Monday, July 16, 2012
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
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.
I always appreciate a book that is intelligently written, poses a question, and has a point or a moral. The writing in How to Save a Life is thoughtful and tight; there are not a lot of words that are unnecessary. The story is thought-provoking (you ask yourself what would I do if I were in Jill's situation, her mom's situation, or Mandy's?) And there are mulitple themes from which to choose your moral. Judging others, adoption, troubled teens, falling in love, breaking up, dealing with death and bereavement. Take your pick. The answer all three women are looking for is simple, but does not come across as too simplistic for the tone of the rest of the novel.
A basically clean read I would definitely recommend.