Friday, February 17, 2012

Rachel Rambles About How to Save a Life

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
From Goodreads:
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.

Okay, so I know my normal response to reading a book is to be all OMG THIS BOOK IS AWESOME AHHH READ IT NOW!!! etc, etc. But this book is different. I mean, this is an absolutely AMAZING book and I definitely think you should go read it immediately, but I think I'll have to be kind of serious when I talk about this book.

In fact, I'm having a hard time thinking of anything to say that will do this book justice. It's the most powerful and emotional and touching book I've read in awhile--possibly ever. Told from the perspectives of two completely different girls, I was surprised by some of the things they did or thought, but I could also relate to them.

On the surface, Mandy and Jill have nothing in common. But once you dig a little deeper, you learn that both girls have many troubles in their life, things they are trying to escape. At some points, it feels as if they are just trying to survive. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Mandy and Jill aren't as different as they appear to me. This book very accurately conveys what it's like to be a teenager, and when I was reading this, I felt like someone finally understood me. I could relate to these characters, maybe not in the obvious ways, like being pregnant or losing a father, but in the smaller, everyday thoughts they have.

Unlike many YA books nowadays, this book is not centered on romance. Not that romance is a bad thing! It's just that this was very different. This story focused on family and friends. Some relationships are rough at best, while others come extremely easily. There are many characters that impact the lives of Jill and Mandy in this novel, and they help to shape who the girls are, for better or for worse.

I'm having a really hard time trying to put my feelings into words, which let me tell you, does not happen a lot. How to Save a Life is truly an amazing, emotional, touching, powerful book. I cannot express my love for it in any way that makes sense to anyone but me. This is a book that I will be recommending to people for a long time.



  1. OMG I HEART THIS BOOK SO FREAKING MUCH. Totally understand the AHH READ IT NOW response. It was one of my favorite books I read last year. Glad you loved it as much as I did <3

    1. This is one of those books that I just want to shove into the hands of everyone I know and be like IS THIS NOT THE BEST THING EVER?! I've been wanting to read it for awhile and I'm SO glad I finally got around to it. Thanks for stopping by :)

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