How to Save a Life

How to Save a Life

3.9 (13,963 ratings on Goodreads)
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Description

Jill MacSweeny 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. Critically acclaimed author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr delivers a heart-wrenching story, told from dual perspectives, about the many roads that can lead us home.show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 341 pages
  • 142.24 x 210.82 x 33.02mm | 476.27g
  • Little, Brown & Company
  • Little, Brown Young Readers
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0316036064
  • 9780316036061
  • 256,533

About Sara Zarr

Sara Zarr was raised in San Francisco, California, and now lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the author of "Once Was Lost," Sweethearts, and the National Book Award finalist Story of a Girl. She can be found on the Web at www.sarazarr.com.show more

Review quote

* "Filled with so many frustrations, so many dilemmas needing reasonable solutions, and so much hope and faith in the midst of sadness, Zarr's novel is a rich tapestry of love and survival that will resonate with even the most cynical readers." ""Booklist," starred review""show more

Review Text

"Filled with so many frustrations, so many dilemmas needing reasonable solutions, and so much hope and faith in the midst of sadness, Zarr's novel is a rich tapestry of love and survival that will resonate with even the most cynical readers."- Booklist , starred reviewshow more

Our customer reviews

This one is a different kind of a book. It is such a new concept for me. Something serious, stark, un-revealed yet so true, so heartfelt and real. The story is told from the perspective of two girls, Jill and Mandy. And it's good to get into their minds, to know them better, to hear what they think, to get to know them intimately and how they are as a person. The story is sentimental and emotional and tugs at your heart. It talks about how life is unpredictable and situations that happen which we haven't even dreamt of. It makes you feel emotions - from being happy to sad, angry, frustrated. It is a book of THAT kind. Though it's not a page-turner like a thriller, you still want to read on to know what happens. You cry for Mandy, hug Jill. No, probably it won't make you cry. It's not a sad book. It's just something that comes once in a while and makes you think about things that matter, think about your life, goals and things you should be greatful for. In all, read this one when you are in a neutral mood. I can't guarantee it won't make you sadder if you are already sad. :)show more
by Pragya
How to Save a Life is an emotional, character driven novel, that I found myself very much enjoying. The two main characters, Jill and Mandy are very different, from their backgrounds, their views on life, and their attitudes toward life. This book smashes them together under the weirdest of circumstances, and I slowly learned more about them and why they act the way they do. Ms. Zarr did a wonderful job making their voices distinct, and unlike some books with dual perspective, I had no problems switching from one to another and keeping the characters individual. I could identify pieces of myself in both characters, but I didn't fully relate with one or the other. Meaning that I didn't understand some of their trains of thought like I might if I just fully connected/related with one character. (Reading this it sounds like a negative thing, but its not... none of it is in the writing or characterization, I think that Ms. Zarr did a terrific job, I'm just trying to convey that I'm different from the characters--hope that makes sense.) I admire the strength in Mandy, and the self-realization and the courage in Jill--even if it's a very hard road for her and those around her as she comes back into herself. This is a very neat take on teen pregnancy, adoption, and even has an interesting love triangle twist. I was very surprised at how some things turned out, happy at others, even if I did expect it, and left wanting to know more about the characters and what happens next even after the last page... And I say that in a good way, I was attached to them, and did not want to let them go! I think that the plot lines were well tied up and I was satisfied with the ending, I just wanted to know more if that makes sense.show more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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