Wednesday, December 14

How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr

How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352

Summary:Jill MacSweeney just wants everything to go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends--everyone who wants to support her. You can't lose one family member and simply replace him with a new one, and when her mom decides to adopt a baby, that's exactly what it feels like she's trying to do. And that's decidedly not normal. With her world crumbling around her, can Jill come to embrace a new member of the family?

Mandy Kalinowski knows what it's like to grow up unwanted--to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, she knows she wants a better life for her baby. But can giving up a child be as easy as it seems? And will she ever be able to find someone to care for her, too?

Critically acclaimed author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr delivers a heart-wrenching story, told from dual perspectives, about what it means to be a family and the many roads we can take to become one

My Thoughts: I usually stay away from books focusing on teen pregnancy. I don't know why, I usually just don't want to read about it or have no motivation to read about it so going into How To Save A Life I was a bit leery of it. Fair enough?

We are introduced to Mandy who is pregnant and on her way to meet Jill's mom Robin. Robin is adopting her baby. Mandy comes to live with Jill's family the last few weeks of her pregnancy so she can have the baby near Robin. Think this is a little crazy? Well, Jill's father and Robin's husband died a little while ago, and Robin is trying to fill the gap with a new family member. She thinks she can redo things and raise this child perfectly.

Mandy is trying to escape her past with her crazy mother and her mother's boyfriend who used to come into her room and night and sexually abuse her. She isn't sure if the father of the baby is him or another boy she had a one night stand with at the fair.

How To Save A Life switches back and forth between Jill and Mandy's perspective. Mandy is a little bit naive, she is her mother's daughter after all. Jill is pretty smart, but can also be a little bit of a brat. She doesn't accept this situation and she thinks there is a bigger plan in action.

She also has a boyfriend named Dylan and a new guy friend named Ravi.  I really liked both guys. You could tell how she cared about each of them in her own way.

As the book goes on, Jill gets to know Mandy more and more and realizes she isn't as bad as she thought she was, and she's just had a rough life.

I really enjoyed How To Save A Life, a lot more than I thought I would. I was sucked into the story and wanted to know more of what was going on inside both Mandy and Jill's heads. They both had their own problems to worry about and deal with.

Overall: Like I said above, I really liked this one. I didn't quite love it like a 5 cupcake book but I did enjoy it a lot more than the 3 cupcake book. It was right smack in the middle at 4 cupcakes. It could have been a little shorter, but than we wouldn't have gotten to know the characters as well as we did. How To Save A Life was a serious enjoyable read.

Cover: Love it! I love the benches and I love the snow and the footprints! It makes it feel like winter! It's beautiful in a way!

What I'd Give It:


Melissa Walker said...

I loooved this one! Glad you liked it too.

Sophie Marie said...

What caught my eye was the cover as well! It is really pretty! I'm glad that I found your review, because I am looking for good books to read over the summer, and I definitely think that I will give this one a shot! I am also really excited that I found your blog, and I am sure that you will see wee comments from me popping up all over your blog!x


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