*I received my copy of this book from Hachette Book Group Canada in exchange for an honest review.*
Author: Chandler Baker
Publication Date: June 09, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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?
Stella is given the gift of life when a heart suddenly become available for her. Overnight, those days of gasping and exhaustion from her strained heart are over as the new, healthy heart restores her strength and vitality. But the heart seems to almost be more of a curse than a blessing. Stella is plagued with nightly pains that nearly rip her apart, and the boy there’s something sinister about the boy she’s fallen head over heals for.
I have to say, I couldn’t stand Stella. She’s a self-absorbed, typical love-struck team. She’s a tease and walks all over her friends who seem to be pretty kind, selfless people. She passes up the romance with a long-time friend, stomping all over his heart in the process, for some dude she’s known all of two seconds. She falls into the typical, obnoxious, selfish teen stereotype and does nothing to break free of it. She refuses to listen to her parents’ concerns about her healing process and ignores any pains that she has in her chest to recklessly galavant around. The characterization is so blah and boring.
I was really interested in this story when I thought of it as a girl struggling to recover from a heart transplant and to regain her life, but Baker tries to take it to the next level by introducing…somewhat clumsily…elements of the dark and paranormal. There’s really no indication that this is what the story was about, and I was actually really annoyed that the story took this kind of turn. I’m very rarely one for ghost stories, and I’m not huge on the supernatural. I enjoy it when I know that’s what I’m getting into. But I’m frustrated that this book tries to pass itself off as “sick lit” so to speak, and in the end is a haunting story. Bring in dark, sinister topics, but don’t disguise a book as one thing only to make it something completely and totally different. I love a great twist in a novel, but it’s all about consistency and continuity, two things that Alive lacks.
Definitely not one for me. I know others seem to really enjoy Baker’s story so perhaps you’ll enjoy it more than I did.