Stella seem to hit it off instantly, Stella is shocked to learn that there is no pain when Levi is around and is convinced that he is the only thing she'll ever need. After all, the heart wants what it wants....right?

First off, I gotta say that I really loved the direction Baker took with this story. I went into this expecting it to go a particular way only to be shutter-shocked when it took the less obvious approach. I also didn't expect this to be such a thriller and loved that gripping and dark edge laced throughout the entire story. I thought the hallucinations and nightmares were wickedly freaky but it was the connection that we learn later that made them such a huge impact. There was also some much needed suspension of disbelief  that I had to take with this book, but I still wish we could have gotten some more answers for the why's and how's of it all. Still, I can't deny everything really flowed together at an exciting and intriguing pace and the writing was simply incredible.

Stella isn't a character I come across very often. She's developed in a particular way that made her come off as stubborn, reckless, uptight, jaded and if I'm being truthful, not very likeable. But by the end of the story I realized that certain elements may have played a larger role for Stella's attitude and how she treated everyone around her, so really, how can I fault her for that?
Levi Zin is one complicated hot mess. He's mysterious, complex, intense and very charming and had more then his share of swoon-worthy moments. But there was always something in the back of my mind that made me not want to trust him. Something off. Very off.
Believe it or not, the relationship between Stella and Levi wasn't exactly insta-love, but it did border on unhealthy obsession to the point where Stella would be unhinged whenever she is with Levi or apart. Henry and Brynn were my only constant characters that I really loved. Henry is such a sweetheart, adorable, supportive and protective and everyone needs a Brynn in there life to tell ya how it really is. The overall ending was a little quick and I wish we could have gotten some kind of plausible explanations, but it was still satisfying enough and left me happy and content.

Bottom line, I had a lot of fun with this book. It's unpredictable, mysterious, emotional and fantastically twisted. Chandler Baker is an author to look out for. This was an amazing debut and I look forward to seeing more books in the future from this talented author.

Find the author:
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