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I Will Save You

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  987 ratings  ·  218 reviews
Kidd is running from his past and his future. No mom, no dad, and there’s nothing for him at the group home but therapy. He doesn’t belong at the beach where he works either, unless he finds a reason to stay.
Olivia is blond hair, blue eyes, rich dad. The prettiest girl in Cardiff. She’s hiding something from Kidd—but could they ever be together anyway?
Devon is mean, myst
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Ember (first published October 12th 2010)
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"Everybody has a way they see the world" (21) - Mr. Red

"You should always tell the truth to people you care about, even if they won't like what they hear" (29). - Kidd

" skin felt warm and even though I hadn't eaten all day it felt like I'd never be hungry again" (53). - Kidd where upon seeing Olivia for the first time

"I thought how if two people see the same thing, at the exact same time, their minds probably store the same memory, even way into the future, and that's something in common" (
Angelica Perez
Have you ever been afraid of someone, tried to fight them off but they continue to come back, only to find out that it is yourself that you are trying to get away from?

Kidd is a young teen with a difficult past. He had an abusive father who's actions caused his mother to commit suicide right in front of him. Kidd was sent to Horizons a mental illness home for depression and post traumatic stress. During his stay at Horizons Kidd meets a man named Mr.Red who essentially became a father figure fo

So I know I'm not unusual--checking out other reviews here--for not loving this right away. It took me FOREVS to really get going. But once I did, I was sucked in, and I was racing to see just how bad things got.


I love the main characters in de la Pena's books. He is so great at piecing together vulnerability and anger and fear and hope. In this book there's so many heartbreaking moments--with the book's structure an
Sophia Stanton
Can I explain my love for this book?


Kidd is spending his summer at the beach. He'd do anything to get away from his group home and the dark memories there of his past.
He's working as a caretaker at the campsite, and he'd be blind if he didn't notice Olivia. Blond hair, blue eyes, rich dad. The prettiest girl in Cardiff. He might even have a chance with her, too. Until Devon appears.
Kidd's best friend followed him all the way to the beach. And he's not leaving until he teaches him a few
This is the first of Matt De La Pena's books that I've read; very strong character voice and a twist ending that sneaks up on you.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane Mankowski
The story begins with the end-of-summer specatular silver-shimmering California beach scene brought on by the grunnion fish riding the waves to shore. Moments after the beach turns silver, one boy shoves another off the cliff, to what surely must be his death.

Kidd tries desperately to escape his tragic past and genetic death drive, beginning with running away from Horizon-the place he's lived and received therapy since his mother killed his father and turned the gun on herself. Leaving Horizon,
No one would wish for the life that Kidd Ellison has grown up with. His father was abusive, and his mother could not seem to find away to keep him safe. This ultimately led to him being in a group home called Horizons. It is there that he met Red, a former surfing star who would come to Horizons to help out a bit.

After some time, Red reaches a point where he wanted to offer to have Kidd come and join him in Cardiff, where he works as a campground maintenance man. The managers of Horizons did not
Every book de la Pena writes is stronger and more original and more amazing. Ryan, one of my students who's read every one of his books brought it back (finally) and wouldn't tell me the twist, just that there is a huge twist. He was so impressed.

So, I did what I do...I read the ending. It absolutely did NOT ruin the book for me. If anything, it allowed me to read for the clues, and they're there. De la Pena has a master's control over every facet of this story. It's told in flashback (we know f
I Will Save You is another really strong one by Matt de la Pena. The only weak part for me whatsoever is the title because it gives me Nicholas Sparks-ian vibes such that if I didn't already know and love the author's other work, I'd maybe dismiss this as some generic romance novel and never think to check it out. That said, I hope other people are more open-minded than me and give it a shot because it's genuinely great.

I figured out what was going on with the main character before the reveal bu
I Will Save You The Book That’s Not What It Seems
Runaway Kidd is escaping from his past, Olivia is hiding a personal secret under her hat, and a death driven boy named Devon is daring the world. These three characters are connected through close friendship and growing romance. Dark Devon risks their security through his reckless actions. Kidd and Olivia begin as friends and become close. I Will Save You takes a close look at the real problems teenagers face in
Shelley Daugherty
I really enjoyed reading this book but I would have enjoyed it more if I had not figured out twist from the very beginning of the book. I really enjoyed the fact that this had a love story told from the male character. I would be happy if more males felt "ok" about reading books that have a romantic storyline and one that is well played out without abuse/drugs/drinking being invloved. This was also a very good book about accepting yourself and becoming more self confident.
I so loved de la Pena's first book Ball Don't Lie that my goodwill has carried over, though his last three books have not been nearly as good. This one sounds like it should be all tense and dramatic. It opens with a murder, and focuses on Kidd, a deeply psychologically scarred teen who ends up in a group home after his mother's death. He runs away from the home and ends up working maintenance at a campsite on the California coast. There are lots of interesting elements here - the after effect ...more
My book was about a young boy named Kidd who was going through many problems in his life. For example when he was living with his mom and his dad his father use to always beat on him and his mother until one day his mother got tired of it and killed him and she had killed herself , so Kidd had to go to a camp were it is suppose to help him get better but it only making him worse every day he is there. He falls in love with a girls name Olive but in his mind there is this boy names Devon that is ...more
Jan 01, 2015 Beverly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 14-16 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: YALSA/
In I Will Save You, Matt de la Pena has given us another powerful memorable coming of age story with a male working class protagonist trying to fit into a white world of privilege. Kidd comes from a violent family that imploded and left him to grow up in the system. He is determined to find his way in the world, find a place where he fits in and can start a normal life, and come to peace with his history. But as determined as he is, he does not believe those things are possible for him. Matt de ...more
Lizete Hernandez
I read the book “I Will Save You” by Matt de la Pena which starts off with the main character Kidd pushing his “friend” devon off a cliff. After that it goes back in time and gives events leading up to where the book started, Kidd pushing his “friend” off the cliff. Kidd is a young boy who escaped from the horizons, which is a therapy camp but he also tries to escape his past which he can’t get over about. When he leaves the horizons he goes to work as a maintenance worker in California with a m ...more
Brooke Phelps
This book is so amazing. I can't describe it any differently , I've been constantly thinking about writing this review , but it's absolutely impossible , when I read tins book I felt every emotion Kidd felt I cried when he cried I was scared when he was scared. I love the way Matt De La Peña wrote this book. I kiss the ground he walks on after this book! So anyways , I Will Save You is about a teen running away from his group home called horizons , he's battling with a difficult past and a diffi ...more
Mary Farrell
My first book by Matt de la Pena--and it will not be my last. Amazing writing. As soon as I finished the book, I went right back and started reading it over again. I rarely do that, but the structure of this book is unique. A little off-putting in the beginning, hard to follow the main character's story and very frustrating they way he's acting. But the book is well worth the read...even a second read.
I had the pleasure of seeing Matt de la Peña on three panels this past weekend at YALSA. He talked about wanting to create literature and literature being art something that sticks with you.
At the moment, I was three pages into I Will Save You and not too impressed, but I was continually impressed with this former CA resident, now Brooklyn transplant who characterizes himself as a "blue collar writer" and likes to clock in every morning at this coop writing space.
In the end, I was blown away wit
My apologies to this book, but I really couldn't get into it. The premise was interesting enough, but the way it was written was just... not something I had the patience for.

The ending was certainly surprising, and I did appreciate that little twist, but in the end, it was not enough to redeem the book overall.
Jose Pena
I recently read “I Will Save You” By Matt DE La Pena. It’s about Kidd who pushed his best friend off the weakest part of the cliff because he kissed Olivia, the only girl he liked or will ever like.”I see me pushing Devon off the cliff”. Kidd doesn't have parents the only parents he has a Mr. red. Mr. help clean the camp site.
The setting takes place in the campsite where Kidd helps Mr. Red clean. The main character is Kidd. The conflict of the story is that Kidd likes Olivia but Kidd caught Devo
Paulette Garza
This was a fantastic book. I love to read books that are different. Books that deal with issues in different ways. The author did a great job of telling the story from different angles. You get to read the cause and affect of actions in a back to back format. Kidd is seventeen and a runaway from a group home where he was receiving therapy after a traumatic event in his life took the lives of his mom and his dad. He has a lot to deal with and seems to have found a place to just be a regular norma ...more
Good YA lit about a boy struggling between his family's violent past and his present life as a teenage boy falling in love. I liked it and would definitely recommend it to my reluctant male readers as well as females because of it's love story component.
I read this book (had read Ball Don't Lie back when it first came out and loved it)in preparation for an author visit at a conference I attended in March. The book was great, the author talk even better. I will now go and read everything Matt de la Pena has written. About this book, what a clever and interesting story. He does a fantastic job building the story of a troubled teen boy, allowing us to think we understand his issues and what effects they have had on his life. But really,we don't ha ...more
Kidd har haft en opvækst, som ingen burde opleve nogensinde og på trods af, at han har et sikkert sted på Horizons - opholdstedet han er på, mangler han mere. Han mangler frihed og glade dage - Kidd mangler virkelig bare et sted, hvor han føler, at han hører hjemme. Han stikker af og søger tilflugt på stranden, hvor han får et arbejde ved Red, der sørger for vedligeholdelse rundt på telt/campingpladsen der hører til stranden og der møder Kidd også Olivia..
Lige da Kidd begynder at føle, at det er
Debbie Tanner
This was the most intense book I've read in a long time. In fact, parts of it were so difficult to read, I almost gave up, but I'm glad I finished it. This is a book about people with scars, mostly inner scars. The characters have the most painful lives imaginable and are each trying to find their way along. It is a bit of mystery because the author doesn't tell you until about the last 25 pages what all the scars are really about and the ending came as a bit of surprise to me too. Definitely th ...more
This book fooled me at the beginning. I thought the protagonist was a shallow, emotionally stunted caricature of a teenage boy. Turns out that this unreliable narrator was written well, but it took me sticking with the book for a few chapters to understand that.

I was hoping for a 'Read Brave' novel - but given the fact that I wanted to put it down after the first chapter, I worry that teens would think the same thing - but actually put it down. I do, however, want to read more by Matt de la Pen
I did a huge discredit to this book by reading reviews before I read it. Don't do that, is my best advice.


(view spoiler)
Alyssa Wayt

What the hell, Matt de la Pena. What the hell? This book started off really slow, and it is worded all wack and organized weird and it was just kind of dragging on. This was this month's book club book, so I kind of had to read it. So for about 290 pages, you are just going, is this going somewhere or what? And then BAM the whole book changes and becomes intense and insane and everything makes sense and like, what the hell?

So right off the bat, you can tell Kidd
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Who Is The Most funny character in the story. 1 1 Nov 08, 2014 09:49AM  
I will save you 1 1 Nov 08, 2014 04:38AM  
So...the ending *SPOILERS* 2 21 Sep 10, 2013 09:12AM  
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Matt de la Peña is the author of five critically-acclaimed young adult novels—Ball Don't Lie, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, I Will Save You and The Living—as well as the award-winning picture book A Nation’s Hope: The story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific, where he attended school ...more
More about Matt de la Pena...
Mexican WhiteBoy The Living (The Living, #1) We Were Here Curse of the Ancients (Infinity Ring #4) Ball Don't Lie

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“But mostly I remember every morning before school. How she'd say "Hey, honey!" just I was walking out the apartment door. And me stopping and turning around and saying "What?" And her saying "I love you." And me rolling my eyes like I just wanted to hurry up so I didn't miss the bus. I'd start going again and she'd say "Hey, honey!" and I'd pretend I was so annoyed 'cause she was wasting time and I had to go catch the bus. And how secretly it was my favorite part of every day.” 7 likes
“We only reveal what we want other people to know, right? It's like we create fictional characters for the public. And inside we're somebody totally different.” 3 likes
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