Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book Review: How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

How to Save a Life

**Book received from Around the World Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Jill MacSweeney just wants everything to 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. You can't lose one family member and simply replace him with a new one, and when her mom decides to adopt a baby, that's exactly what it feels like she's trying to do. And that's decidedly not normal. With her world crumbling around her, can Jill come to embrace a new member of the family?

Mandy Kalinowski knows 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, she knows she wants a better life for her baby. But can giving up a child be as easy as it seems? And will she ever be able to find someone to care for her, too?

Critically acclaimed author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr delivers a heart-wrenching story, told from dual perspectives, about what it means to be a family and the many roads we can take to become one.

My Thoughts:  Mandy is 8 months pregnant.  She turns to Robin, a widow, to adopt her child.  Robin has a teen daughter, Jill as well.  Jill is still dealing with the death of her father and resents her mom for wanting to adopt, even though it was her father's wish. 

Jill is downright mean and vicious!  She is rude and yes, she is dealing with the death of her father but she is dealing with it horribly!  She is simply spoiled and bitter.  I did not like Jill when I started the book.  At all!  However, Jill was very realistic.  She was a teenage girl and her father did die.  It doesn't make her pleasant but it makes her real.

Mandy was needy.  She wants love and attention but the best thing about Mandy is she wants what is best for her unborn baby.  Mandy knows what it is like to not be wanted and that is not what she wants for her baby.  Mandy feels overwhelmed with everything that has happened to her in her life but she is still a much nicer person than Jill.

I liked the alternating narration as you get a feel for each girl and how she is feeling.  The ending was slightly predictable but it didn't seem to hurt the story any.  And, seeing as how my family is starting the adoption process and knowing people who have completed the adoption process, I know that it never works perfectly and it is hard, emotional and takes time.  But this is no reason to bypass this book.  It was simply incredible!

1 comment:

  1. This was my first read by Sara Zarr but won't be my last. She tells a good, emotional story with characters that have some depth. Her writing pleasantly surprised me! I highly recommend this book!
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