Published by Random House on May 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories, Animals, Alligators & Crocodiles, Jungle Animals, Nature & the Natural World, General, Juvenile Nonfiction, Social Topics, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
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The trip of a lifetime - that’s what it was supposed to be, paid for with money Gran left thirteen-year old Sam in her will, but when the small plane taking Sam and his Dad back to the airport crashes in the jungle, Sam is left alone and terrified.
As time passes with no sign of rescue, Sam grows weaker and has to dig deep to find levels of resolve and resourcefulness he never knew he had in order to survive.
Desperate and close to giving up, Sam’s spirits are lifted by the arrival of an otter cub whose companionship and loyalty give Sam the strength he needs to keep going. But when disaster strikes, Sam has to make the hardest decision of his life. Can Sam save his friend and make it out of the jungle alive?
Alone is one of those books that grips you pretty much from the first page. It helps that I love books about being stranded on deserted islands, although when I dream about being stranded on a deserted island, there are no critters or wild animals, there is food, and there is a hut or house of some kind. Any other kind of stranded that includes no functioning toilet is not for me, thank you very much. However, it is gripping to read about it happening to someone else, especially someone as useful and resourceful of Sam, where it almost seems like he’s the natural heir to Bear Grylls, even if some things go wrong.
I can barely sum up my feelings for Alone. It was just so intense, so gripping and also so incredibly emotional. To go through a plane crash, where you fear your father is most likely dead, to end up on a deserted island inhabited by feral animals is anyone’s worst nightmare and yet, once Sam gets his head around things, he’s away. Building a fire, sourcing food, a shelter. It’s amazing to me how the mind can make you go to work even in the deepest depths of despair, when you would normally just give up and die, the mind won’t let you and Sam’s just made him focus and get stuff done.
I properly admired Sam. I wouldn’t last like he lasts. I wouldn’t set a schedule up for the day that saw him go fishing and collect wood for the fire and change his leafy bedding. I would dig myself a hole in the sand and wait to die. I loved Sam’s determination, and his friendship with the otters damn near killed me. It was like Tom Hanks and that bloody ball in Castaway except with a cute otter pup named Galaxy. *weeps forever at the cuteness*
Alone is a brilliant survival novel. I tore through it at a rate of knots and when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. It’s like Lost for teens. And I’d love a sequel. Not that I can tell you why, because spoilers but I’d love a sequel. DJ Brazier, please write a sequel. I’ll even take a Galaxy-narrated book, too. I just loved this book so hard. After a run of good but not brilliant reads, this just blew everything out of the water, so thank you DJ Brazier, Sam and Galaxy for an enthralling pulse-pounding read.