Alive has the potential to be a really creepy and scary story, and while it touches that destination on so many occasions, there’s just something that doesn’t keep it there.
Stella Cross’s heart has betrayed her. An athlete who had hoped to get a swimming scholarship and attend Stanford, she is discovered to have cardiomyopathy at 15. She’s a little thrown for a loop and is trying to figure out who she is now and what her future is now that she most likely won’t be attending her parents’ alma mater.
Soon a new gorgeous boy starts at Duwamish High, and, for some reason, he seems to only have eyes for Stella. Strangely, Stella doesn’t have any phantom chest pains around Levi. She’s been having them every day since her operation like clockwork. Her doctor can’t explain them, but they knock her senseless every day at 5:08 pm. Levi finds her one day, blind with pain, and, just like that, they’re gone.
As they start dating, Stella notices how in sync she and Levi are. Plus Stella is so tired of the parental hovering and pressure to figure her future without swimming. Why can’t she just go to clubs, listen to bands and chop her hair off without people accusing her of not being herself anymore? Hasn’t she gone through enough in the last two years? Levi gets her.
And yet…how does she explain how she feels so alive when she’s near Levi? Why does she feel like someone is always watching her? And how does she explain the several hallucinations she’s had that seem so very real?
Maybe it takes too long to get to the scary part. That’s why it really doesn’t seem like a horror story until wham, it’s there. There are a lot of hints along the way, but there’s not really a crescendo at first. But once the roller coaster gets there, hold on!
Alive by Chandler Baker was published today, June 9, 2015, by Disney-Hyperion. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to the Publisher, the Author and NetGalley.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary Fantasy Horror Romance
Ages: 12 and up