Saturday, 15 September 2012

Review: How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr


Title: How To Save A Life
Author: Sara Zarr
Author Info: Website|Blog|Twitter|Facebook
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Format: UK Proof
Publication Date: UK:1st Sept 2012|USA:18th Oct 2012

Tell Me About It
Jill's life lost all meaning when her dad died. Friends, boyfriend, college – nothing matters any more. Then her mom drops a bombshell: she's going to adopt a baby.

Mandy is desperate for her life to change. Seventeen, pregnant and leaving home, she is sure of only one thing – her baby must never have a life like hers, whatever it takes.

As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn both how to hold on and how to let go, finding that nothing is as easy - or as difficult - as it seems.

My Thoughts
I have had my eye on How To Save A Life since I first heard about its release in USA.  When I found out it had been picked up by a UK publisher I was very excited, and even more so when I got a copy in the post.
The synopsis says as much as you need to know about the book without going into detail, so I am just going to jump straight in with my review.

When I began reading How To Save A Life I was hooked straight away, and although it's quite a big book I managed to read it within two days worth of reading around work and sleep.  I personally think what Jill's Mum did at that moment in time was the wrong thing to do. Getting a baby not long after losing her husband is an irrational way to fill the gap he left behind, and I don't think she thought about the consequences it would have on her life and on Jills life, I think she was selfish for doing this and should had discussed and planned it with Jill, either with or without previous discussions with her husband.

I felt sorry for Jill.  Losing someone is hard on anyone, but to lose the person who raised you is even worse, and she copes the only way she knows how, withdrawing into herself and keeping those close to her at arms reach.  When she find out about the baby she is against the idea and finds anyway she can to put a stop to the plan.  As a character I thought she was incredibly strong, being able to still function the ways she does just amazes me.  She has also been brought up to be independent and not have to rely on anyone for help, even if that help is just changing a tyre.  We get glimpses into the relationship she had with her Dad and from them alone you can see how close they were with each other.

Mandy, the pregnant teenager who is giving her baby up for Jill, was an enigma at first.  There are two sides to her story and reason for doing what she does which I am not going to go into, you have to read it yourself to find out more.  As the truth finally comes out I did begin to feel sorry for her and for how she had grown up.

As the book nears to an end, the situation is resolved in a way that I never expected.  How To Save A Life is an emotional book that deals with family, love, loss, and shows the real meaning of what 'family' means.  I enjoyed it from page one and intend to check out more books by the author.

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