A Really Unique Title
4.5 out of 5 stars
I was recommended this book by a narrator and now a friend of mine Steven Jay Cohen, he mentioned that he thought that I would enjoy it and that it was written and performed in a way that I haven’t heard very often (lots of stream of consciousness). Steven also said, “1st person, present tense, YA apocalypse drama – talk about a challenge!” So, I knew I had to pick this one up and give it a try.
Try to wrap your head around the concept of Survivalist/YA for a second… not easy, huh? Now add stream of consciousness poetry to the mix. Add to that the fact that it is well written and solidly performed.
Dude, this @SimonAudio book needs a review!
— Steven Jay Cohen 🌎 שָׁלוֹם יוֹסֵף כֹּהֵן (@StevenJayCohen) July 26, 2021
Well, I’m glad that I did. I’ve never read a book like this and I’ve read a lot of PA books. Freeman was able to write a book where you completely feel for the main character but you also genuinely aren’t sure what’s going to happen next. I kept wondering what on earth happened to leave her alone like and for that amount of time. But, since it was written from her point of view, I had no idea just like she didn’t.
Now, I guess I’ll try and talk about the style that the book was written in. Alone was one of those books that were hard to pin down stylistically because Freeman did such a great job mixing in the fear and the uncertainty with the youthfulness of Maddie. A few times she would talk about things and you’re like “oh she’s such a stupid kid” and other times you’d think “wow, she’s so smart”. Honestly, after a while, I forgot that she was as young as she was because she was faced with danger around every corner – forcing her to grow up quickly. Throw in the mixture of what felt like spoken word poetry, diary writings, and stream of consciousness and this was one of the most unique books I’ve ever read, especially in the crowded PA genre.
Finally, I need to speak about the narration by Gail Shalan. Shalan absolutely nails this. I didn’t do this book justice with how hard it must have been to narrate the way that Maddie spoke and thought but then add in that she’s a child and it had to have been such a challenging narration.
Perfect for fans of Hatchet and the I Survived series, this harrowing middle-grade debut novel-in-verse from a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet tells the story of a young girl who wakes up one day to find herself utterly alone in her small Colorado town.
When 12-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?
Alone by Megan E. Freeman
Narrator: Gail Shalan
Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, YA
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One thought on “Alone by Megan E. Freeman (Narrated by Gail Shalan)”
Fantastic review Brian. I love PA and while I don’t always reach for YA, this is one genre I enjoy.