“Alive” by Chandler Baker

Alive by Chandler

Seventeen year old Stella Cross was diagnosed with a failing heart when she was just fifteen years old. After two years of waiting, she finally receives a heart transplant from an anonymous donor. Luckily, Stella’s body accepts the new heart, but every day after the transplant she feels extreme pain. This would seem normal, except the pain only occurs at 5:08 p.m. on a daily basis. Stella returns to school after her transplant surgery and she experiences horrifying hallucinations that involve harm coming to her family, friends, and even Stella herself. Soon after Stella returns to school, a new boy named Levi Zin arrives at Stella’s Seattle prep school. When Stella is around Levi, the pain she feels in her heart instantly disappears, but Levi starts becoming obsessed with Stella. She tries to pull away from being with Levi, but the only result is that Levi’s infatuation with her becomes stronger. Stella sets off to discover why only being around Levi can calm the side effects of her transplant while also trying to figure out why Levi is unnaturally obsessed with her at the same time.

This book is recommended for teens who are interested in mystery or horror novels. Readers should expect mild descriptions of situations involving blood, drowning, and danger. Stella and her friend Henry are obsessed with the scary and the supernatural, and they figure out that her heart is acting up because it is from another person’s body. Stella’s hallucinations are also somewhat gory or violent, as they usually involve terrible things happening to her or her family and friends. This book is also very suspenseful and will keep readers guessing throughout the novel. The plot is very original and it also has little pieces of action and love thrown in, but it is done in a way that does not take away from the suspenseful and mysterious mood that is set by Baker. The fast-paced action-filled ending, although a little confusing to understand immediately, is satisfying and wraps up the novel nicely. This 2015 release by Baker is definitely a must read for teens who prefer scary and suspenseful novels over other genres.

-Check out this book or put it on hold.

-Caylee P.

“January (Conspiracy 365)” by Gabrielle Lord

January 365

A thrilling series about 15 year-old Callum Ormond, who gets a dire warning one New Year’s Eve, “They killed your father. They’ll kill you. You must survive the next 365 days!” Still mourning the loss of his dad, Cal is thrust into a life on the run, where he alone is hunted by both the law and ruthless criminals after being framed for the horrific assault of his sister and uncle.

Why I picked it up: I was intrigued by the idea of a series of 12 books, each one containing a month’s worth of adventure and danger.

Why I finished it: It was a very quick read, and I am a sucker for a good mystery. Especially when it includes cryptic drawings, a riddle, and jewels!!

I’d give it to: Fans of the Thirty-Nine Clues series or even the TV show “24” would enjoy the twists and chills. I would especially recommend the series to any reluctant reader who prefers action to dialogue. The pages are numbered in reverse order, so it’s a literal countdown to the end of the book.

Check this book out or put it on hold.

–Lori Kerce