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Stella Cross's heart is poisoned.

After years on the transplant waiting list, she's running out of hope that she'll ever see her eighteenth birthday. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive.

Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred by strange side effects: Nightmares. Hallucinations. A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Then Stella meets Levi Zin, the new boy on everyone's radar at her Seattle prep school. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi are inseparable.

Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart?

After all, the heart never lies...does it?

368 pages, Hardcover

First published June 9, 2015

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Chandler Baker

15 books1,472 followers

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5 stars
249 (20%)
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391 (31%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 256 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,724 reviews1,277 followers
June 11, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and NetGalley.)

“Blood sprays up at my face. Several droplets dangle in my line of vision. They cling to my hair. Gagging, I cover my mouth.
Only, my wet fingers slip across my skin, leaving warm patches of blood on my face. Blood that pours out onto the table.”

This was a slightly strange story about a girl haunted by the previous owner of her transplanted heart.

I felt quite sorry for Stella, she’d obviously been through a lot, been held by her heart, and even felt like she’d been replaced when her parents had chosen to have another baby. To then feel like she was going crazy because of her transplanted heart all seemed like a bit too much.

“My chest convulses, and I lurch off the bed, then slam back down on the ground. It convulses again and my body is tossed as if I’m possessed by demons.”

The storyline in this was about Stella feeling pain and hallucinating every day at 5:08, and not knowing why. I thought that the pacing in this was quite slow though, and the book seemed to drag a bit.

“It’s… terrifying. Like time is working against you. Like there’s a literal hourglass that contains the minutes of your life.”

We also had a bit of a love triangle happening Stella, a new boy called Levi, and Stella’s friend Henry.

“We’re two magnets. I feel the instant pull at that moment we decide we’re going to kiss.”

The ending to this was okay, and I thought the author did a good job of ending this happily.

6 out of 10
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews906 followers
March 31, 2016
An unsolicited Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Stella believes that her heart transplant is a defect. That it changed her for the worse. She gets nightmares and pain in her chest that flares every now and then. Wondering if it has something to do with her transplant, she tries to find out once and for all what happened to her.

Most of the beginning I felt my eyes would fall out of its sockets because Stella was one of the most annoying teen characters I have encountered. She becomes obsessive about this boy she's only known for five minutes. She ends up changing herself for Levi and I assure you it's not a healthy relationship. She felt cared for when it's with Levi but if anyone else does it, it's not okay? Then there's the love interest Levi who is super creepy! He is possessive, controlling, aggressive and abusive. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to kick him in the face. I know that he manipulates her, but still it was hard to see her brush off the people who actually do care for her.

There's instant love, a love triangle and stalking involved. But that's only for the first half of the book. Because the middle starts to get better. There's a mystery and all things start to turn into a paranormal mystery. I was quite surprised that it changed direction but I was also happy for it too. 

I'm glad I stuck with Alive because so far it managed to be a little boring but by the end, I was creeped out to the max! Overall, it's a good mystery thriller that will definitely make you think twice.



"I'm not going to change what I like just because other people like it, too." (103)

"What else is pain but convincing fiction?" (107)

"I'm done with having other people decide what's safe for me and what's not." (209)

"Life has a way of changing plans on you." (353)
Profile Image for Rachel  (APCB Reviews).
331 reviews1,191 followers
August 20, 2015
Initial Review: Oh this one was good!! It wasn't at all what I was expecting. I was theorizing like mad, I was looking over my shoulder every so often, I was freaking out! This one was a pleasant and spooky surprise that I'd definitely recommend!

Find the review @ A Perfection Called Books

There's something utterly captivating about this book that kept my eyes glued to the pages. I must admit that the synopsis is a bit misleading. This book starts off contemporary and then does a 180 switch to paranormal/thriller. I enjoyed this, but it might annoy others who don't know this ahead of time.

Stella Cross has a heart condition that she'll die from if she doesn't get a heart transplant. It's highly unlikely that she'll find a donor match, so everyone is thrilled when a match miraculously turns up and Stella gets a second chance at life. Soon after her transplant though, she struggles to readjust to school life and ride out the crazy side effects of her operation. I really liked Stella's character. She's got varied interests, she's funny, and she doesn't pity herself.

Eventually the stunningly attractive new kid Levi Zinn appears and shows a keen interest in Stella. When she's around him her new heart hurts less. She feels alive when she's with Levi. The romance in this one was a bit tricky. I'm not sure if I'd call it insta-love, and it's a bit hard to explain without spoiling anything. It felt a tad rushed, but maybe it was just lust at first sight between Stella and Levi. There's also another love interest involved, but that didn't bother me too much. Besides that she starts to have psychotic hallucinations. These hallucinations are so messed up and scary at times. My one problem with the hallucinations is that after the first time or two, you can easily tell what's real and what's not even if Stella can't.

Stella has some wonderful friends too. Brynn is the brash and honest one who you can always count on to tell it to you straight. Stella becomes pretty dependent on Levi and turns away from her friends. She starts blowing them off, especially her friend (and former crush) Henry. Stella and Levi's relationship is sooo unhealthy, and I really hated Stella's behavioral shift towards her friends after she started dating Levi. Henry is sweet and forgiving and a great guy!! I really liked him much more than Levi. Levi's mysterious and dark, the guy who does all the crazy things in life just for the thrills.

Just as I mentioned before, this book warps from a contemporary novel into a horror/mystery/thriller story. I found it highly entertaining as the story got spookier and spookier and the mystery evolved. My heart started racing, and I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I'd recommend it to you!
159 reviews25 followers
July 22, 2015
4/5 Stars! Full review to come soon.
I was provided an eARC in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Disney-Hyperion!
This review will be cross posted to my blog.

I loved Alive by Chandler Baker. It was totally different from what I was expecting but I was extremely eager to follow Stella's story.

The entire novel was extremely unique. I went in expecting a to read about a girl who receives a heart transplant and gets involved in a love triangle while also recovering. My expectations were literally shattered to pieces. I got the love triangle and recovery, plus a completely original, paranormal dark story.

I thought Stella was a great character. She isn't always the nicest, and doesn't make the best decisions but I was captivated by her. Her way of narrating is very detailed, which makes you feel like you're right by her side.

Levi & Henry are the two "love interests", and I cannot explain how shocked I was with the path the love triangle took. I mean it when I say I wasn't expecting the paranormal turn at all.

Aside from that, Levi was a very interesting, mysterious character, but I loved Henry from the start. (I was totally team Henry and Stella.)

Complete with hallucinations, first loves, high school parties and plot twists, this book is a page turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I'd love to know your thoughts on Alive if you've read it! If you haven't read it and it seems like something you'd enjoy, let me know!
Profile Image for Alayna.
130 reviews28 followers
July 30, 2020
Her şey bir anda 💩 ‘a sardı. Nasıl başarıyor yazarlar bunu anlayamıyorum. Yazım tarzını beğenmişken gizemli birkaç olay ve gereksiz klişelerle mahvolmaya başladı. Bravo canım bravo!
Profile Image for Sibel Gandy.
948 reviews55 followers
June 26, 2020
İyi başlamıştı ama "bu ne saçma sapan bir kurguydu" diyerek bitirdim 😕
Profile Image for Nicola.
229 reviews21 followers
June 11, 2015
Stella Cross has spent years on the transplant list and is finally getting a new heart. Being given a second chance pushes Stella to live her life differently. She wants to be different from the old Stella and say yes to things she normally would have said no to. Unfortunately her ambitious plans are marred with hallucinations and a recurring pain at the same minute of every day. Then the new boy at school, Levi, turns up and Stella becomes drawn to him in a way that she isn't to anyone else. But things aren't as they seem and Stella has to quickly decide who she can trust.

I really liked the premise of this book but sadly it didn't live up to my expectations. The main problem I had was Stella. I just couldn't sympathise or connect with her because she is so annoying. She is ridiculously unfair and rude towards her family and her small circle of friends. She is one of those girls who completely ditches her friends and acts horribly to them as soon as a boy comes into the picture. Including the boy, Henry, she has been friends with for years who almost became more than a friend before her transplant. I get that feelings change, that's perfectly fine, but the way she handled it wasn't all that great. And of course her feelings haven't really changed anyway it's just the hot-boy-showing-interest-in-me effect. I really liked Henry and was totally rooting for him throughout the book.

I will say that the last 30% of the book does salvage this somewhat. I enjoyed this section where the truth starts to come out, mysteries start to unravel and Stella starts to act like a better person. It's not made entirely obvious in the blurb for this book but it's actually paranormal. The paranormal genre tends to be a little hit and miss with me but I did quite like that element to this. It's something different that you don't always see in this type of storyline. I think with a more likable character it would have been even better.

If you are a fan of paranormal then I would definitely still give this book a try. It reminded me of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer in places. It is fast-paced and I found the descriptions very well done. In the end it just wasn't for me.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Emily.
1 review
November 8, 2014
Amazing debut novel! I was lucky enough to score an advance copy and I started reading mostly because I liked the cover (yes, I am a marketer's dream!). What kept me reading, though, was the thrilling and fast-paced story. In fact, I completely devoured this page-turner in one sitting! Engaging characters, exciting story and truly excellent writing - I was sad to leave Stella Cross's world so quickly but I couldn't put it down!! Highly recommend for any YA fans!
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
May 21, 2015
4.5 stars

Well dame! This book is not what I was expecting. Alive is a spine-tingling, creeptastic thriller contemporary that was both emotionally moving and chill-worthy. I get all goose-bumpy just thinking about it!

Stella Cross, was only 15 years old when her heart started to fail her and has been on a waiting list for a transplant for the last two years, but she finally gets the heart transplant that saved her life. Not being able to really do anything since she got sick, Stella is living large and doing things that she wouldn't be able to do before. But the side effects are starting to wear her down. Hallucinations, nightmares and extreme pain at the same time each day has Stella writhing in exhaustion. So when new student, Levi Zin arrives and he and Stella seem to hit it off instantly, Stella is shocked to learn that there is no pain when Levi is around and is convinced that he is the only thing she'll ever need. After all, the heart wants what it wants....right?

First off, I gotta say that I really loved the direction Baker took with this story. I went into this expecting it to go a particular way only to be shutter-shocked when it took the less obvious approach. I also didn't expect this to be such a thriller and loved that gripping and dark edge laced throughout the entire story. I thought the hallucinations and nightmares were wickedly freaky but it was the connection that we learn later that made them such a huge impact. There was also some much needed suspension of disbelief that I had to take with this book, but I still wish we could have gotten some more answers for the why's and how's of it all. Still, I can't deny everything really flowed together at an exciting and intriguing pace and the writing was simply incredible.

Stella isn't a character I come across very often. She's developed in a particular way that made her come off as stubborn, reckless, uptight, jaded and if I'm being truthful, not very likeable. But by the end of the story I realized that certain elements may have played a larger role for Stella's attitude and how she treated everyone around her, so really, how can I fault her for that?
Levi Zin is one complicated hot mess. He's mysterious, complex, intense and very charming and had more then his share of swoon-worthy moments. But there was always something in the back of my mind that made me not want to trust him. Something off. Very off.
Believe it or not, the relationship between Stella and Levi wasn't exactly insta-love, but it did border on unhealthy obsession to the point where Stella would be unhinged whenever she is with Levi or apart. Henry and Brynn were my only constant characters that I really loved. Henry is such a sweetheart, adorable, supportive and protective and everyone needs a Brynn in there life to tell ya how it really is. The overall ending was a little quick and I wish we could have gotten some kind of plausible explanations, but it was still satisfying enough and left me happy and content.

Bottom line, I had a lot of fun with this book. It's unpredictable, mysterious, emotional and fantastically twisted. Chandler Baker is an author to look out for. This was an amazing debut and I look forward to seeing more books in the future from this talented author.
Profile Image for Charlotte Huang.
Author 2 books269 followers
August 17, 2016
I had high hopes for this dark contemporary thriller and I was not disappointed! ALIVE is both creepy and emotionally wrenching. Also, it's beautifully written.

Stella Cross is a fantastic character--smart, witty and utterly relatable. I was absorbed in her story from the very beginning.

I don't think it's a spoiler to say that things go SERIOUSLY AWRY. In my opinion, one of the the best things about this book is how the MC is the architect of her own destiny, in good ways and bad, but never becomes unsympathetic. You'll root for Stella the whole way!

Loved this one and highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Karla✨.
598 reviews
July 14, 2021
2,5 🌟
𝙍𝙚𝙨𝙚ñ𝙖 𝙀𝙨𝙥𝙖ñ𝙤𝙡 𝙚 𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙡é𝙨
Solo puedo decir que ese final no me lo esperaba jamás, tuve muchas teorías pero lo que en realidad pasó no fue una de ellas. La verdad me decepcionó un poco todo lo de Levi y el por que pasó si tuvo algo de trama pero como repito no fue lo que esperaba :(.

I can only say that I never expected that ending, I had many theories but what actually happened wasn't one of them. The truth I was a bit disappointed by everything about Levi and why what happened if it had some plot but as I repeat it wasn't what he expected :(
Profile Image for Tonya Henderson.
713 reviews132 followers
June 4, 2015
Find this review and more on my blog, Lilybloombooks

Wow. We can file Alive under TOTALLY UNEXPECTED.

However, I didn't have any expectations when heading into Alive - the premise is interesting and I have this morbid fascination with the possibility of organ transplants gone wrong. That's not to say that is what happened, per se, but I have a wild imagination on a good day.

Ella was, in short, a hard character to like. I was sympathetic to her situation, but there were times when I was just so flabbergasted by her gall and questioning her sanity at almost every turn. And that doesn't even have to do with the hallucinations. BUT. I understood her. I could not image practically knocking on death's door for years. After her transplant, she wants to be different, dive into life and live how she wants to. Can you blame her? She has a lot of growth to her character too, and once she starts to piece some things together, it was literally a smack in the face.. err, jolt to the heart? >.< I also loved her sense of humor.

Her attraction to Levi wasn't really.. insta-love. It was.. obsession. The added piece that he literally took her pain away just adds to the connection and I was beyond fascinated with why. However, there was an underlining creepiness about Levi that I couldn't shake, which is the point I'm sure, and the suspense had my heart a pitter-patterin.

I also adored her friends, Henry and Brynn. Henry was such a sweet, supporting best friend and it killed me to see him pushed aside. Brynn is straight forward and to the point and loved her to pieces. Also, the family dynamic is strong. Even with the comments of the little sister replacing Ella, you can tell she really did love her family.

The writing is just superb. I loved the medical files, the chapter headers and I loved the paranormal twist that was thrown in. The hallucinations and nightmares were flat-out creepy and gave me goosebumps! I didn't even know until AFTER the fact, that they were hallucinations! I was FREAKING OUT.

My only small issue was the quick resolution. It's only barely enough to satisfy my questioning mind. I also can't figure out why 

Alive was a such an unexpected, creepy but REALLY GOOD READ with a dark undertone. I highly recommend it!

*I received this book for free from The Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
Profile Image for Jordan.
149 reviews13 followers
May 30, 2015
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Stella Cross’s life has been saved by receiving a new heart, just when she thinks she won’t survive. Equipped with a new heart and a realization that she still has her whole life ahead of her, Stella re-enters her life determined to make the most of it. When she meets Levi Zen, she falls hard and fast, drawn to him. But there’s more to Levi than meets the eye, and Stella must decide who she can really trust before it’s too late.

I’m having a hard time sorting my thoughts out about this book, so this review may be all over the place. When I finished reading, the best way I could describe how I felt is confused. The book started out seeming like a contemporary read, but then towards the end suddenly it was a paranormal story.

I enjoyed the first part of the book when Stella has just started back at school and is trying to readjust to the life she’d started to accept she wouldn’t have. But as soon as Levi entered the picture, my like for the book instantly plummeted. I do not like it when people enter a relationship and suddenly that’s the only person who matters, completely dropping their friends, putting this person who is honestly essentially a stranger first. I’ve had it happen and it’s not fun. So of course it’s also not enjoyable to read about. I just wanted to shake Stella because suddenly this boy she doesn’t even really know is the only important thing in her life and no one else matters, and it even gets to the point where she’s having panic attacks when they’re apart.

I feel I should pause here and say that I did like the idea behind this book. I thought it was very original. Unfortunately, it was executed poorly. The entire book felt rushed. As I stated earlier, it wasn’t an obvious paranormal story until towards the end, which completely threw me off. Stella was not an enjoyable character. She was rude, and made bad decisions throughout the entire book.

It’s hard to put my finger on it, but I feel like this story just didn’t reach the right depth, like it only scratched the surface of what it could have been. That’s the only way I know how to put it.

I give it 2/5 stars.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,073 reviews92 followers
June 19, 2015
This is how I feel about the person who pitched this book to me as Contemporary YA...

This, my friends, is not a contemporary--well, I mean, it is, but I was totally expecting to read an endearing story about Stella's second-chance-at-life that would make me laugh, cry and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

But no.

That is not what I got. 

I got a book that scared the sprinkles off my cupcake and gave me nightmares. LEGIT NIGHTMARES. I bolted upright at 4a.m. and frantically checked to make sure my heart was still inside my body, scaring both the Husband and myself half to death. So thanks for thank, publicist person. 

I DID get a well-written and eerily entertaining story with relateable characters. Stella has a good family and several close friends to help her adjust to life post heart transplant. Brynn adds a dose of reality and Henry provides the swoon, but Levi...well, let's just say he provides something altogether "different". 

I would classify this story as horror, a la Stephen King, which I don't willingly read. Usually. But I did enjoy Chandler Baker's story-telling and I look forward to what she comes up with next. Unless it requires me reading under a blanket or with my eyes covered. Maybe.
Profile Image for Liviania.
957 reviews64 followers
June 10, 2015
Person receives a transplant organ that turns out to be ~evil is quite the cliche, so I appreciated that Chandler Baker didn't go for the obvious in her debut novel ALIVE. Stella Cross just got a new heart, and the surgery was a success in everyone's point of view but her own. Every day at 5:08 she's struck by intense pain.

Then she meets Levi Zin.

When Levi is close, the pain is gone. It doesn't hurt that he's handsome and charming. Stella doesn't just fall hard; she's totally obsessed. Her relationships with her best friend Brynn and it's complicated Henry fall to the wayside. She ignores everyone who tells her that this relationship is unhealthy, and that there's something off about Levi. That he's controlling and always around. She wants him to be always around. Until she doesn't.

ALIVE is an excellent horror story about obsession, ownership, and life after death. Stella's visions and pain are quite horrifying and liven up the more romantic first half of the novel. I particularly liked the combination of the paranormal creepiness revolving around the donated heart and the human creepiness of stalking and other forms of obsessive love. It was a one-two punch of horror and both strands worked together.

I also liked how much detail was given to Stella's friends. Brynn isn't as important to the story, but she clearly has a life off the page. Henry and Stella's complicated relationship is a nice counterpoint to how easily things go with Levi (at first). They're the best friends who kind of have a thing for each other but always admit it at the wrong point. It was easy to see that they could work it out if they gave a romantic relationship a chance, but that they could also manage to maintain a friendship if they didn't.

ALIVE is an assured debut. It does take awhile to pick up, but if you stick with it, it is a fun little horror story. There's even some nifty bits of mythology explaining how everything is happening. I look forward to Baker's High School Horror series, which will start in February 2016.
6 reviews1 follower
December 1, 2014
I highly recommend Alive!! I got an advance copy, dug into it immediately, and was not disappointed! This book draws you in with a compelling story about the strange events following Stella Cross's post-heart transplant surgery, but what keeps you turning the page is the thrilling hallucinations that keep you on the edge of your seat. I was entertained from cover to cover. I can't wait for the rest of the world to have open access to this book!
Profile Image for Kay.
46 reviews28 followers
June 13, 2015
I was so surprised by this book! I was expecting it to be one of those generic sick teen books with a strong TFiOS vibe - but it was not even close! Though it was far from a perfect book, it was still really good and unexpected. Possibly a new favourite.... I'm not sure yet. Either way I would definitely recemmend it
Profile Image for Michelle .
2,016 reviews230 followers
April 11, 2017
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Alive is one of those young adult books that has such a cool concept, that you can't not read it. Alive is about a teenage girl that gets a heart transplant, and then some strange and dare-I-say-it... creepy, things begin to happen. You cannot tell me that story doesn't sounds, original and flat out awesome, can you? Nope, I didn't think so. Alive is a great read. One that will leave you more than a little spooked.Stella is a character that I think could be very polarizing in the young adult book world. I can certainly see people getting frustrated with her, but it was really easy for me to put myself in her shoes and imagine how hard her recovery and every day life must be. I haven't gone through anything as traumatic as having a bad heart or needing a transplant, but Stella is a very easily relate-able character.

Sure, she gets a bit of first boyfriend tunnel- vision, and sure she takes a couple craps on her friends, but put in context of everything that was going on, I got it. Now, don't get me wrong. I didn't give her a free pass for being a crappy friend more than once during Alive. In fact, I wanted to shake her every single time I imagined Henry's hurt feelings. Stella kind of went on a path of teenage destruction in parts of Alive. She is lucky that her friends are so awesome, because I know a lot of people that wouldn't not put up with half of her decisions. I know it seems like I am hating on Stella. but I'm not. Because even through everything I just mentioned, I was still on Team Stella. Why? Because of Chandler's writing. Chandler Baker made me care for Stella, because I understood Stella's motivations.

I love Henry. I shipped hard for him in this book. Levi totally creeped me out. He was not a bad boy that made me swoon at all. But then again, how could anyone steal my attention from Henry. I just wanted to hug him from the very first text that Stella sent him. (and I hadn't even met him yet!)

Chandler's writing was the highlight of Alive for me. It was thought provoking writing. I loved the idea that an organ might not just be an organ. That it might carry some impressions, and history from its' previous owner. That concept alone has a ton of ramifications, and interesting ideas to explore. Alive is the product of that thought, and I loved seeing where Chandler Baker took it. So whether you end up loving Stella or hating Stella, I think there is something for everyone to enjoy, and to think about, in Alive.

This review was originally posted on Book Briefs
Profile Image for Just a person .
995 reviews294 followers
July 6, 2015
3 stars (I Like It)

I wanted to read Alive because I am drawn to books about teens dealing with illnesses. Heart transplants are also something that I have been very interested in, especially when the cell memory theory is thrown in, which is what the pain reminded me of. I figured she was experiencing things with the donor's death possibly, and the connections of him since the heart is such a personal organ.

I liked the strength of Stella, how she faced such hard things and still managed to have an attitude of facing the world, and focusing on getting back to school and regular life after being sick for so long. She has a sort of boyfriend Henry that she talks to and whose been texting and been there for her, but they haven't really been defined mostly because of Stella and her reluctance.

Family is a focus, even though of course Stella feels at times that her mom hovers and worries too much and also doesn't understand her. You can tell that Stella loves her toddler sister, but she also jokes with bitterness about her being the replacement or upgrade child since she was born after Stella got sick with the cardiomyopathy which is what landed her needing the transplant.

It does take a mysterious turn with the pain that she feels and like I said earlier I thought might be related to the death of her donor I really wasn't expecting a paranormal fantasy type explanations to be behind the mystery of the book but it makes sense even though it takes it out of the category of contemporary.

I like part of the romance for this one but not all of it. I wasn't fully convinced either way until the book was almost ending, which was fine because then it was sweet and it gave it feeling of the second chance love kind of thing for me.

I did like how the book ended it was fitting for the story and actually pretty upbeat which is a little surprising considering how dark it was at one point.

Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.

Bottom Line: Enjoyable read with blend of contemp and fantasy element.
Profile Image for  Lianne Mei.
607 reviews
July 23, 2015
Going into this I was super excited to read it because of the description. Now after getting to know the characters especially Stella, I do not like this book.

Stella: I do not like Stella because she was reckless with her health and she turned into one of those girls who are super obsessed with their boyfriends to the point that they change their dress and hairstyle to make their boyfriends happy. I get that she was in the hospital for a long time and I do not blame her for not wanting to go back but still, she has a second chance of living and decides to be super reckless with it! Stella also neglected her best friends in favor of said boyfriend (Levi)(for a lot of people that is a huge pet peeve), one of whom is in love with her. I always hate when books make the main character's best friend that they have known since they were little in love with the main character.

Levi: I knew that he was bad news since the first time that Stella met him. Levi seemed like the mysterious hot boy that everyone in the school was into. He liked the same music as Stella and when they first met it was love at first sight (insta - love, yuck). Why do so many authors have to have insta - love in their books? It just ruins the story for me. There were so many clues that Levi was a bad boy and yet Stella just ignores them all. Even her friends were telling her to stay away from him. But does she listen no!

Henry: You wait until Stella has had her surgery to tell her that you are in love with her? And then when you get rejected you do not speak to her for a long time. What is with these guys who have known a girl for so long that all of a sudden feel the need to declare their love. Earth to Henry, do not expect girls to wait around forever to tell them you love them.

Brynn: Stella's best friend. I liked her because she was blunt and an overall interesting character.

Romance: Insta- love mixed with a love triangle. Stella ends up going back in forth between her best friend Henry and her new love Levi.

The twist at the end is what gets this book a one star.
Profile Image for BookCupid.
1,000 reviews68 followers
July 8, 2015
All Stella wanted was a heart.

She needed a transplant urgently. After the surgery, she was warned about the jagged scar that would mark her chest, as well as her inability to perform sports. What she didn't expect was the welcoming she got at school, especially the attention from the new hunk Levi, who wants to be with her all the time. It's like he can't live without his sweetheart. But when Stella starts becoming depended on him, Levi turns sour. Who exactly is this guy, and what game is he playing?

Baker made sure to swoon the reader before giving the story a nice terrifying twist. Aside from Levi, Stella had two great friends (a little love triangle never hurt) who were ready to support her no matter what. I admit, I did rush to read the ending not because it dragged, but to find out if my suspicions were true.

A refreshing read for the summer.

Profile Image for Jen Panton.
4 reviews5 followers
January 16, 2015
I read an ARC of ALIVE, and I read it in about a day! This is a creepy, atmospheric, and intriguing page-turner with beautifully written prose. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but there was one character I fell absolutely in love with. But what I really loved about ALIVE is that while there are plenty of suspenseful edge-of-your-seat scenes, it really focuses on Stella as a character and how she deals with her illness and her recovery. There's a thoughtfulness to her development that gives the story a lot more depth than other titles in this vein. It's a fantastic debut, and I can't wait to read more by this author.
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews582 followers
June 11, 2015
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

I felt really sorry for Stella at the start of this. Having to face an operation that huge, that could either save your life or end it, would be absolutely awful.

This started out okay, even if there was a couple of odd moments. As the book progressed though, the odd moments got more frequent, which made it hard to understand what was going on. Those moments were explained later on in the book, and after that it was pretty good. While they were happening though, it was really confusing.

Overall, Okay read, but could be hard to follow at times.
Author 4 books412 followers
April 18, 2015
I'll admit it. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started ALIVE, but HOLY CRAP it's good! I read it in one sitting. Can a book be steamy and scary? Why, yes. Yes, it can. If you like 90s era light-horror (is that a thing? Sure. Why not?) Then you'll love this. It was so GOOD. I know I already said that, but it bears repeating!
Profile Image for Lee Kelly.
Author 4 books317 followers
September 22, 2014
Creepy and thrilling, with killer voice and enviable prose. Baker is one to watch -- I loved it!
Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,481 reviews341 followers
February 19, 2016
Este libro no era lo que yo esperaba, cuando lo empecé tenía una idea en mi cabeza sobre la historia pero a mitad del libro Oh Sorpresa ! me sorprendió y para bien
9 reviews
October 9, 2017
When I started searching for a book to read, "Alive" by Chandler Baker, caught my eye. I have always been into thrillers and realistic fiction and this seemed like a good fit. The high school aspect made it easier to connect to the book.

The book starts off with a girl named Stella Cross, going into a major surgery for her heart transplant, after two years of waiting on the donor list. However, her new heart comes with many side effects. Everyday at the same time, she experiences a sharp pain throughout her whole body. She also has to deal with many hallucinations and nightmares. But, there is one thing that stops her pain, Levi Zin. Stella instantly falls in love with this new boy and has no explanation why. She abandons her friends so she can spend as much time with Levi as possible. However, throughout the book Levi starts to become very controlling and somewhat of a stalker. As the book goes on, it reveals many things about Levi Zin that I never would have guessed. Stella soon realizes that he is a danger to her, and decides to take action. At the end of the book, it is clear why Stella is so attached to Levi.

One thing that I loved about this book was the detail of Stella's hallucinations. At times it was hard to tell what was real and what was fake, but the way it was written was very creative. However, I did not like how the author portrays Stella. It was hard to have sympathy for her when she was so rude to her family and the fact that she left Henry and her best friend Brynn in the dust in the beginning of the book. Another thing that I didn't like was how it took a very long time before anything "big" happened. But, the second half of the book was filled with many plot twists that kept you on the edge of your seat.

Overall this was a good book. It did not have the basic, predictable ending that many books have. If you are into realistic fiction with a mix of thriller, I highly recommend reading this. It was a very easy read and was hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would read it again if I could.
11 reviews
December 11, 2019
Stella Cross is a teenager that is about to turn 18 years old. Like more people when turning 18 years old they get happy she was, but there was something that wasn't right. It was her heart. As most kids wish for extravagant things on their 18th birthday Stella wanted and needed a new heart. As she starts to look for transplants she finally has one. She has been waiting for one with the same blood type and everything. She was nervous because "25% of the patients that get this done die." She kept thinking "what happens if I am one of those people in the 25% that die." She couldn't think that way and a couple of days before the surgery her friends and family were there. A lot of her friends are kind of split apart because she was in the hospital so much it wasn't because they didn't want to be with her is just they never would come. So her mom, dad, Brynn, and Henry were all there before the surgery happened. She wakes up and is alive after the surgery. Her family and friends are amazed. After a couple of weeks, she starts to get used to the real world because she can do whatever she wants. I would recommend this book to teenagers because they can see what someone around there age has to go through.
5 reviews
November 5, 2017
A heart transplant gives Stella a new lease on life, but she is still troubled with weird visions and constant pain. When a new guy moves to town, Levi Zin, it seems to ease off Stella's pain. Stella sensibly breaks it off, only to find that Levi’s still deeply interested in her—and that he may be connected to the murder of a girl who was found with her heart torn out.
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