Jaime Reviews ~ Alive by Chandler Baker

By Chandler Baker
Published on June 9, 2015
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Netgalley
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?


  Alive was a really fun story about the horrifying aftereffects of a heart transplant. A little trace of spooky, definitely some creepy, it was a fun read. Perfect for people who are starting to venture into the realm of horror, but aren't ready to go all the way yet. A little unsettling, a lot of fun! 

 Stella has been waiting for a long time for her new heart. She has been sick, missed school and her friends, and now she thinks that her time is running out. And then, they get the call. Stella has a new heart. When the day of the surgery arrives, she is scared, but trying to stay strong for her mom and dad and the replacement child, her baby sister. The only person she can tell the truth to is Henry, so she sends him a quick text before they take her phone and wheel her away. When Stella wakes up, she finally starts to believe that she is going to live, to have a chance at a new life. She is back in school, surrounded by her friends again. She is happy... except for the pain that sends her body into shutdown. This pain happens every single day at 5:08 PM. Nobody understands it. The doctor says she is fine. But still, the pain persists. Until one day, a new guy starts at her school. Levi Zinn is gorgeous. Immediately popular, and swarmed by the hottest girls in school, Stella knows she doesn't stand a chance. But she is drawn to him in a way she can't explain. And it turns out, he feels the same. Soon, they are attached at the hip. Much to the chagrin of Henry, who has been in love with her for years. But all Stella knows is the pain she feels at 5:08, the pain that seems to be there all the time now, only stops when Levi is there. And that is all that matters. Unfortunately, Levi isn't all that he seems to be. And Stella is about to learn that... the deadly way...

 Stella is a well written MC, but I honestly can't say that I liked her for much of the book. Even being inside her head, understanding why she makes the decisions she makes, I still got frustrated with her. But I liked her enough to root for her, and by the end she had grown into an MC I liked. Levi I couldn't stand from the beginning. The book is definitely predictable, so you know almost immediately that he is up to no good. But even if that weren't the case, I wouldn't have liked him. He is just.. sleezy. The best part about their romance was the music! The rest of the characters in the book were really well written. Henry was a great character, and I was on his side from the beginning. The end of the story definitely made me happy! Chandler Baker knows characters, and I look forward to seeing who we are introduced to in a new book! 

 Alive isn't a perfect story. Like I said, it was very predictable. Stella also made it hard to love the story. But the pacing of the book is great. I flew through it in no time. And I really enjoyed the ending. One of my bigger disappointments were the hallucinations. I went into this one expecting some freaky, creepy scenes, but they weren't. They were a little spooky, and fun, but too few and far between and not creepy enough for me. But, for the most part, Alive was a good story. I would recommend to younger teens, 14-16. And it is a great story to ease you in to all things spooky!  

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