How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

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Reason for Reading:
  • Sara Zarr is one of my favorite young adult authors.

I also recommend:

Summary from 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?

My Review:

One of the things Sara Zarr does best is tell a bittersweet story that makes her reader think.  After reading book after book of young adult literature (most of which are mindless entertainment) it’s exhilarating to read a book that contains characters with depth, a story that has unexpected twists, and a message that is an important one.

I have to admit, the ending of this book through me for a loop.  The story began with a path and developed in a way that followed that path very well.. but then something began to happen.  I started with change, right along with the characters.  My preconceived notions changed, my feelings toward every single character were altered and as they grew, in maturity, in love, and toward one another, I found myself cheering heartily on the sidelines.  And, you can imagine, that there was quite a bit of emotion involved as well.

This is the kind of book you read when you are looking for an intelligent, touching, heartfelt read that leaves you a better person for having read it.

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