How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Published: 2011 - Little, Brown
Age Group: YA
Date Read: October 15, 2011
4 out of 5 Stars: Really liked it
Reason for Reading: Been a fan of Zarr's previous YA books and was intrigued by the idea of focusing on these two girls' perspectives.
On GoodReads: "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: By the end of this story I was completely in love with the characters. I felt a stronger connection to Jill early on, but as the story went and more information about Mandy's past came out, she began to really grow on me. I think the side characters and the interactions they had with the two main girls were really well done. Each character and each scene was written with such purpose, and to watch these two girls, strangers, become family was so awesome. Sara Zarr is such a wonderful writer of people and the situations young adults experience. Her stories are filled with a lot of drama, sweet moments, and some really great humor.
Recommended To: Those who have read Zarr's books in the past and those that are looking for some really good realistic fiction.
Quote From The Book: "I know I shouldn't say this -- I know it as surely as I know the earth is round and beets are evil -- and yet here it comes: "It's not too late to change your mind."
Mom, still staring up at the windows, lets her bag slide off her shoulder and dangle from her elbow. "Thanks, Jill. That's tremendously helpful.""
Books Read This Year: 83 of 100
Currently Reading: Notes From the Blender by Trish Cook