How To Save A Life
- Usborne Publishing Ltd
- Publication Date:
- 01 September 2012
- General fiction
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Sara Zarr is one of my favorite teen lit writers . . . right up there with Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson . . . so I eagerly opened her newest novel expecting greatness. And that's exactly what I got!The book alternates between the two main characters: Mandy, a pregnant teen hoping for a better life for her baby; and Jill--angry and devastated by the death of her father. They were both so heartbreakingly real. And the secondary characters were equally as well-drawn. This was just one of those perfect books--I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen, but at the same time, I didn't want it to end.I highly recommend this book to teen and adult women.
How to Save a Life is a great example of what modern authors can do. This book is great! Going in I didn't think this book was going to be that good, boy was I wrong. This book deals with the struggle of adoption, death, and family relationships. The book is told from two points of view. The first being Jill, A high school girl who misses her dad more and more each day. Then there is Mandy she is living at Jill's house because Jill's mother Robin wants to have a kid. Mandy is the "incubator" of sorts for the relationship. Not to give anything away but the as the story progresses we find out more and more about jill and mandy and their relationship with each other. This is a must read book!
One of the things Sara Zarr does best is tell a bittersweet story that makes her reader think. After reading book after book of young adult literature (most of which are mindless entertainment) it’s exhilarating to read a book that contains characters with depth, a story that has unexpected twists, and a message that is an important one.I have to admit, the ending of this book through me for a loop. The story began with a path and developed in a way that followed that path very well.. but then something began to happen. I started with change, right along with the characters. My preconceived notions changed, my feelings toward every single character were altered and as they grew, in maturity, in love, and toward one another, I found myself cheering heartily on the sidelines. And, you can imagine, that there was quite a bit of emotion involved as well.This is the kind of book you read when you are looking for an intelligent, touching, heartfelt read that leaves you a better person for having read it.
I'll be honest: I didn't immediately love this book. I liked Jill well enough, but I wasn't sure how to feel about Mandy. She's... different. But, the more I read, the more I came to care for both of these characters.I found Jill easy to relate to. I think I would have been just as moody and skeptical if my mother decided to adopt a baby just before I went off to college and directly after my father passed away. Truthfully, I think I would have been moody and skeptical regardless of the circumstances. Mandy wasn't quite so easy to understand at first, but, in retrospect, I think this made the novel better and built a stronger bond between the character and reader. Little by little, Zarr reveals pieces of Mandy's past and, as the reader begins to fit these experiences together, her actions and thoughts start to make sense. I liked how incredibly different Jill and Mandy are. Both have survived horrible things in their lives... and they've both dealt with their experiences in entirely different ways. On the outside, Jill appears tough and independent, but, on the inside, she's falling apart. Mandy may appear naive and soft, but she's much stronger and determined than one would guess.I loved getting to know both of these characters. There are wonderful friendships in this novel, a hopeful romance, and a fantastic mother figure, but it was these two young women and their strength that have inspired me to recommend this novel.
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