Skip to main content




Chandler Baker’s story ALIVE focuses on the life of Stella Cross: Seattle, Washington, resident, Duwamish High School Senior, former swimmer and recent heart transplant recipient. It was the blurb of the book that drew me in, starting with the line “Stella Cross’s heart is poisoned.” I was especially intrigued when the mysterious Levi Zin, a new student to Duwamish, is mentioned, “Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi are inseparable.”

At first I was disappointed with the book. It seemed like your cheesy, average teenage romance novel where the sick girl falls for the new student etc., etc. But Baker proved me wrong. Romance novels aren’t my cup of tea and I believed this book would be more of an adventure/best friend centered story. It still ended up being different than I hoped, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

"[A] great read for someone who is looking for something quirky and different than most mainstream books."

The story has a huge twist that I really enjoyed. Before I got to the twist I was casually reading the book, putting it down for a while before picking it up again, not super intrigued in the storyline. After I got to the suspenseful/ twist part I stayed up for hours to finish reading it in one night.  

Stella Cross was your average teenage girl. She went shopping with her friends, went to crazy parties, obsessed over boys and watched her younger sister. Yet once Levi Zin came into her life, she started ignoring her friends and hanging out with him more. She let him take her to places she was supposed to go with other friends and canceled plans for him. As time goes on they become more and more obsessed with each other, but what changes?

ALIVE is unlike other stories I have read in many ways. First off, I haven’t read any stories that have had a twist like this one did. I honestly didn’t care very much for the first half of the book or so. Second, I haven’t read any other books with a protagonist like Stella Cross. I really enjoy books with female heroines, but she was different. She cared about fitting in and people’s thoughts, yet she also did things just because she wanted to. She was extremely self-aware yet still craved acceptance.

I’d recommend Chandler Baker’s book to anyone looking for a read that isn’t what it seems. ALIVE is also a book I found easy to take slow. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat waiting to be able to continue reading. The book is 357 pages, so it could be a quick read for some. This book is probably a great read for someone who is looking for something quirky and different than most mainstream books.

Reviewed by Emma B., Teen Board Member on May 24, 2017

by Chandler Baker

  • Publication Date: May 2, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance, Youth Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • ISBN-10: 1484709349
  • ISBN-13: 9781484709344