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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Set amid the chaos of World War I, Not Yet Dead, Nearly by Harry Old is the story of a man who has to hang onto his wits and his sanity to stay alive. Ben Stack’s life used to easy and simple. Now, he was living a nightmare in the trenches where every day was a fight for survival. He could barely hold himself together, especially with death and loss all around him. While the men in his family and friends were either killed or destroyed in the war, Ben found that the only way to survive was to stay one step ahead of the war. The choices were made for him; all he had to do was go with the flow and do his best. But was his best enough to survive the war and get back home alive? Did he even stand a chance?
The descriptions got a little graphic about the living conditions, the war, and the mental trauma the soldiers went through, which was very fitting for the topic. Not Yet Dead, Nearly got raw and real very quickly, the action was introduced as soon as the plot picked up and Ben was stuck in the deep end. Ben’s development was natural and all thanks to how real this character was. Harry Old did a great job of making Ben as human as possible. He was relatable. I formed a connection with him instantly and that took my reading experience to another level. He was vulnerable, in tune with his emotions and tried his best to survive. He wasn’t extraordinary; he was just a man whose life was destroyed by the war. He just chose to rise above that and do something about it rather than curling up and letting the war take him away. I loved every single raw and gritty part of this novel!