Sunday, February 28, 2021

Book Review | Alone by Megan E. Freeman


  Alone is middle grade survival story by Megan E. Freeman.

Alone by Megan E. Freeman

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?

I'm back with some more middle grade horror today! I was really excited when I discovered Alone because it sounded dystopian to me, and I couldn't remember having read anything like it. I instantly preordered because I was so intrigued! I didn't realize at the time that Alone was written in verse. To be perfectly honest, I was worried when I found out. I have DNF'ed several middle grade books over the years that were written in verse, but I had absolutely no problems with the writing or the structure of Alone. I think that format enhanced Alone!

I was also excited that the main character had a dog as her companion. (This is one of the reasons that I read Alone this month - Barb is hosting her annual puppy love challenge to read a book in February featuring a dog.)

Overall I really enjoyed Alone. I felt like I was on this survival adventure right along with Maddie. I loved her as a character, and I loved her rottweiler George. The premise is Maddie wakes up to find herself entirely alone in her world. She has to figure out how to gather supplies and survive on her own. I think kids who like survival stories would enjoy this and find it to be quite unique. The first night I started reading Alone, I had nightmares about my youngest child being left behind to survive on his own.

I could really feel Maddie's loneliness while reading Alone. I think being written in verse, it was a perfect vehicle to express a lot of Maddie's emotions. There's a section at the end that includes one of my favorite poems of all times - The Summer Day by Mary Oliver. I think that section is just so beautiful.

As much I did enjoy Alone - I have some complaints. Everyone left in the middle of just one night. Not just in Maddie's town but in the surrounding towns, too. Everyone left their cell phones and all of their pets behind. The only reason was convenience to the plot. I know a lot of my followers have trouble with animal death. These pets were left behind in cages and in homes. There is also a bad guy in Alone, and this is proven via a kitten. Any reason the author could have given for everyone to leave especially without their cell phones or their pets would have been better than the one we got.

When it comes to middle grade horror, I pass any books that I like on to my kids, and I donate the rest. Despite my complaints, I will pass this one on to them. I have no doubts they will have the same issues, but it's still a book that really sucks you in and makes you care. If you have kids in your life or in your class who love survival stories, I still say add this to your collection. They will fall for Maddie and George, and they will likely enjoy the unique way this story is presented through verse.
 
⭐⭐⭐
3/5 stars

Jennifer

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10 comments:

  1. I've been curious about this one. When you mentioned people leaving their pets behind, it immediately reminded me of Hollow Kingdom, which handles that scenario really well😁

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    1. Ha! You are right! The people in Hollow Kingdom at least had a reason. I do love that book... :)

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  2. I haven't read this book and I already feel sorry for this girl.

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  3. Ooh I love the premise of this. And that image! How weird would it be to wake up all alone? I'm so interested in how it's in verse too!

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  4. I do agree that there had to be a bit of a stretch of the imagination for everyone evacuating so quickly and so thoroughly---and the explanation at the end is left slightly purposely vague, which could frustrate some readers. Still, I was able to suspend disbelief when it came to these things and got engrossed in the story pretty quickly!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  5. What a lovely cover - I love the light.
    Lynn :D

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  6. I've heard good things about this one. :)

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  7. Bummer about this one! I added it to my TBR ages ago, but this is the first review I've seen for it. My kids aren't old enough to read books on their own (not chapter books), so I keep anything I've read that I think they'll enjoy later on.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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