Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Megan Rambles About How to Save a Life

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
From GoodreadsJill 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.

Now usually I would write a ramble by freaking out, with capital letters and stars, and maybe a few jokes and sarcastic comments. But I feel like this book is too serious for that. So I'm going to try my best to express why I love this book so much in a more human and normal way.

How to Save a Life is told in the alternating perspectives of Jill and Mandy. Jill's mother is adopting the baby that Mandy is going to have. There is a lot of tension between these two characters both because they both have a lot of problems to deal with, and also because Jill doesn't necessarily want Mandy to be there at all. I really loved the alternating perspectives because it really let you understand that both of the girls had some problems and there were reasons for the way they were acting. 

Jill was a character that took some getting used to. She's angry at pretty much everything and everyone, but being inside her head you realized that she was mostly just upset because her father died. Mandy was definitely the stranger of the two girls. She didn't really know how to handle normal social situations, but the chapters from her perspective show that comes from the messed up home life she had until she ran away. 

I really, really liked getting to see both of the girls change during the book. There were several twists that I didn't see coming, and I really liked the ending. My favorite kind of endings are the ones where good things are starting to happen for the characters, and there is just enough hope that everything will work out to make it satisfying (A great example of this are John Green's books. Seriously. Best endings ever.). How to Save a Life left me totally satisfied that there was hope for these characters to get there lives even closer to normal. 

My only recommendation is to read this book during winter. I read it during the summer and didn't understand why the characters were cold when they could be lying on a sunny warm beach like me. Like I realized OH. WAIT. IT'S WINTER IN THIS BOOK. But you could probably tell that from the pretty cover. Other than that, I  highly recommend picking this one up! It was a really good read!



  1. Yeah, it did have kind of a John-Green-y ending, you're right. I don't have much intelligent to say about this book except LOVE LOVE LOVE!

    1. Basically my exact feelings! That's why this ramble was really hard for me to write. I couldn't get to the coherent part... -Megan