This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books
I liked this book well enough. I decided to read this book because the premise sounded rather interesting. Having never read this author before, I really didn't go into the book with too many expectations. I found it to be a pretty easy read that I did enjoy. I did feel like there was something missing from the story that could have taken it to the next level for me but I am glad that I took a chance and decided to read this one.
Jess has not had it easy lately. She was recently in an automobile accident with her mother. Her mother did not survive the accident and Jess sustained some pretty serious injuries. She has spent time in the hospital recovering and was eventually placed with a foster family. Eventually she is sent to be with her father who has not played much of a role in her life and lives off the grid.
There is no way that Jess could have prepared herself for living with her father. He lives in a tiny cabin in the middle of the woods in Canada along with his dog, Bo. He has very few connections to the outside world and lives off of the land. When Jess arrives, he starts to show her some of the skills she will need to know in her new home. Jess really doesn't have a lot of interest in learning the things her father is trying to teach her and is mad at the whole situation.
The book is written as Jess's journal and starts out with alternating chapters of before and after which I thought worked really well. It becomes quite obvious that this have taken a wrong turn very early in the book but it does take some time to find out exactly what did happen. This is a story of survival. Jess finds herself alone in the woods with no shelter, few supplies, and not a lot of skill with only a dog as support. I did like Jess as a character. I felt so bad for Jess and her desperation feels very authentic. She has a lot of small victories and quite a few set backs, all of which could prove to be fatal.
I would recommend this book to fans of survival stories. Jess is a tough character that is working hard to survive in a nearly impossible situation. I wouldn't hesitate to read more of Kate Alice Marshall's work.I received a digital review copy of this book from Viking Books for Young Readers via First to Read.Initial Thoughts
This was 3.5 star read for me. For now, I am going with 3 stars but I may bump it to 4 after I can think about it for a bit more. This was really a survival story. Jess must learn to live off the land with only a dog for help and support. The first part of the book is set up with alternating chapters of before the event that left her all alone and after as she is trying to survive.