Alisha's Reviews > How to Save a Life

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
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Jan 04, 12

bookshelves: amazon-vine, arc-s, young-adult
Read in November, 2011

When I picked up How to Save a Life, I definitely didn't expect to love it as much as I did. The premise, while intriguing, seemed like it had the potential to turn overly cheesy or overly angsty. Now, did How to Save a Life have a couple of cheesy moments? Yes. Did it have a lot of angsty moments? Again, a resounding yes. But it was also a sweet, tender, complicated story. One that was absolutely fantastic.

What makes How to Save a Life so amazingly fantastic is the wonderful characterization. Both Mandy and Jill were wonderfully flawed characters. They weren't just black and white and there were moments where I liked both of the characters and then intensely disliked them. For example, I started How to Save a Life identifying a bit more with Jill as opposed to Mandy and liked her more. However, midway through, I grew to dislike Jill yet adore Mandy. Then in the end, I realized that I had appreciated both of them for different reasons.

Now, I'm one of those people who HATES it when an author writes a super angsty story...and then gives it a happy ending. It just doesn't seem to mesh well with the rest of the book, most of the time. But in How to Save a Life, I WANTED the happy ending. I YEARNED for it. I wanted each and every character to get what they wanted even though it seems that them getting what they want wouldn't work since they all seem to want a part of the same thing just in a different way. Regardless of that, How to Save a Life, did have a predictable ending, but I didn't mind it at all.

So, I completely recommend How to Save a Life. It's a pretty much, all around amazing book with great characters and great writing. Pick it up immediately!
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