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Friday, March 8, 2013

Review & Giveaway: I Am Alive by Cameron Jace (Blog Tour)


I Am Alive

I Am Alive Series, #1

by Cameron Jace

Publisher: Self-Published (May 2012)
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Format: eBook (267 pages)
Source: Author for Blog Tour
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
Every girl dies - not every girl really lives.

Sixteen-year-old Decca Tenderstone feels captivated when she meets Leo, who is arrogant, silent, beautiful, and shoots almost every one he meets.

the usual boring girl meets badboy story... hmm... with a twist ...

They live in a dystopian future in Los Angeles where every sixteen-year-old is ranked on a scale from one to ten to determine their future. Outranks, who are considered a danger to society, are forced to attend the Monster Show, a brutal sacrificing ritual that is broadcasted worldwide on live TV, where rebellious teens are labelled Bad Kidz or Monsters and get to fight for their lives in deadly games.

To prove that you're still alive you have to scream I Am Alive every six hours. Lower your voice, and you're dead.

Decca doesn't need Leo's company. She has secrets of her own. While they both can't stand each other, she will find out why she doesn't fit into any rank.

Nothing will stand in her way as she has to make choices concerning love, life, staying alive, growing up, and finding out who she really is.

At A Glance
This is not a book for everyone but I really, really enjoyed it. I am totally into fight to survive type of books.

The Good
Okay, so there is a lot I can't say without being all spoilery. This book packs punch after punch of surprises and twists. All the characters have these mysterious and complicated pasts that bring them together and create a bond. I think this series is only going to get better from here because there is so much left to be discovered.

The Monster Show was so horrific. Jace doesn't hold anything back with the gruesome reality of this world. If you can't conform to what the government deems as perfect (unquestioning drones), then they will teach you a lesson, a very publish lesson that scares everyone else into formation. These people want high rankings so bad they don't even see what's really going on. It's all about control. And what better way for the government to maintain control than to publicly kill off the teenagers who are considered Monsters--low rankers--rebellers--free thinkers. It's a horrible world, but a very entertaining one as well. It's simply fascinating in its cruelness.

Decca was an interested protagonist. She shocks us from the get-go and keeps on leaving us unstable throughout the book. I never really knew what to think about her. She doesn't have all the answers. Her way of thinking is questionable, but she has the power to change. She slowly becomes the heroine we want. But she is still only 16 and doesn't know where she fits in in the world. I like that Decca second guesses herself and makes sporadic decisions that are both insane and brilliant.

Leo was such a mystery. You know from the beginning his story is complex. Only by the end do we get to see the true Leo and even then we are left scratching our heads with more questions. Who is Leo? Does he love Decca? What is his role in all this chaos? I can't wait to learn more about him in the next book.

Almost all the side characters have great dimension. You can tell each one has a horrible or interesting story buried somewhere deep inside them. Not all of them are heroes, but that's what makes them unique.

Sweet Zany Pop Culture References Batman! I loved the mixture of today's culture with a messed up version of the future's. The use of the letter Z and how it was used in names of things like ZooTube, Zwitter, Americaz, and so on was freakin' awesome. And how the Burning Man statue is pretty much the God of this world. I am dying to find out what's behind all these things.

I Am Alive does not necessarily have an original theme but I think Jace takes this concept and creates a great story that sucks in the reader. I found myself entranced with each page, and with every page the suspense and mystery keeps building. I can't wait for book two.

The Bad
The grammar is not great. It's noted that I Am Alive was fixed up by a professional editor but he or she must have missed a lot. But I got over it as I continued reading and getting drawn in.

Really, it's the writing style you have to get use to. It can be garbled and short. Not a lot is explained to us so you have to try to figure things out for yourself. Also, the plot structure felt...forced. Like instead of letting the story flow out on it's own, it was driven in directions that sometimes made it feel disjointed.

The Snuggly
The romance is minimal. Leo and Decca are so cute together because they constantly push each other away. Which makes sense since they are trying to fight for their lives. They don't want to admit their feelings for different reasons, which leaves us in an odd spot for the next book. There was also hints of a coming love-triangle, so that should be interesting.

Final Thoughts
You have to love this concept to love this book. It's not executed perfectly, but that doesn't take away from it's overall entertainment value. Very much recommended.
I am not my heart rate. I am not my skills. I am not my sleeping problems. I am not my stress. I am not my fears. I am not how I look like. I am the very essence of me. I am my will. I am my passion. I am my beliefs. I am how much I can give and receive love. I am infinite and possible. I am my soul.
Similar Reading:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Author Bio
Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV - it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales. I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.

Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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  1. Not a lot is explained? Yikes! might get confused with this one! The story sounds pretty god though :)

    1. Not so much confused as annoyed that some things aren't elaborated on. It's still a great read.

  2. I LOVE the quote you chose. I think it looks fantastic. May not have a wholly original theme, but looks different and gritty enough to be interesting. Thank you so much for the great review and the giveaway! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

    1. I totally agree. You summed up my review. hehe. I hope you get a chance to read it.

  3. I love the idea of this book. Sounds great.

  4. Thx for giveaway! This sounds like an awesome read!

  5. Thanks for the giveaway. I'm a bit intrigued about this one.

  6. I love the idea of this book. Sounds great.

  7. One can never read too many great dystopian novels! This looks great. :)

    1. I agree. Hope you get a chance to read it.

  8. I like those types of reads, even though it isn't original...I love to see the differences and the horror is so much bigger than the angst. Great review, I want to read this book now! :)

    1. Yup, even with the same concept, each author writes his or her take on the genre. It's fascinating.

  9. Decca seems one of a kind and the author not afriad to throw in some crazy twists.

    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  10. Great review, doll! I'm glad you enjoyed it for the most part. It does sound like a very exciting ride and I love books packed with twists and turns, especially when you can't predict them! I also want to read about this Monster Show which sounds epic! >.<

    1. The Monster Show is EPIC! So horrible and fascinating.

  11. Love the plot of this book!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  12. I like gritty and realistic dystopians. Despite problems you have me really interested.

  13. The cover stopped me dead. and the caption was awesome too. With that going for it and your recommendation, try to keep me away. :-D

    1. Hehe, happy to hear you might try it. I hope you love it.

  14. Sounds like a good book! I like the fight to survive type of books lol

  15. I love your review format (the good, the ugly, the snuggly). You convinced me!

    1. Hehe, thanks. It really helps writing reviews and keeping organized.

  16. I love YA dystopias. Think I would dig this book.


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