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The fantastic folks at YA Books Central have revealed the cover art for Kate Marshall’s debut YA survival thriller, I Am Still Alive. It’s a tense, moving tale of a girl alone in the wilderness, armed with only her wits and her dog to survive the winter.  YA Books Central is also giving away a SIGNED advanced reader copy (US/CA), which ends on December 15. Be sure to head over there, read a short note from the Kate, and enter the giveaway!

Kate also talks about her inspiration for writing I Am Still Alive at the Penguin Teen blog. If you love behind-the-scenes and making-of content, you won’t want to miss this one!

After
Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive—for now.

Before
Jess hadn’t seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.

After
With only her father’s dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she’s stronger than she ever imagined.

Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father…and she wants revenge.

Preorder at Amazon, B&N, or your local bookshop via Indiebound.
Hardcover publication July 24th, 2018, from Viking Children’s.

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About a month ago, I was catching up with a friend, chatting about books (as you do). I mentioned that I’ve been rather disappointed with the young adult novels I’ve read, at which point she whipped out her phone, pulled up the photo of the blurb of Hex Hall, and told me we couldn’t be friends anymore if I didn’t like it.

I’m happy to report that she and I are still friends. Hex Hall is a quick, fun read that has understandable amounts teenage angst. The relationship-angst doesn’t take over the rest of the plot, either. It’s a nice compliment to the story.

I loved that the author included references to literary classics like Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, Edgar Allen Poe’s “Cask of Amontillado,” as well as poking fun at the current pop culture vampire/werewolf fascination. Neither the werewolves or vampire(s) in Hex Hall are evil — they’re just people, some of whom may have made bad decisions in their lives. Hawkins also brings into focus the horrors of high school cliques and hierarchies, and how being popular or pretty doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good person.

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