June 16, 2015

Wicked Review: How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr

Published: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Acquired: Borrowed Paperback

Jill MacSweeney just wishes everything could 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. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she’s somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.

Mandy Kalinowski understands 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, one thing she’s sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It’s harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?

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

Where do I even start with this book? I mean, this is just phenomenal, really! It's written in dual POVs which is good so there's no confusion. It has the right amount of all the emotions known to mankind.

It was hard to believe at first that Jill's mother, Robin, agreed to an open adoption. If I were Jill, I would be skeptical. Here comes a stranger carrying who could be your future sister or brother and she'll be living with you until the baby comes. I mean, that's a big deal! I understood where Jill was coming from and why she was pretty angry at everyone. It's a tragedy in the making.

Mandy, on the other hand, is like a lost puppy. She was at least thirty three weeks into her pregnancy and she's just as skeptical as Jill in this situation. She wanted a good life for her baby. She was confused. One minute, she couldn't be more happier to be living a life that she could've lived if it weren't for her mother and then she's scared that one day, Robin and Jill would just let her go along with the baby and she'll have nowhere to go.

For the most part the book dragged on around Jill and Mandy, enough that it made me tired. I was wondering when this will all end. I wanted to know if both of them have made the right decisions in life and whether those decisions would make them really happy or not. You just have to leave it to the masters of time. Give things ample time to reveal themselves...for lack of a better term.

I understand why this book is called How To Save A Life. You just have to get a copy of this book to fully understand where I am coming from.

Sara Zarr definitely wowed me with this one. I have two more books of hers (courtesy of my really good friend, Neil!) and she already has a special place in my heart.

Sara Zarr is the acclaimed author of four novels for young adults: Story of a Girl (National Book Award Finalist), Sweethearts (Cybil Award Finalist), Once Was Lost (a Kirkus Best Book of 2009) and How to Save a Life. Her short fiction and essays have also appeared in Image, Hunger Mountain, and several anthologies. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, and online at www.sarazarr.com

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