Tuesday, 22 January 2013

First Book Review of the Year: 'How to Save a Life' by Sara Zarr

To kick off the year, I decided to randomly choose any book from the library shelves to read for this week. I don't normally do this, since I often get really bored with the book if it isn't by a familiar author or isn't part of  my favorite series/trilogy. Now the title was definitely something that would catch your eye. 'How to save a life'? I thought to myself. The thoughts that I had before reading this book were action, strategy and all of those stereotypical opinions of the title. Fear not though! A silly little title isn't going to ruin my curiosity for this new reading adventure, so I began away with my journey toward a new literature (Wow thats deep).


Any ways, back to the present. 'How to save a life' by Sara Zarr is an epic fiction novel about a 17 year old teenage girl and an 18 year old pregnant young girl. Before getting to the actual book, it begins with an anonymous email about an 'item'. Firstly, you wouldn't know what this item is yet, but when you get through at least half of the book, your confusion will fade. I wasn't really a fan throughout the beginning to be honest. It started out with Jill telling us about her depressed life ever since her Father had died. It was unfortunate for me actually, since at that time I was looking forward to a fun or 'peppy' story, but that didn't make me stop reading. Ever since Jill's father had died, her mother 'Robin' had been thinking of adopting a baby to add to the family, or what Jill thought was, to replace her father. Her mother had made a deal with 'Mandy' who is planning on giving up her child for adoption as soon as she gives birth to her/him. They have been communicating through emails, and it was now time to actually meet her in person. 

Throughout half of the story, Jill really hates Mandy. Every time Mandy sees her go down the stairs, she is always frowning or never happy. Mandy isn't feeling all good herself. Having a dark past and growing up feeling unwanted and not loved, I wouldn't blame her either! Although Jill tries avoiding Mandy for the longest bit of this novel, she and Mandy eventually become closer, and literally become sisters. Although I do not want to spoil any good bits of this novel for ya'll, I just want to tell you guys that you are in for a heart warming, tear jerking (it was for me anyways), exciting and inspirational journey. Sara Zarr not only show us the beauty of family and love, but also that every person deserves a loving family, no matter what you've been through. I was captivated by the emotions and the creativity of the way it was written. Not only did we have 2 points of views, but we were easily able to relate to both of the characters in a way that shows us that   there were no bad characters, and that both of these people narrated from their heart. The title also says it all. Jill and Mandy were able to save both of their lives with the help of eachother, and at the end, they knew that they needed eachother. They were sisters, afterall. ^_^

I give this novel 10 stars or even more if there were no limits. Oh what the heck, Sky is the limit! 100 stars! I will definitely be planning on reading more novels from Sara Zarr (: 

If I was to choose my favorite character, it would probably be Jill. Although she was pretty miserable half of the story, the way she was able to change and still have hope was really inspiring for me. I know I've definitely had my times where I just wanted to disappear from the world, and never return. But Jill's story are one the inspiring stories that'll help us with any grieve or struggles we are going through. The whole setting and story reminded me of snowy days and just snow in general, especially from the cover of the book. I was able to actually feel myself in Jill's neighborhood making snow angels and picking up the snowflakes on my window. (:

                              (This picture is from wallpaperscraft.com. No copyright intended))    

My favorite quote(s) from the book:

“I'm still going to love you, always. And in the rock-paper-scissors of life, love is rock. fear, anger, everthing else...no contest.”   -Dylan

“No one measures a life in weeks and days. You measure life in years and by the things that happen to you.” 


(Cover of 'How to save a life' above is from goodreads.com)

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