15 October 2011

Review: How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 11:13 PM

How to Save a Life
  Title: How to Save a Life                   Pages: 341
  Author: Sara Zarr                             Source: Publisher
  Publisher: Little, Brown Books          Published: Oct 18, 2011
  Series: N/A                                       Purchase: Amazon
  Rating: 5 out of 5
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?
How to Save a Life is an incredible story about falling apart and falling apart again, just when you think you're picking yourself back up. It's a journey of learning to trust and count on somebody for the first time in your life.

The characters in How to Save a Life are phenomenal. Sara Zarr goes above and beyond for each character and I felt like I knew them personally.

Jill is incredibly snarky and sarcastic, but it's just her defense-mechanism after her rock, her father, dies. She feels like she lost part of herself and that she can't love anyone without him showing her how. She's insecure, yet comes across as confident to your face. I loved Jill from the beginning, when she captured my heart.

Speaking of capturing my heart, so did the second heroine, Mandy. I did not like her at first, I found her to be annoying and awkward. Her personality, however, quickly grew on me. She was like a sister that steals my stuff and makes me angry, then later makes me crack up because of how eclectic she is.

How to Save a Life's plot was slowly paced at times, but Sara Zarr took my heart and squeezed it hard every now and then to make sure I was still paying attention to her beautiful story. Her words were beautiful and absolutely lyrical at times and I found myself laughing at her witty dialogue.

Overall, I highly recommend How to Save a Life to anyone. The whole novel is so amazing and one hard to find flaws in.

Cover thoughts: I really like this cover and how it pertains to the story. The snow symbolizes the loneliness of it, as does there being two sets of footprints, yet one person. I'm in the crowd though that doesn't like how huge the letters are.

I give How to Save a Life a 5 out of 5.


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