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When twelve-year-old Maddie hatches a scheme for a secret sleepover with her two best friends, she ends up waking up to a nightmare. She’s alone—left behind in a town that has been mysteriously evacuated and abandoned.

With no one to rely on, no power, and no working phone lines or internet access, Maddie slowly learns to survive on her own. Her only companions are a Rottweiler named George and all the books she can read. After a rough start, Maddie learns to trust her own ingenuity and invents clever ways to survive in a place that has been deserted and forgotten.

As months pass, she escapes natural disasters, looters, and wild animals. But Maddie’s most formidable enemy is the crushing loneliness she faces every day. Can Maddie’s stubborn will to survive carry her through the most frightening experience of her life?

404 pages, Hardcover

First published January 12, 2021

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About the author

Megan E. Freeman

3 books144 followers
Megan E. Freeman attended an elementary school where poets visited her classroom every week to teach poetry, and she has been a writer ever since. Her debut middle grade novel, ALONE, won the Colorado Book Award, is an NCTE Notable Novel in Verse, a Goodreads Choice Award Finalist, and was included on over a dozen Best Of and state reading lists. Megan is also a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, and her poetry chapbook, Lessons on Sleeping Alone, was published by Liquid Light Press.

An award-winning teacher with decades of classroom experience, Megan taught multiple subjects across the arts and humanities to students K-16, and she is nationally recognized for presenting workshops and speaking to audiences across the country. She studied theater and dramatic literature for many years, earning degrees from Occidental College and the Ohio State University.

Megan is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Northern Colorado Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Columbine Poets of Colorado, and Lighthouse Writers Workshop. She is an Impact on Education Award winner, a fellow with the Colorado State University Writing Project, a Fund for Teachers fellow, and a member of the Colorado Poets Center. She used to live in northeast Los Angeles, central Ohio, northern Norway, and on Caribbean cruise ships. Now she lives in northern Colorado.​

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5 stars
3,375 (42%)
4 stars
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3 stars
1,222 (15%)
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111 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,363 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,468 reviews9,629 followers
November 14, 2021
This wasn’t what I thought. I enjoyed some parts but when they put the kitten in a bag and bashed it dead against the truck door…. Nope.

And the end? After all that time …..

Whatever! On to the next

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rachel007.
413 reviews47 followers
November 10, 2020
Oh I really liked this one. A LOT. I could not put it down. The verse format made it easy to read and understand. I loved Maddie's story of survival. This would be a strong fit for those who loved Hatchet, I Survived series, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and for reluctant readers. I loved all the love for libraries/books/librarians!

The reason this isn't a complete 5 stars was I would have loved to know why the evacuation happened, what the world was like before (we got some vague hints), and a bit more at the end... However this will not stop me from recommending this book to readers.
Profile Image for Narmeen.
488 reviews36 followers
November 6, 2021
I am conflicted about this book. Is it a 3 stars read or a 4? I am sad that it wasn't a 5 stars read because the way it introduced itself in the first few chapters, I was confident this was going to be one of the best books I've read this year, but alas that didn't happen. Though, this is the most unique book I've read in the post apocalyptic genre. Imagine a story being told in free verse. One poem continues itself into another, building a detailed world of intrigue. Alone starts so strong with it’s dystopian descriptions. As a reader we truly feel how alone the character is, feel the changing of seasons with her, her need for survival and her lone adventures. However, there was no build up to a "conflict", there was as the character says herself no saving grace or plot development like the one we are accustomed to seeing in fiction...the character was truly alone and thats it. She is alone and we get to read about how alone she is in beautiful albeit same poetic ways.

I can still bathe
in the light of the moon
as it rises huge
and orange in the east
and in the
expanse of constellations
that spill across the sky
on a clear, cold night.
I can still marvel
at a hawk
soaring overhead
with a snake in its talons.
I am still here

The lack of a plot tension left me with so many unanswered questions. How was she left alone? What was the political conspiracy that led to the abandonment of phones and homes? What happened to her parents? Who were the looters? There was so much potential to explore further into this world. It feels like a missed opportunity. While the end was emotional and heart-breaking, I feel unsatiated and need more to chew on. Overall, it is still a book I enjoyed reading!
Profile Image for Nicole M. Hewitt.
1,420 reviews283 followers
September 17, 2020
I know Megan's work well, so I was unsurprised to find that the verse in this book is utterly gorgeous--simple, understated free verse that is, at the same time, incredibly powerful. The story follows young Maddie, who is accidentally left behind when her town and the surrounding area is mysteriously and suddenly evacuated (her divorced parents each think she is with the other due to an unfortunately-timed lie). Maddie is left completely alone with only her neighbor's trusty rottweiler George to keep her company for four years! During that time, she has to scrounge for food and water and learn to survive in a world without power or running water (especially difficult due to the extreme weather in Colorado). Plus, she's forced to deal with wild animals, looters, and natural disasters--all on her own. Of course, the biggest challenge of all might be the unending loneliness that threatens to swallow her hope of rescue alive.

This book is a modern retelling of Island of the Blue Dolphins, and fans of that book will find that it's faithful to the original in many significant ways. I loved seeing each and every nod to O'Dell's classic. (I read it with a literature class that I taught at my homeschool co-op just a couple of years ago, so it was fresh in my mind. Teachers who want to pair this book with the classic will have lots of wonderful material to work with.)

This beautiful story of survival, inner strength, and hope will delight readers of all ages!

***Disclosure: I received this book from the author for review purposes, and since I am personal friends with Megan, I can't claim to be completely impartial on this one. Still, all opinions are my own (and, of course, no other compensation was given).***
Profile Image for Zac.
180 reviews44 followers
July 5, 2021
I love both survival stories and verse novels, so any story that combines both is a winner with me. Dusti Bowling’s The Canyon’s Edge was my top book of 2020 because of this combination of survival story told in verse. If you’re a lover of verse novels too then you need to read Megan E. Freeman’s latest book, Alone. It’s a story of a girl trying to survive on her own after everyone else in her town disappears.

Maddie is just your average 12 year old. She wants to hang out with her friends and is frustrated at having to spend her weeks between two separate houses. Maddie organises a sleepover with two of her friends at her grandparent’s vacant house. She gives her mum and dad two separate stories so that they won’t suspect anything. However, an unexpected event occurs that leaves Maddie abandoned and alone. Her whole town has been evacuated, leaving houses empty and personal belongings strewn across roads and footpaths. The bits of information that Maddie can gather make no sense, and there is no one around to ask what happened. Maddie’s only companion is George, her neighbour’s Rottweiler. They explore as far as they are able to, finding food, water and other essential supplies. What they don’t find are other humans. Without power for heating and cooking, Maddie must rely on other means to help her survive. The library becomes vital for helping her learn new skills and for keeping her sane. Maddie holds on to the hope that someone will come for her, but as the months go by, Maddie has to cope with changing seasons and wild weather that make survival hard.

Alone is an absolutely amazing read! It is a tense, gripping and, at times, terrifying story of survival against the odds. I was really torn reading this book, because the pace races along which kept me turning the pages, but Megan’s writing is just so stunning that I wanted to savour her words. There were quite a few times when I was holding my breath while I was turning pages, because I was generally concerned for the life of this fictional character. There were also parts where I wanted to throw the book across the room because something didn’t seem fair.

Maddie is the kind of character we all wish we could be. You hope that, if you were put in her shoes, you could find ways to survive. She is incredibly resilient, even when faced with terrifying circumstances, including a tornado. Maddie is used to relying on technology to answer her questions, but when the power goes out, she has to rely on information in books. She raids her local library to find stories to read as an escape, but also nonfiction books to teach her how to light a fires. Those who have control over the funding of libraries should be given this book to prove how vital physical libraries are. Maddie has grown and matured so much by the end of the story that I wonder how she would cope returning to normal society. Maddie’s relationship with George is adorable. They have each other’s back and keep each other warm when the weather changes.

The main reason I love verse novels is because they so perfectly capture the raw emotion of the characters. This is what makes Alone so stunning. In just a handful of words, Megan captures Maddie’s despair, loneliness or horror. We know how she feels, what she’s thinking and what she fears. Alone is an emotional- rollercoaster that leaves you feeling exhausted but satisfied.

Alone is one of my top reads of 2021. I will be recommending it to both the kids and teachers at my school. It’s a book that will spread like wildfire between the kids and is perfect for those teachers who ‘don’t have much time for reading.’ It would be a great read aloud or class set for Years 7-9.
Profile Image for Morgan.
546 reviews
July 14, 2021
I've been waiting for a book like this since I was 10 years old -- a modern-day survival story written in verse starring a moody and courageous heroine and her trusty canine companion? H'OKAY. YES. GIMME IT.

Highly readable and perfectly paced, I binged it on an airplane without ever even stopping to check the time. I can't wait to booktalk this one to bookworms and reluctant readers alike, even those who think they don't like poetry. Age-wise, there are a handful of mild curse words scattered throughout and one pretty grim scene involving a kitten as well as some references to boys, kissing, and some philosophical/existential wrestling with the concept of god/life/death -- all of which I was frankly glad to see; this is an unflinching tale of isolation and survival that behaves accordingly and doesn't talk down to its upper-tween audience.

I have a few quibbles towards the end (more information about the imminent threat would have been nice and CAN WE GET A GEORGE UPDATE????) but all in all this was the kind of book that reminds me why I'll always come back to kid/YA lit.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Krista.
424 reviews1,025 followers
March 4, 2023
This was an interesting read. I loved how resourceful the main character was, but I thought the setting was interesting and I simply wanted a bit more info about why the world was like this.
Profile Image for Nicole Lesperance.
Author 4 books164 followers
September 16, 2020
I am generally not a huge fan of novels in verse, but I inhaled this book in one sitting, my heart in my throat, and then sobbed at the end. This story of 12-year-old Maddie, who wakes up one morning to discover that her entire town has been evacuated and she's been left behind, is harrowing, poignant, and thought-provoking. The language is gorgeous, and the spareness of the text on the page highlights Maddie's sense of loneliness and isolation. I have to throw in a shout-out to George, the best dog ever! It still warms my heart to think of him. I think this book will appeal to both MG readers and older readers, and might be a great recommendation for reluctant readers because it's such a fast and unintimidating read. The spare prose conveys such a wealth of emotions, many of them very intense and heavy. And the ending is perfection. I loved everything about this book.
Profile Image for Alysa.
Author 3 books94 followers
August 25, 2020
I was fortunate to read an ARC of ALONE, Megan E. Freeman's debut. This novel-in-verse tells the story of Maddie, a 12-year-old who is mistakenly left behind when her Colorado town is evacuated due to an imminent threat. Left to her own devices, Maddie carves out an existence for herself and her only companion, her neighbor's Rottweiler, George. Together, Maddie and George find a way to survive as they wait for someone to come and rescue them. But as the seasons come and go, Maddie has to wrestle with the fact that there is no rescue, there is no one coming. At turns harrowing, inspiring, uplifting, and downright heartbreaking this is a tale for our times, for so many of us can now relate to the experience of isolation and loneliness and the imperative to survive.
This book will be a wonderful addition to any MG library, and I look forward to readers discovering Maddie as she braves the unexpected.
Profile Image for Maddison.
7 reviews
May 4, 2022
I liked this book a lot. It made me want to read forever and ever. I want there to be an alone 2. I love the author Megan E Freeman. I liked it when she saw her mom and dad. Also I liked George the dog a lot. I didn't think she was going to find her parents. I really wanted her to not find her parents so that there could be a number 2. It scared me when she saw those dogs and all the scary things she had to fight off , I would have not been able to do what she did ever. I was worried about what is going to happen to George when she found her parents. When the looters came I thought they were her parents coming to look for her but then when I heard that they killed that kitten I knew that they weren't her parents. I think that the lesson of this book was don't lie to anyone especially my parents.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ms. B.
2,908 reviews35 followers
August 14, 2021
A cautionary tale about what could happen if you disobey your parents. After lying to her parents about her whereabouts, Madi finds herself entirely alone after her town (and possibly the entire state) is evacuated due to imminent danger. With no way to contact her family (phones aren't working) and no access to current news, she is now on her own. Can a twelve year old survive on her own? For how long? What is the imminent danger that she heard about in her first few days alone? And will she ever she her parents and family again? Find out the answers to these questions in this novel in verse that is almost impossible to put down.
Tweens and young teens who are looking for an adventure survival story will love this story about Madi.
Profile Image for Jessica Vitalis.
Author 3 books147 followers
December 5, 2020
I generally enjoy survival stories, and I enjoy novels in verse, but I wasn't sure how the two would work together. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reader copy of this story, and I was absolutely blown away. I fell in love with Maddie (and her rescue dog George) and ended up reading this book in one sitting. The plot moved along at a brisk clip but there was still plenty of time to contemplate Maddie's fear, loneliness, heartache, and hope, and readers won't be able to resist putting themselves in Maddie's shoes and rooting for her survival. This book is a must-have for teachers and librarians!
Profile Image for Rajiv.
959 reviews64 followers
February 13, 2021


I never thought a middle-grade novel would be gripping, but “Alone” had me at the edge of my seat.

Firstly, I love the style of writing! The author narrates the story in free-verse, which makes it so entertaining to read. Similarly, I loved how Maddie matures as she survives. She goes through so much, and you can slowly see her perception changing of the world, her family, and her friends. Maddie goes through a multitude of emotions from fear, anxiety, survival, and hope. Similarly, George is also a fantastic companion for Maddie, and I was rooting for them throughout the story.

Moreover, the story is never boring at any point. Initially, you would feel that there would not be much for Maddie to experience. But the author tells the story in such a dynamic manner that tests the character’s determination. When you feel things cannot get any worse, a new dilemma encounters Maddie. The author paced it beautifully! Many moments stood out in the story for me. For instance, I loved when Maddie finds a paradox between facing the nightmare or the reality, or when she prays to God to connect her to her family. Some moments were also eerie and suspenseful, like when she goes to Emma’s house or when the animals attack her.

Perhaps the only minor criticism I have of the tale is the rushed ending. While I enjoyed the end, I was a bit disappointed for not getting a detailed explanation of the events. I won’t spoil the ending, but I would have liked it had the author drawn out the last few scenes.

Apart from that, “Alone” is a gripping, middle-grade survival novel that I feel a reader of any age would enjoy.
Profile Image for Erin.
652 reviews20 followers
September 5, 2020
Alone is a novel in verse that tells the story of Maddie, a 12 year old who lives between her mother and father's house in a small town in Colorado. Told in the first person, Maddie plans a secret sleepover which her friends back out of. She decides to stick with it and spends the night alone at her grandparents' apartment, waking to discover that her town has been mysteriously evacuated and she is the only one left. Cell phones have been abandoned. She can't reach anyone, and her parents both believe her to be with the other parent.
Maddie befriends her neighbor's Rottweiler, George, and the two of them work together to survive. One thing I loved about this book was Maddie's frequent visits to the library to research for survival and also to read for entertainment. She finds herself drawn to the poetry section and shares newfound love for poets Emily Dickinson and Mary Oliver, both favorites of mine! Her town has no electricity and she must find resources to keep her going. I will caution readers that there is an important scene in the book which involves violence and an animal, something to note for sensitive readers, but I understand why the author included it.
Will she survive the hardships she faces? Natural disasters, scarce resources, utter loneliness? Will she ever see another human being? How does she keep herself going day after day? Thank you to the author for sharing an ARC with me - I loved this book!
Profile Image for TL .
1,823 reviews35 followers
May 8, 2021

Trigger warnings ⚠️ just in case

This was a wonderful tale, the verse works well in this. It showcases her loneliness, determination/grit, and strength during her journey to survive and carve out a life for herself.
Her friendship with George warmed my heart ❤ and reminded me of my bond with Tasha and Mabel.

My only criticism is in the spoiler above, but it didn't spoil my experience with this one at all.

I don't know if I would have handled it as well as Maddie being alone (hopefully I could).

Would highly recommend:).
Profile Image for Booked & Blessed.
275 reviews
June 17, 2021
I wasn’t sure what to rate this book. I usually don’t read dystopian, but the cover intrigued me so I thought why not?! I liked how it was written in verse and of course I love that the author added an animal companion. What I didn’t like was the violence toward animals in this. I think it was unnecessary to be so graphic, also there were a few curse words and my biggest complaint is how God was brought into the story several times in a negative way. There’s no reason for that, especially in a middle grade book. Which reminds me, this should not be a middle grade book. I would not have let my children read this as the targeted age group. I think a young adult fiction perhaps. For me this was just middle of the road. The ending was abrupt and offered no real explanation and I don’t feel like it will resonate with me.
Profile Image for Wendy Bamber.
525 reviews10 followers
May 15, 2022
I found this really gripping and beautifully written. The descriptions of the lake and the snow and crisp air and empty houses when there are no background noises or distractions are stunning. I loved the short author notes and extract at the end explaining why it sounds so good as a verse novel compared to the full version, and I’ll be sharing that with classes when I book talk this one. I think it’s great for year 6+, it’s probably suited to that older primary group, a couple of themes are a bit heavy for under 10s. Really insightful thoughts about appreciating people in the here and now because wow you miss them when they’re gone.
Profile Image for Ben Gartner.
Author 5 books390 followers
October 29, 2020
I tried to think of something more well put-together, but I think I'll just copy in my raw reaction that says it all, which I sent immediately to the author late at night:

WOW. I just finished ALONE and.... WOW. I am tingling and flush with the experience. It wasn’t just a book, it was an experience. A unique experience like nothing I’ve read before and I loved it. I’ll formulate my thoughts and post a review later, but I just wanted to say Thank You for sharing this with me!! Wow!!
Profile Image for Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance.
5,825 reviews283 followers
January 13, 2021
Maddie is alone. In the confusion of the moment amid an evacuation of her town, Maddie has been left behind. It is up to Maddie to find safe drinking water, food, and protection from the elements while she waits for the return of her parents and family.

What kid wouldn't love reading about a kid trying to survive on her own? It's a story filled with action and adventure, and the free verse format makes the four hundred pages of the book turn quickly.
Profile Image for Celeste.
906 reviews2,342 followers
March 6, 2023
I went into Alone expecting a story like Hatchet or Island of the Blue Dolphins. While some comparisons could definitely be drawn, Alone is radically different. First of all, it’s a novel-in-verse, comprised of 179 poems across 400 pages. The format was very unexpected, and it took me a while to acclimate. But once I did, I was won over completely. That format was a bold choice, but it was one that worked incredibly well for the story.

Our twelve year-old protagonist is not surviving in the wilds but in suburbia, after the government moves everyone out in the night and she is left behind. The how and why are explained in the book, but suffice it to say that she is panicked when she finds herself alone. With only her neighbor’s dog George for company, she learns to navigate life alone, providing for herself and George the best she can. She might be twelve when we meet her, but she grows up fast, becoming incredibly resourceful as she first relies on what she remembers from camping with her dad and then discovers her greatest resource of all: the library.

The poetic format of this book made our main character’s head a fascinating place to be. Because of the formatting, the story managed to be both fast-paced and deeply introspective, which was a very compelling blend. There was so much food for thought here, and a lot of emotion vicariously experienced. The poetry makes more and more sense as a storytelling method as the tale progresses. There were some really interesting tie-ins to Island of the Blue Dolphins, which I would advice reading prior to this if you have any interest in it, as it is spoiled thoroughly in Alone.

I was completely captivated by Alone, and ended up consuming it in one sitting. Some of the content is pretty difficult, as one would expect from this type of story. Because of that content, I would recommend this book to older, mature children, as well as adults who enjoy middle grade fiction. I loved it, and am happy to shelve it alongside childhood favorites like Hatchet and Island of the Blue Dolphins and My Side of the Mountain. Alone is absolutely a story worth reading and discussing and sharing with others.
Profile Image for Becky.
5,205 reviews102 followers
August 7, 2021
First sentence: This is my reality.

Premise/plot: Maddie thought her idea was brilliant: telling her mom she was staying over at her dad's house and telling her dad she was staying over at her mom's house--all so she could have a secret sleepover with her two best friends in her grandmother's now-empty apartment. Her friends cancel at the last minute, but, those two texts already being sent Maddie decides to go ahead with her plans. No adult supervision for a whole night! Unlimited TV! Unlimited snacking! No bedtime!

But in the night something strange and mysterious happens--an emergency is declared and the WHOLE state of Colorado, no, the whole of the western states are evacuated. People have left their cell phones behind--in barrels--and she has no way to contact her parents, her friends, anyone in her own contact list.

For the first few days everything is spooky-strange but manageable. How long could her parents really be gone? The air seems breathable enough. There are no aliens stomping down the street. Nothing seems dangerous and emergency-worthy. Then the lights go out...followed by the water.

How long can Maddie survive on her own??? Not that she's alone-alone, she still has her dog GEORGE. But still, she's TWELVE and on her own. Her only other company is the people she meets in BOOKS she borrows from the library.

Alone is a verse novel.


maybe God
sends us nightmares
so our living reality
doesn't seem so bad
when we wake up
until we wake up
and remember
we are living in nightmare
we can't escape
except by going
to sleep

From Grief,

food and shelter are nothing
compared to the challenge of
never holding another person's hand
never hearing another person's voice
staying alive isn't easy
but it's a heck of a lot easier than
keeping my heart hopeful and
my mind focused
on what's
loneliness and insanity
are twin houseguests
it's hard to entertain one
without inviting the other in
as well

My thoughts: I found Alone to be a compelling read. Yes, you will have to suspend your disbelief a bit--no more than you would in say Life As We Knew It--but it is still a good way to spend an afternoon. The premise is certainly a haunting one: that of all people vanishing "without a trace" and you being left behind on your own.

This one would pair well with Island of the Blue Dolphins (as the book mentions it several times) and Life As We Knew It.

I mentioned the need to suspend disbelief...I found the resolution of this one to be of the weakest kind. Perhaps because of the middle grade audience--though perhaps not--Freeman seems to feel the need to tie a bow at the end of this one. And a happily ever after for Maddie involves...well...you can guess what it involves....














At the end of the book, Maddie is reunited with her Mom (and presumably soon her Dad). She has been rescued. Humans have returned. A corner has been turned, the nightmare is coming to an end. Readers are just told "there was no emergency after all" and that it was a hoax. If this is true, WHY DID IT TAKE OVER FOUR YEARS to realize this and come back. There isn't a good answer to that WHY. Even if the Dad assumed that Maddie was with the Mom and the Mom assumed that Maddie was with her Dad. Four years of millions of people--all the western states--being relocated elsewhere and no one wanting to go back, demanding to be allowed to go back???

Also at the beginning of the book, I have a hard time believing a WHOLE ENTIRE STATE could be evacuated in the matter of eight to ten hours. Add in the fact that it was all the western states--all the towns, all the cities, all the states--I have a hard time believing that it could be organized and carried out in a single night.

Still if you can suspend disbelief at the very, very beginning and the very, very end--it's an entertaining way to spend the day.
Profile Image for Librariann.
1,440 reviews45 followers
August 18, 2021
3.5 stars / Grades 5+ ("ass"/"hell"/ sketch dude kills a kitten in a heinous fashion)

The suspension of disbelief for this premise has to be pretty high, (especially compared to The Disaster Days or Life As We Knew It) but I still enjoyed this modern verse take on Island of the Blue Dolphins.

Plot point quibbles with spoilers follow:

It's an exceptionally speedy read and the concept has high, high kid appeal. I will definitely recommend/booktalk. But I can't help but once again feel that this is a book where having it be in verse makes it seem like an excuse to avoid having to explain pretty much ANYTHING.

Buuuut I can see this being on the Caudill list for 2023.
Profile Image for Stacey.
44 reviews11 followers
December 15, 2022
Okay, so let's start with I KNOW this book is rated for middle grade readers. I don't know if it's just really been that long for me? Or if they would feel the same way.

This book is written in verse, and the author at the end of the book adds a note defending her reasoning. To be honest, I don't think I would have minded her original format as she gives an example of her original draft and I liked it just the same. I almost felt that in verse it felt rushed even though it was meant to span 3 years.

We start the book with our main character planning a fun night out with her friends, at just 13 years old she plans to play both parents (seperated) and let them believe she is at the others home, while her and 2 friends stay at her grandparents home while they are away. When plans fall through, suddenly she is staying the night alone, but she doesn't mind too much, and falls asleep after a few movies.

Here is where I dislike it.

During the night, literally while this girl soundly sleeps, the entire town is evacuated. Everyone. All loaded onto busses, belongings searched, organized onto a caravan, and gone by morning. HOW?? This would never happen, has this author never been around or watched a state of emergency? Things do not move that fast ever, even when lives are at risk.

After waking up she sees everyone is gone, not one person left, and she at first figures they will be back, but as days pass she needs to learn to survive. And then as years pass she seems to have a good grip on how to live for the most part, but her stocks of water and canned goods are running out and things are looking bleak again.

Here is the final blow for me.

No reason to panic though because a helicopter with her parents is on it's way to save her, and it's safe for people to come home. The emergency that this entire book hung on is cleared up in 1 paragraph

"The imminent threat?
It never existed
A massive land grab
Unprecedented fraud
New government
Conditions returning to normal"

Huge disappointment. I feel like a good plot needs a purpose, and this fell incredibly short for me.I disliked being able to close the book and feel like both that would never happen, and I am left with no answers.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Willow Anne.
413 reviews82 followers
December 12, 2021
This book was interesting. But also good. The only reason I noticed it and wanted to read it was because it was nominated for the goodreads choice award for middle grade novels. So I read this and Unplugged, because those were the two that seemed interesting to me. I was expecting to like this one better, just from the descriptions, but I think I ended up liking the other one best.

This may be due in part to the fact that it was written in verse. It took me by surprise, and while I wasn't expecting it, it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. And it's not that I'm averse to novels in verse (see what I did there?😂), because I've read them before and really loved them. It's just that they do really strange things to the narrative that you're hearing. I'm not exactly sure why, but I've just noticed that the way I perceive novels written like this is totally different than how I perceive one normally. And it changes book to book depending on how those verses are written. In this case, the verses made me feel less apart of the narrative. I felt like an outsider looking in.

I did appreciate how the tone changed throughout the book. I didn't really like her at the beginning, but she absolutely matured and grew as the story progressed, and I think it's really impressive that the author was able to convey that in verse form.

There were some parts that I really liked, one being where she discovered her love of poetry to help her connect to herself and to how she was feeling. I also liked all the connections to other books. I liked George, and I liked the ending (although I was surprised when it ended, as I thought there would be more to explain why everyone left). So overall, it was a good book, a quick read, and I don't regret reading it.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,063 reviews32 followers
August 17, 2022
I could not put this book down. I have had it on the shelves in my library since it published, but hadn't had a chance to pick it up. Today, I finally grabbed it and realized it was in verse (if I had always known that, I had forgotten). This was one of those books that you could FEEL in your gut, one of the books that gives you physical reactions as you read. I had to keep reading, even when it hurt a little bit to do so.

Maddie wants a night to herself, or at least to herself and her friends. She doesn't want to babysit. She doesn't want to deal with her step-parents. She just wants to relax, eat junk food, and sleep too late. So she and her friends come up with a plan to sneak out and stay at her grandparent's empty apartment. But, when the night comes, her other friends have to bail and she ends up alone. Too nervous to tell her parents about her lie, she decides to stay by herself. And this decision will change everything.

In the middle of the night there is a forced evacuation. Maddie's dad assumes she is with her mom; her mother assumes she is with her dad. And Maddie is left behind, alone and stranded in her town in Colorado after everyone else has fled. There are no cell phones and within a few days, no electricity. With only her neighbor's dog for company, Maddie has to learn how to survive. But she soon realizes that it isn't just her physical needs that she will have to contend with. She will also have to figure out how to be alone in the world.

This book was so good. I can't say it enough. I hope everyone reads it.
Profile Image for Christine Indorf.
719 reviews116 followers
November 22, 2022
When 12 year old Maddie makes a plan to spend the night away from her parents she doesn't know this will be the biggest mistake of her life. While there the government calls for evacuation of her town leaving Maddie totally alone. Now with her dog George she had to learn how to survive until her parents comes back to get her. For 3 years we watch as Maddie tries to survive on her own. Will she or will she give up?

I have to say I really don't like dystopian books, but this book was fabulous. I was so invested in Maddie and her journey. I was heartbroken for her as well as proud that she would never give up. I still think about her journey and it still effects me to this day. I recommend this for your older middle grader or young adult for there is language and the hardship she faces can be graphic at times. A great read for all!!
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