Friday, October 14, 2011

Review: HOW TO SAVE A LIFE--Sara Zarr

How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr
October 18, 2011
Little, Brown BFYR
Young Adult | Contemporary
Pages: 341
Source/Format: NetGalley/ARC
Author's Website  |Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound



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.



Where do I even begin with How To Save A Life? This is… a mindnumbing book. Wow, I did not expect what to happen when I started reading this book. Granted, I didn’t read the summary until halfway through the book, so I really didn’t know what this book was about.

The most amazing thing is I always knew who was narrating. I’ve heard the physical ARCs have different fonts for Mandy and Jill, but my egalley didn’t—and I still knew if it was Mandy or Jill. Jill’s voice has a rough edge to it while Mandy’s is, and I’m not trying to be mean here, less intelligent than Jill’s. It was how Mandy was raised that she doesn’t understand everything Jill and Robin do. Which makes sense.

These two are so real. I want to ask Sara Zarr if she heard this story and decided to write it.

And Dylan; guys, Dylan has a lip ring and wears eyeliner. God, if this story was nonfiction, I’d find Dylan right now because I loved him. He was so nice and understanding with Mandy, stayed by Jill’s side even when she was a mean bitch, and even tried to help Mandy. He is such a nice guy, under his emo look.

This book is sad, in a raw way. Jill and Robin are still grieving; Jill thinks Robin wants to replace Mac with Mandy’s baby; Mandy needs to be saved. I can’t say more about this book without spoiling it, but please read it. Please, please read this book.


Hell yeah. This is a book everybody needs to read. It's a little sad, but sometimes you need a sad book.

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1 comment:

  1. If you could tell who the narrators were without the font, it's a sign of amazing storytelling. I'm SO looking forward to reading How to Save a Life.

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