Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Review: I Am Alive by Cameron Jace

Title: I Am Alive
Author: Cameron Jace
Series: I Am Alive #1
Release Date: May 23, 2012
Format: eBook, 267 pages
Genre: YA, dystopia, sci-fi
Source: blog tour

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.
I Am Alive is a dystopic YA novel, full of action and intrigue. It opens up the story by introducing our protagonist, Decca, and the world around her, where everyone is ranked at age sixteen from one to ten. If you're anywhere between five and nine, you're considered worthy to be part of the society, whether as a lowly laborer or as an envied Nine with basically limitless choices in life. Tens, while they're included in the ranking system, are little more than myths. Those who don't make five are subjected to a game called Monster Show, something quite similar to the Hunger Games. If they come out, they come out ranked.

Firstly, I'd like to applaud Cameron Jace's wonderful idea that kept the story going, even though there were some eerie similarities to The Hunger Games. It had a fast-paced plot and that extra spark in the book to make me feel as if I wanted to bulldoze through the story.

On the downside, however, I felt really confused at times with Jace's dialogue and wording in the characters. Sometimes I just feel like, "No way anyone'd actually say that in real life" while during others I was just really . . . awkward with reading the words, like they couldn't roll off of my metaphorical tongue properly. Also I found really uncomfortable to read was how many words were created out of the ones we already have to make new ones with basically the same meaning. I can understand them, and can see how it may appeal to another reader, but constantly reading "Amerikaz", "Bad Kidz" and "Xitler" - basically the I Am Alive equivalent of President Snow from The Hunger Games - is just something I'm not used to doing.

Some really interesting things that made me stop and think were things such as Tens, and their meaning to society. There were literally no Tens. Ever. So it made me wonder at times why they even kept that rank. Was it to make even the Nines strive for perfection? Is it a reminder to the people that even if they still made it, they will never get into a Ten since it was basically sacrilegious to rank someone with such an important role? Of course, there were some other thought provoking ideas in the story, but that was the one that stood out to me the most.

As a conclusion, I Am Alive is a really neat dystopic novel to read, as long as you aren't looking for perfect dialogue and a beautifully orchestrated world built around complete order. This book really was a delight to read, and I look forward to its sequel!
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