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I Am Alive #1

I Am Alive

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Fans of Divergent, Hunger Games and Ready Player One will crave this world of dark secrets, intrigue and thirst for a better tomorrow.>

When they say you can't... it usually means you can.

I am not my heart rate.
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.
My passion.
My beliefs.
I am how much I can give and receive love.
I am infinite and possible & unpredictable...

Where Decca Tenderstone lives she is considered a monster, the lowest rank in Faya, where teenagers are ranked on a scale from one to ten on their sixteenth birthday. There's never been a Ten., but Six and above are permitted to live and grow up into adulthood. Five and below become monsters and are brutally killed for entertainment by the Summit. Period.

But Decca is different. She refuses to give in.

And when she meets the mysterious Leo Van Ark, who, in spite of being a Nine, is also hunted by Summit, she has a stronger reason to survive.

Will Decca and Leo ever make it, though no monster has ever survived? Will Leo open up to get and tell her about his secret? Will they change the world together? And most important of all, could Decca become the first Ten in Faya ever?

Celebrating the release of its sequel, I Am Alive is discount to $0.99 instead of $3.99 for a limited time.

267 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 29, 2012

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About the author

Cameron Jace

93 books2,032 followers
Bestselling author of the Grimm Diaries and Insanity series. A traveller and collector of out-of-print books from all over the world, obsessed with the origins of folk tales and the mysterious storytellers who spread them. Many of his books made Amazon's Top 100 Customer Favorites in Kindle 2015 & Amazon's Top 100 kindle list. Cameron lives in California. When he isn't writing or collecting books, he is playing music or enjoys photography.

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5 stars
407 (36%)
4 stars
332 (29%)
3 stars
214 (19%)
2 stars
97 (8%)
1 star
59 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 193 reviews
Profile Image for Kseniia.
95 reviews11 followers
December 31, 2015
Maybe, I've found to myself a new favourite author, because I want to read all of his books.

First of all, I gave this book 5 stars because of reasons I'll tell later.

And if you hate when books are too similar to Hunger Games or Divergent - just pass by. "I Am Alive" is not a plagiarism, no, it's just the stories are similar to each other in some kind of weird way.

Let's begin. Sixteen y/o Decca Tenderstone lived all her life with the knowledge that she is a pre-Monster, because IAm said that. IAm - it's a device, that ranks people. From the age of seven she suffered as everyone who were predicted to be Monsters. IAm is never wrong. People becomes pre-Monsters if this device ranks them below Five, ie if you are Four and below - you are Monster and you have to be killed. Fair enough, isn't it? And after that suffering you were sent to the Monster Show.

The Monster Show - it's a kind of the Arena from HG. The show takes place every year, when 16 y/o teens are ranked by IAm. Ie, those who became Monsters, are sent to this show. They have to survive it. Because the grand prize is the freedom, the choice of your own actions. And, how not predictable, Decca was sent to that show. This ends one of thes similarities with HG. Because every events, deaths more.. mad? Hello, Alice Wonder, I remember you!

The second similarity with HG is that Decca knows how to shoot... a bow. Yeah-yeah, hello angry HG fan! You could say it's a plagiarism, but it's not. Because she used it twice per book. So let's say bye-bye to the second similarity with HG! *waves her hand*

Btw, why did I mention Divergent? That's because Decca is different. There are no superpowers, supercool fighting skills in the book. It's just Decca, like Katniss and Tris, loves her family and can do whatever the Summit wants to save it. The Summit like the Capitol I guess. Bye-bye the third similarity!

So that's it with similarities. Because in the other this book is unique. For example, all the name of some items, objects begin with the letter Z - Zwitter, Zootube, etc. Oh, and there is one character, which I hated from the beginning, but loved (yeees, that's weird, but who cares) at the end. To me, he looked like Adolf K. Weismann from the anime K Project.

Sooo, Decca. She 16 y/o girl, who looks like a mouse. Pixie. Nobody pays attention to her. Why? Because she's a pre-Monster. She has family, which consists of her brother Jack (she has a bad relationship with him), mother and father. She loves them. She'll protect them at all cost. Since childhood she was acquainted with a boy named Woo, who brought her a jello every time he appeared at her room. And after his death she decided to find him. It is ironic, isn't it? How can you find a deadman? But Tender has her own opinion on this point.

There is one character named Leo Van Arc. I'm in love with him, hehe. He is so adorable. And tough. The first thing I thought about him: "Really? Another one bad guy?". Only later all of his secrets are revealed and you realize that you are in love with him. Hehe, I realized :D

In addition to these two, there are a couple of the characters that I liked in the book, but I won't tell about them, because you would not want to go to the Spoilerland.

Btw, have read the Insanity series by Cam Jace, you are involuntarily noticing how similar the protagonists. They are smart, strong, brave, not afraid to die, and most importantly - they love with all their heart. I loooove Alice Wonder and now I have another favourite character. Btw, about Insanity. When I was reading "I am alive" at some moments I thought about Alice in Wonderland and Alice Wonder, because:

Who am I, really? I have the right to know who I am. My inner talk about who I am reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. Considering all the talk about the Rabbit Hole that supposedly can get us all out of Faya, I feel pretty much like Alice. I don't know who I am. I do know that I want to stay alive, but what then?

I instantly think about Alice Wonder, who, for about four books I've read, is looking for adventure on her ass, and also trying to find out whether she is the Real Alice or not. It seemed to me, Cameron knew, he'll write a retelling of Lewis Carroll books.

Thanks for reading this long review, my heroes :)

And for the end, my fav quotes:

Okay. First the roses. Then the tomatoes. Then the bullets. I think I have had enough, thank you very much. Can we switch the channel?

It's not my time to die. How can you die before discovering who you really are?

And the last one:

Hello, Daddy. I am all right. I am not doing drugs, not flirting with boys, and no one has kidnapped me yet. I am in the Monster Show, and if I don't make it back for lunch, please tell Mom not be angry with me, because I will be dead.

P.S.: Maybe I'll be the first to have "Incresent/I am alive #2"?;)
Profile Image for Emily.
152 reviews
March 14, 2013
Wow. What a mess. I got around 60 pages into this book, just under a quarter of the way through a book that comes in at around 250 pages. I just couldn't take it anymore. The obvious: this is a Hunger Games ripoff. Not entirely, but the general feel is definitely there. Still, I felt like there was enough originality in this idea to make it worth a read.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. The writing is terrible. The cliches in the 'society' are even more-so. A leader named Zitler? Really? Pretty dang bad when a book godwins itself. The many, many references to pop culture are mind-numbing and not at all cleverly done. Still scratching my head at using Burning Man as the symbol of a totalitarian regime.

This book devolves very rapidly into a hot mess of bad dialogue, worse characterization, and predictable plotline. Not worth your time or money. Skip it.
Profile Image for Marie.
504 reviews392 followers
July 29, 2012

"It suddenly hits me. I press the red button on my iAm and scream:

If you liked 'The Hunger Games' or 'Divergent' then you'll like this!
It reminded me a lot of them.

Decca lives in a world dictated by ranks and numbers. If your ranked as a 7,8 or 9 your considered normal, popular and are given a good quality of life, the higher the ranking the more beautiful the person is- no one has ever gotten a 10. They are non existent. If your a 6 your entered in the guard (army) and I your below a 6 your labelled a monster an have to fight for your life in the games. A televised production put on by the summit.
No one has ever knowingly survived.
Decca is on target to becoming a 8 but threatens a teacher Into switching her chip which monitors her ranking with own individual due to be a monster in hopes of entering and surviving the games and finding her friend Woo who was lost in the games the year before.

It was an amazing dystopian and I found it very action packed, thrilling and exciting.

I didnt know what to expect next and I sat on the edge of my seat the whole way through I could literally not put this book down.

It was SO good an the revelations which unfolded at the end of this book have me anxiously awaiting for the next installment out next month.

If your a fan of dystopian novels then this is a MUST READ.
Profile Image for Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library).
616 reviews301 followers
Shelved as 'not-an-offensive-name'
January 15, 2013
29th June, 2012:

Whoever wrote this blurb has not inspired me with confidence for the writing in this novel.

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

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

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

I don't think I'll be reading this. Nice cover, though.

EDIT 7 January 2013 for clarification of my final comment:



43 reviews
July 29, 2012

Did I download an unedited version of this book, for free, on the Kindle, or is I Am Alive just a grammatical hot mess? O__o

The incorrect punctuation and missing/wrong words KILLLLLLED me. There were commas where periods should be and periods where commas should be. There was incorrect usage of some words and their tenses, or missing words in the sentence.

Seriously, what the heck? There were so. many. errors that it distracted me from the plot and dropped this review by two stars. Was it just me? I don't think it's capable for a real book to look like this:

-"Had I been born in the Amerikas, I would've been thirteen and a half years old by now. In their times, a sixteen-year-old - still considered a thirteen by their standards - did not have the strength, hormones, and alert mind like we have in my world. It's called evolution. The human mind and physique adapt according to their needs, coping with the natural changes in the world as it advances through the ages. Dinosaurs become extinct. Monkey becomes man. A thirteen year old becomes a sixteen year old. The world has evolved. Mankind has evolved." - Okay, what? This is kind of grammatically correct, but still not understandable. I didn't get this sentence. Maybe I'm stupid, but the way this thought is conveyed is confusing. This shows the general way sentences are formed throughout the book.

-This is what every other quote looked like: "Blablablabla." he said. There should be a COMMA between the last bla and the quotation mark. Am I right?

As for the plot, it wasn't the most original. To be honest, the general outline for the Monster Show seems like it was ripped from the Hunger Games and then heavily tweaked to make it seem like it wasn't.

You have thousands of 16 year old "Monsters" that are thrown into the show to die. You win when you survive for three days and beat the Carnivore - a vicious monster. It's somewhat unique, but not unique enough, y'know?

Maybe, if this book was actually proofread, the plot would be more understandable. It just wasn't.

Now, the characters.

Decca - Our lovely protagonist. Meh. Katniss copy. Enters the game because of a sacrifice identical to Katniss stepping in for her sister. She's got good survival instincts and doesn't give up. Good for her. Decca's also kind of bratty instead of bold and impulsive instead of brave.

Leo - Stereotypical brooding, quiet love interest who smirks a lot and is a great fighter. Completely predictable, but any romance is better than none, I suppose, in a book like this.

*too lazy to add in the others*

*this review shall be edited soon, with PICTURESSS, so hold on, y'all*
Profile Image for Courtney.
377 reviews2 followers
September 23, 2012


Wow. Just wow. This book was on a whole other level amazing. It was like a mix of Hunger Games, Matched, and Divergent. I just happened across this book when it was free for a day on amazon and now I'm eagerly anticipating the sequel. And by eagerly anticipating I mean I would sell my first born just to get my hands on the next book!

Decca lives in a world where every person is given a number based on your looks, intelligence, etc. Numbers 8 and 9 being the most coveted getting the best jobs and the easiest lives. Sixes and sevens are just average, fives being the lowest. There are no tens. And being any lower than a five earns you monster status where you are sent into an arena to fight for three days winner takes all and gets to renter society with a number...there have been no winners.

Holy crap I don't even know where to start the plot was amazing the two guys were both lovable! I don't know who I'd choose Woo or Leo. I'm just such a hot mess after reading this book I don't even know what to say...Only thing I would change is the cover. I feel like it doesn't do this amazing book justice :)
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,765 reviews582 followers
August 30, 2012
Dark, Intense, Great YA Book!

This review is from: I Am Alive ( YA Dystopian Novel ) (Kindle Edition)
Yep, there were grammatical errors, BUT, moving on from that and from the many parallels to other books, this was intense. Imagine being a teen, an already emotionally charged age where being accepted by your peers is so important, knowing that being accepted by those in 'authority' can make the difference between life and death. Now imagine being forced into a situation beyond your worst nightmares while being totally ill-equipped for said situation. Add young romantic feelings, feelings of insecurity, rivalry, new feelings of inner strength, resolve, and knowing that it is kill or be killed in a 'game' where there are no winners.

I felt like this book was life taken to the extreme, grotesquely amplified and then seen from the eyes of a teenager who couldn't fit any of the acceptable molds, somehow finding the strength to try to be true to herself in uncharted territory. It also took me to a fantasy world, seeing things through the eyes, confusion and emotions of the characters. This was definitely entertaining and drew me away from reality for a while, which is why I read.

The story moved along quickly and I look forward to the next book to get answers to the unsolved questions raised!
Profile Image for Mimzie.
5 reviews1 follower
July 10, 2012
I loved this book, it kept me on edge from the word go and I couldnt put the book down. I was just so eager to find out who was Leo and where he fit into everything, I had my thoughts about this character called Wolf. But it all played out in the end. I must admit I loved the Carni part. I think I winced as much as the character did. Cant wait to see what decision she made.. Did you embrace her number ten! Or stay as the monster?I Am Alive
Profile Image for Aly.
79 reviews6 followers
February 20, 2016
Profile Image for Hel Gibbons.
94 reviews36 followers
January 13, 2016
XITLER. The bad guy is called Xitler.

Edit: my friend on Facebook has predicted that the villains in the second and third books are going to be called Yussolini and Ztalin.
140 reviews3 followers
June 11, 2016
I Am Alive is so amazing! It's captivating in every sense. The characters are all awesome. I love Woo even though his appearance was brief; Leo for being a huge help to Decca's survival; and obviously Decca for her peculiarity, and odd and slightly-sick sense of humor.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, they said? Well, Decca here is a living proof. From the beginning Decca has surprised me for with her strong personality and each passing time, she got even stronger. She didn't back down from her goal, even though she has to risk her life to achieve it. The pace was also good. With so much happening with our characters, it's a bit hard to believe the whole story was set within three days only.

I loved all the actions and Decca was so kick*ss, she may be my new favorite heroine. The story was predictable at some points, but not enough to give out everything away at once. Plus, there are plot twists that manage to catch me by surprise, so I'm satisfied with that.

I Am Alive can be hilarious at times, it's almost impossible to keep quiet reading it. It's a bit sci-fi but it's so well explained, I actually understand most of them. I also love the setting of their world. I admit the concept of I Am Alive, and the terms used ─ especially the use of the letter Z in almost every word ─ was a bit weird and annoying at first, but if you just look past that and focus on the plot instead it's easy to get used to it.

Fun and entertaining, I Am Alive is my new fave dystopian novel. I couldn't wait for the next episode! It was a quick read; which I finished within five hours. Loved every moment of it. 5 stars!
Profile Image for Jill.
738 reviews132 followers
March 11, 2013
***This book was part of a blog tour, I received a copy for my honest review***
I am finished!
Let me just start by saying for me the information overload at the beginning of this book almost put me off. I have found that with a lot of first books in the series that it is like this, but if you push through then things get good. I did and the book did got substantially better, I loved the action and drama of all the games. The character interaction between Leo and Decca had me wondering what was going on and I really liked that.
Then it goes back to a lot of inner monologue and dream memories of Decca and I guess I just didn't like her voice enough to want to just have her.
That seems really harsh, but I am not a big Young Adult fan, I have read and enjoyed a few, but they have to be of a particular sort for me to get into them. I think Decca's voice was a bit to young for me.
There were a few things in the story that I found really cheesy and I feel that it is okay to say this because I read a note from the author and she agrees.Even though I don't feel I take myself seriously and I enjoy a good variety of story's and plots, the names of things and the Z's in all the words really started to put me off.
In saying all this, it is an enthralling story with a world of an different sort. From about halfway through I really got into it and couldn't put it down. I needed to know what happened. Then I got to the end and bam! Cliffhanger,noooooo!! So now I am frustrated, I pushed through the bits I didn't like, thinking I was going to find some answers and now I have to wait. This may just be one cliffhanger to many for me. I will have to see if I read the next one.
Profile Image for Stephanie Ward.
1,176 reviews116 followers
March 8, 2013
'I Am Alive' is the first book in a young adult dystopian series that follows leading lady, Decca Tenderstone, as she navigates the futuristic and deadly Los Angeles - a place where teens are now ranked on a scale of one to ten in order to determine their future. When the unbelievable happens - Decca is deemed an Outrank - she must participate in the Monster Show, where a broadcasted sacrificial ritual occurs on live TV. The teens who must participate in the show are labelled as Monsters or Bad Kidz and then have to fight each other to survive. Every six hours, you must scream I AM ALIVE. If you don't do it - or don't scream loud enough - you die. Decca must hurriedly learn why she wasn't placed in the ranks and Leo - the beautiful yet cocky guy she's stuck with - is only causing her problems.

This was an interesting book that definitely had lots of deeper themes below the dystopian surface. It dealt with heavy topics like finding yourself, love, life versus living, and believing in yourself and others. The characters were somewhat unique, although mostly stereotypical. The relationship between Decca and Leo was predictable, although I did enjoy their interactions with each other. The plot was intriguing, but the dystopian world full of teenage death via savage games for entertainment wasn't anything super original. The writing was solid and had a great pace throughout the book. The ending left some questions unanswered, which will serve as a great jumping off point for the next installment. Overall, this was a good book and fans of YA science fiction/dystopian fiction will enjoy.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
May 26, 2014
Dont judge this book based on its start. i have no idea what the author was trippin on but she was all over the place.

the main character didnt even have a base personality until midway through, which was just confusing.
and the writing! it was like two different people wrote this book, sometimes it was a mess and not very well structured then out of no-where there were these fantastic lines, some of the best i have ever read. like i said Jace was clearly tripping when he wrote this, but thank god it settled down about mid way which is when I Am Alive became fantastic and extremely addictive.

loved the characters.

the stupid names got annoying and it took me a while to stop rolling my eyes and just accepted it.
i can understand why people might thin this book is a rip-off from The Hunger Games when its actually taken from lots of books but like i said before, you let that go and the book comes into its own.

i was desperate to find out what happens next. sadly i havent gotten my hands on the next book yet but trust me when i say it wont be long till i do!!

a fantastic recommendation from Joan, thanks hun! loved it!!
Profile Image for Scott.
1 review
August 6, 2012
I loved this book! I want to continue reading the series! Usually I am disenchanted by a story when I find out at the end that it is an ongoing series and that I have to wait for the next story arc in the next book. Hated that "Bella" just got whinier. Hated what "Catniss" became in order to "win"! I loved that Decca held her ground and became the kind of character you want to cheer for. Loved that even though these are kids in a game they were not sterotypical punky jerks.
That being said.....I really think the author should fire his editor. Seriously! I finally had to dumb down enough to get through the "spell-check-induced-nightmare" (just because spell-check okays it does not mean that the right word or phrase was used) and then I had to start inserting the right sequence of words as I read so I could keep the storyline flowing.
So....I loved the story. I loved the characters. I am so looking forward to book two and if the author keeps Decca's integrity intact then I know I will love whatever comes next. If the author needs a good editor.....I would LOVE to get that gig!
November 4, 2012
Every girl dies. Not every girl really lives!
I really liked it even though the resemblance to Hunger Games was uncanny at parts.
So in this world at the age of 16 everyone gets ranked. You can either get a number from 5 to 10 which defines what you'll do for the rest of your life or you are declared a monster and thrown into an arena of sorts to survive. So far no one has. In this society people are obsessed with the number 10. 10 is the equivalent of perfection so no one can be a 10.
The characters were well enough built for a first installation in a series. If they just didn't have those crazy mood swings... Leo one minute is being snarky and obnoxious and the next he is professing his feelings in front of the world!
Decca really raises to the occasion! She goes from scared and panicky to courageous and resourceful in a matter of hours! :)
In a world were people are willing to stand by and watch and cheer while kids are dying who are the real monsters?
Profile Image for Lara Frater.
Author 9 books20 followers
January 30, 2017
I have spent about $50 to have the Hunger Games in paper and as an ebook. It was worth it. Had I spend that on this book I would have demanded my money back. but it was $3 which was worth it.

I enjoy dystopian lit, so I thought I check this out.

The book is obviously marketing off the Hunger Games and it actually starts off not that bad. When teens reach the age of 16, they are ranked from 1-9. No one has ever been ranked as ten. Whatever rank you get is how you spend the rest of your life. 9 are the superstars, 5's do menial work. Anything below 5 becomes a monster and has to fight in the monster show where no one else has survived.

Good set up but then the novel deteriorates into a hot mess. It seems a lot of time the author wrote himself into a corner and did plot twists that weren't mentioned before to change things.

Not bad for $3 but I think the author can do better.

Profile Image for Nancy (The Avid Reader).
2,279 reviews96 followers
March 24, 2016
In I Am Alive teenagers are rated on a scale from 1 - 10. Everybody wants to be a 10 and is raised from birth to be the best that they can be and hopefully they will be a 10. When it is time for Decca to be rated the system says she is a monster and monsters are considered a nuisance and a burden to society and will always be below their standard of expectations and must fight for their right to live.
Profile Image for Hypatia.
560 reviews75 followers
Want to read
June 26, 2012
Uh oh.....this sounds like just another Hunger Games rip-off.
Profile Image for Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads).
710 reviews181 followers
March 15, 2013
From http://readingandwritingurbanfantasy....

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.
Profile Image for Neysa (Papier Revue).
111 reviews10 followers
March 9, 2013
[FOR MORE REVIEW, CHECK OUT : http://mnkbooklife.blogspot.com/]

"Did I tell you about when I was seven years old, and my mom wanted to kill me because she thought I was a Monster? Yes. I remember I did."

I really was hooked to this book the first time I read the title. It was so simple, yet so true and interesting it instantly got me. The blurb was really good as well, and it quickly made it to my TBR list. The first time I read the blurb, it sounded like a Hunger Games wanna-be, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this book too, had its own color and uniqueness.

I Am Alive told us about Decca Tenderstone's life at Faya, a dystopian nation where every sixteen-year-old children get ranked by 1 to 10 and treated based on it. Ten was perceived as legendary, and really was only a legend, and anyone below five was called Monster, where they would sent into an arena to fight for their life. Being a predictable Seven, Decca led an average life on school, treated as averagely as a Seven would, and get her right as a Seven. But all of her average life changed when on the Ranking day—when the teenagers was ranked with the help of the device called the iAm—she decided to take on someone else's ranked and traded with her, someone who was a Predicted Monster. As she was thrown into the arena for her fake rank, what would Decca do to stay alive, to find her life's purpose, and rejoined the one that meant the world to her?

I actually really liked the whole concept of this book. Sure, it adopted a common dystopian plot line, where you would battle for your life in an arena and so on and so on, but what captured me was the book's strong setting and really believable culture. How the people were treated based on their 'number', how they should respect people with higher number, and how a simple mathematics could changed a person's life completely, it was all so fresh and interesting. The character's references of the 21st century world was also interesting. They called Blackberry and iPhone as 'weird', and many more, it helped making the book and its dystopian society way more believable.

The character, on the other side, I found lack of surprise and development. There were some interesting characters such as Decca and Leo, which was obvious since they were the main character, but other than that, many of them were flat and dull.
Decca Tenderstone, our main protagonist, totally caught my attention the first time i read about her. I really love how she would risked everything for other people, and took an option that surprised nearly everyone. She was unpredictable, and yet really easy to connect with.
Leo, our other main protagonist as well as Decca's counterpart, was really interesting as well. He was portrayed as a mysterious Nine who rebelled against the nation when he sang a song that he dedicated to the Monster. Ever since the incident. he went missing, and made a comeback as one of the contestant in the Monster Show. What I especially loved about Leo was his life story. I really like how it was unfolded one by one, making the reader curious ad asking for more. One thing I felt could be fixed from him was his romance with Decca. I thought that although it was not oh-I'm-so-in-love-with-you-I'll-do-something-utterly-stupid-for-love's-sake kind of love, I felt that their chemistry was not strong and believable enough, and that it was overall too flat.

There were some things I'm not quite fond of this book. One, it was actually really annoying to read that America was spelled Amerikaz for no actual purpose, or Bad Kidz, or Hoverboardz, and many more. It really didn't make any differences, and didn't enhance the story in any way.
Two, there really were too much characters on this book, many of them were named but didn't have any unique characteristic, or trait, or role. It was honestly confusing to read, and it made me had quite a hard time recognizing who is who, and who is doing what.

Overall, if you're looking for a fresh YA dystopian read with an interesting concept, strong world-building and really believable culture, you should definitely try this one
Profile Image for Paperback Princess.
158 reviews43 followers
March 16, 2013
This review was originally posted at Paperback Princess.

I Am Alive by Cameron Jace is a unique concept of the future. In a totalitarian world everyone is ranked between 5-9, 8-9 being the highest, pre-5's being "Monsters". Each year, teens participate in a Ranking Day where they receive their ranks for life, those that gets Monster status participates in The Monster Show. A televised game show similar to Surviver, the difference being, The Monster Show is a brutal game that ends with death...you are counted as a participant if you continue to say "I Am Alive" after each activity.

Decca Tenderstone a 7, predicted to be an 8 swaps her iAM (iPhone) with a Monster. Decca believes that the last standing teen in the previous year's Monster Show, her best friend, Woo, is still alive and hiding within the Dizney "Playa" Battlefield compound where the game is played. Decca is adamant that Woo is still alive and she is determined to be reunited with him, at all cost.

I Am Alive is an engrossing and interesting read that grips you from the very beginning. Jace created a dystopian world that was distinctive from other dystopian worlds I've previously read about. I did enjoy the references to our current time which is supposedly the "past". From the very beginning the story captivated me. There was some parts of the "history" that baffled me and it did not make sense, possibly because it's talking about the current time in an incorrect manner, but as you read through the book you understand why their concept of our current time is misconstrued.

The characters were great. Decca was fun to read about as she wasn't perfect and she was sometimes conflicted with her choices. Leo, despite the fact that you don't know his motives, was still a hero in my eyes especially as he tries to save Decca several times. I like his heroic and no-BS attitude. I also enjoyed several of the secondary characters most especially Ariadna; love that she is a true rebel/Monster despite being rated as an "8" she still remained loyal to Decca right till the end. I also enjoyed Bellona and Pepper too, they helped make the story more enjoyable to read.

I Am Alive is a great introductory book in the I Am Alive series by Author, Cameron Jace. His concept is fantastic and original and the story is fascinating and grips the readers from beginning till the end. The ending is explosive and makes the readers crave for more. The characters are relatable and reading through their challenges were entertaining because of their personalities. I Am Alive is a distinctive dystopian novel that's entertaining and a gripping read, and I'm looking forward to the consecutive books in this trilogy.

Profile Image for Sarah Ashley Jones.
Author 4 books202 followers
March 8, 2013
I'm a Dystopian nut. What can I say? It's my roots of where I started reading as an adults and I absolutely love the idea of the future that's not like the Jetsons. When I read the blurb for I Am Alive, it caught my eye immediately. It takes place in Los Angeles, which I am very familiar with growing up in San Diego and I always love stories where I can relate to where it is happening.

We start off by meeting Katie on ranking day. She's is pre-ranked to be middle class and seems to be okay with that. She's content she's not going to be lower than a five, which would make her an Outrank and have consequences for her family, but she has a whole hidden agenda. She wants to get into the Monster Show and she has an amazing plan with an even more interesting reason behind it.

This may make me a morbid person, but I love the idea of the Monster Show. Not because innocent children are dying, but I love the suspenseful emotion that it fires inside me. You start to become everyone's cheerleader, but you also start to feel the conflicted emotions of what would you do if you were in that situation. It's nerve-wracking! I felt like I was there and it's creepy and intriguing all rolled into one.

You also meet Leo, a rock star of his time, who is mysterious and also it's questionable if he's trustworthy. I liked him from the beginning but I wanted to know more. I wanted to know his story. I STILL want to know his story, even though you learn bits and pieces of it, but I will have to wait until the next book. In fact, there's a whole lot of things I still want to find out, which makes this book so awesome. You get so sucked into this new world that you are left wanting more.

Another favorite part of mine was all pop culture references. First it was the added Z's to words and then when I found out about The Breakfast Club, I about had a heart attack. Also, the Monster Show takes place where Disneyland used to be! And they ride on some of the old school rides and I kept thinking, "I've been there! I've done that!" It was pretty cool.

Last but not least, there's a love interest in this book. It's sweet and not the whole story, but everyone needs someone to ship in books and you will definitely be a Leo and Katie shipper! Or else we can't be friends. Okay, maybe we can. Maybe!

Profile Image for Verónica.
309 reviews12 followers
October 3, 2014
En realidad un 3,5 pero soy generosa. Este libro es muy parecido a THG, (no he leído THG, sé que es un pecado capital, pero he visto las pelis) es al igual una distocia en la que concursan unos adolescentes para poder sobrevivir.
Os contare un poquillo de que va:
El libro transcurre en el futuro donde gobierna Ztiler (si, con z). Tiene muchas características este futuro pero os voy a contar el mas importante y es que todos los humanos tienen un iAm que es un aparato que te clásica física y patológicamente en la sociedad. La clasificación va en base a unos números del 5 al 9, os pondré un ejemplo si sacas un 5 pues serás un basurero y si sacas un 9 serás un deportista de élite, un cantante, actor.. si sacas esa nota perfecto, estas salvado (nunca ha habido un 10, el 10 es la perfección)pero si sacas menos de un 5 te conviertes en un Monstruo y debes participar en un show televisivo en el que ningún Monstruo a sobrevivido y que solo utilizan para manipular y entretener a la gente. Los Monstruos que participan son todos adolescentes ya que a los 16 años te hacen una especie de prueba definitiva y te dicen al numero perteneces.
El libro esta contado por Decca, un pre 7, ella esta a punto de hacer su prueba, pero pasan ciertas cosas y debe participar en este show, ya que ella esta convencida que su mejor amigo Woo si esta vivo. Pero las cosas se complican los juegos no son tan fáciles como ella pensaba y para colmo conoce un a un chico un poco raro y muy protector con ella, llamado Leo.

Como podéis ver la historia se parece un poco a THG.
Me gusto que el autor en las primeras paginas te dice que no es una historia original, que es una historia que coge cachos de aquí y allá sobre libros, pelis, etc.
Otro punto a favor que le daría es que me gusta que cambie algunas palabras como Ztiler o Zambo, es como que se manipula o, en algunos casos, se pierde cierta información que paso hace unos años. Me gusto mucho el mundo, me gusta como describe a la sociedad manipulada por 'las personas importantes'
El punto negativo es que Decca en diversas ocasiones me mal, lo hace todo sin pensar y por su culpa pone en peligro y muere mucha gente. Otro punto negativo es que Woo y Leo no me cayeron bien, no me llego a convencer sus historias, aparte de que Woo es un manipulador.

Como veis tiene puntos negativos y positivos, espero que le deis una oportunidad y a ver que os parece a vosotros.
¡Felicices lecturas!
Profile Image for Megan  Nicole.
141 reviews42 followers
March 4, 2013
This review first appeared on Books i View.

At first glance I Am Alive may come off as one of the many copycats of the ever popular dystopian story of a survival reality show. However Jace does put his own twist on the story, making it seem new and refreshing.

Decca was a bit difficult for me to like. Though, I loved all of the secondary characters. The monsters, each were unique in their own way and I only wished we got to know them more. I even loved Timmy the crazy host of the game!

One thing I love about Decca was at the very start of the book she was brave and willing enough to risk her life for her friend. However… and this frustrated me to no end… she didn’t spend enough time trying to find him! Isn’t that the whole reason why she was there, right? Other than that Decca seemed a little bland. Nothing really stood out with her. I was dying to see more personality or sass come out of her! Maybe in the next installment she’ll come out of her shell.

I loved Leo! He is such a complex yet mysterious character. In the begging he was like a knight in shining armor for Decca and saved her like he walked right out of a Vin Diesel action movie. The thing I didn’t like was the more the story progressed the less badass he became. But the plus side of that was that Decca had to step up to the plate and save herself.

American culture is referenced multiple times in this book with one slight change. Some letters are swapped out with a Z. For example Twitter &Youtube in the book are Zwitter & Zootube. At first this annoyed me greatly and I thought WHY? Then later on in the book I realized that there is a meaning behind it and this is part of what the whole book is about. And suddenly I was like OH that’s why!

The Monster Show was also well crafted by Jace. It takes on more of a Survivor feel to it as it is testing if you can survive rather than just trying to kill you. I found myself drawn in most by the action of the games the monsters had to play; I only wished it lasted longer!

Cameron Jace added his own style and ideas to a great dystopian adventure! I loved it and even sacrificed sleep without regretting it just so I could finish reading it! I would definitely recommend this if you love dystopians!
Profile Image for Pam.
916 reviews40 followers
August 4, 2012
Decca has a plan. She needs to go on the Monster Show to see what really happened to her friend. In a world where kids are rated 1-10 anything below a 5 is sent to try and stay alive on the monster show. The kids are called monsters and no one has survived yet. Decca thinks other wise and gets put in the show. She meets Leo and knows of him but even while he tries to save her he doesn't want to be close to her. She ha secrets and it seems Leo does as well. What kids that have survived band together but it may not be enough to save them. While the world watches will any of them come out and be able to say I am Alive? Will Decca ever learn the secrets she longs to find out?

Decca is awesome!! She is a 16 girl who does some very dumb things but she has to know what really happens to the people on the Monster Show. She is tougher than she even knows and really pulls it together while her life is in danger. She helps people she probably never would have met if things were different. I love watching her around Leo. She kinda has a love hate thing going on for him. Leo is the dreamy mystery boy all the girls seem to fall for and all the people watching the show love best. He is the one they expect to finally win. The other players on the Monster show look up to him and follow him. He tries his best to stay away from Decca unless he is saving her life. I didn't know how I would like him to the end then I really did like him even if I think he still has secrets to share.

I see this compare a lot to other books and they are similar. I really enjoyed exploring this book as it has it own twist on a story were teens have to survive. The characters are different and I really liked getting into Decca's head. There is a lot of action in this book as it is not meant for any kids to survive. It is a way for this city to get rid of the bad kids and entertain the good ones. I know many more secrets are yet to be revealed and the ending really has me hooked as I want to see what happens next and what is everyone hiding. I liked the twist on some names and reference to "ancient" shows and people. I would recommend any person who likes dystopion books to pick this one up.
Profile Image for Kat.
477 reviews166 followers
March 19, 2013
From the moment I read the synopsis of I Am Alive I knew I wanted to read it – dystopian society, ranking scales and a game where teenagers fight for their lives? It’s like a mash up of every dystopian book that I’ve ever enjoyed, with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. And I Am Alive certainly didn’t disappoint.

Decca definitely has some secrets, and in the course of the book more and more of them emerge as she fights for her life in a society where you are judged on your potential to be a ‘good’ person in a variety of ways. I really liked her toughness but also her vulnerability, especially when it comes to the people she cares about. Coupled with a great sarcastic sense of humour and an ability to quickly adapt to the situation she finds herself in, she was a great character to ride along with.

The pace of I Am Alive is pretty much full-throttle the whole way through and right from the first page I was intrigued to find out exactly what would happen, and as more of the world was revealed I was more and more hooked in the story. Along with some very imaginative plot lines (genetically modified tigers anyone?!), the action scenes were a great mixture of tension and intensity.

I found the world-building both fun and fascinating and fully appreciated the author’s ability to be both serious and a little bit cliché at the same time. Along with the plot itself being a well-done mixture of dystopian key elements, there are also some fun takes on pop culture and history that I found almost amusing as well as being relevant to the story.

There were a couple of moments that I was confused by what was happening, and the characters are not completely developed (although this is understandable for a first book in a series) and one section where the editing needed a little bit of work, but overall I really enjoyed this fast-paced dystopian with some fun elements thrown in. The ending in particular really stuck with me, so much so that I dreamed I was in that world myself the night after finishing the book….

Read more of my reviews at The Aussie Zombie
Profile Image for zapkode.
1,046 reviews77 followers
January 6, 2013
"Every girl dies - not every girl really lives."

{my thoughts} - This book is centered around a sixteen-year-old girls life by the name of {decca tenderstone}. She is on a journey to locate a friend of hers that had been sent to the {dizny battlefieldz}. In order to be sent there you need to be ranked as a {monster} what that means is that the {summit} doesn't believe you to be anything but wasted space living within society and those that are classified {monsters} have the potential to destroy their entire families. She decides that since she is old enough to participate in the rankings that she will make sure she is sent there so that she can search for her missing friend that she hopes is alive but is under the impression is dead. She is a determined girl that makes some friends and loses some friends throughout her quest. The biggest lesson that she learns is how to stand up for herself and show {the summit} that she is not going to back down and will stand ground on her beliefs. The fact that she is strong willed, forceful and fearless helps to make this book an excellent read. If you liked the {hunger games} I am sure you will like this book as it is similar but had a much better storyline, the characters help to engage the reader and the plot has many twists and turns that makes you want to continue reading the book completely through. I look forward to reading the second book in this series as this one made for an incredibly good read that didn't disappoint me in the least. It lived up to all my expectations in a book! The biggest of which is leaving me wanting more!

{reason for reading} - I decided to read this book because I had read it was similar to the {hunger games}. I some what enjoyed those books so I thought I would give this one a try since I was already in love with another series by {cameron jace}, {the grimm diary prequels}.
Profile Image for Sophie G.
19 reviews1 follower
January 8, 2013
Pre seven Decca lives in Feya, a totalitarian society in the future where when you are sixteen you are ranked from 5 to 9 which will pre determine your future. Anything below a 5 and you are branded a Monster and thrown in to the Monster Show, three days of televised brutal games which if you can survive you are allowed to become ranked and enter back in to society. The catch is no one has ever beaten the game.

On her ranking day Decca meets Leo, a smouldering hot ex 9, ex singer who was unranked and exiled from Feya for writing a song that rebelled against the Summit.

Wow this was such a good read, it makes me feel ALIVE. If I could I would of given this book four and a half stars. The only reason I felt I was obligated to rate it as a four star and not a 5 as that I thought the relationship between Decca and Leo could have been built up better to have given an even better impact, however I still loved every moment! Also I did notice a few minor grammatical errors in my version but honestly I really didn't give a damn.

Yes, I know what you are all thinking. Its like The Hunger Games right? Wrong.

This book is astronomically better. The similarities stop at that it is a totalitarian society and that the shows are televised. Try this book and you will be exhilarated by the ideas and intelligence executed during the Monster Shower.

I loved all the pop culture references linking it back to our current time and it was just so entertaining the whole way through. I started reading it earlier this morning and I just could not put it down.

My heart is yearning for the next book. I'm pretty sure I will be thinking about this book incessantly till i can my hands on the next one!
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