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How to Save a Life

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Luke Craven is convinced that the world is against him; his once-happy life hasn’t been the same since he lost both of his parents and his wife in quick succession, and his everyday has become more about existing than living. But he is forced to reconsider his glass-half-empty outlook when he narrowly escapes a freak accident with his life – pushed to safety by a stranger, ...more
ebook, 485 pages
Published June 11th 2020 by Avon Books UK
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Thanks to this cover looking similar to another cover and the title sounding familiar, I downloaded this e-audiobook.

Grumpy, almost forty-years-old, divorced barber living in Manchester with his cat, has a life-altering accident that makes him reconsider his actions and outlook on life.

I usually love this kind of books, after all, they're the quintessential character growth novels that I enjoy reading. Also, my cynicism needs the occasional sweetener. Initially, I thought this was going to be
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A refreshing read that felt so different to many of the novels I have encountered recently. The protagonist, Luke, is a grumpy, lonely man and the writer shows how one incident is the catalyst for bringing about change. All in all, we can learn that it is never to late to make a change in your own life.

I warmed to Luke immediately. His grumpiness was entertaining although his loneliness was painful. Luke does not have anyone to turn to and has managed to convince himself that this is what he pre
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant read. A down on hope man, Luke was saved by a woman, where he escaped with minor injuries and she didn't. That brought about a change in his heart and outlook toward life.

Having read the previous book by this author, I knew I would be in for a heart wrenching read. What I didn't realize was that the the words had so much power that it made me change my viewpoint.

This was a thought provoking read which inspired me to go beyond my life's disappointments and find my slice of th
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
Luke Craven is a likable character, idiosyncrasies and all. I enjoyed his journey to owning his life. It was a great story, but a little heavy with the similes, metaphors and analogies. Perhaps that was part of the humor, or just the author's style, but I found it a little distracting. Well worth the time to read it though as I found myself laughing, sighing and even tearing up.

I almost put 3 or 3.5 stars, BUT I thoroughly enjoyed this read. The main character was quirky and an oddball, yet rela
Donna Hines
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, netgalley
It's not hard to imagine with the current state of affairs during a pandemic why this book might touch so many people in so many ways.
Depression is not a light or airy topic yet for Luke Craven he's a man down on his luck after losing those he loved the most including both parents and his wife.
Now, he's on the verge of fragility when a freak accident changes his entire outlook upon life.
How to Save a Life is an uplifting and powerful read about the random act of kindness that turned into a life
Carol Drinkwater
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have read all books by this author, all different and enjoyed them all. This was a heartwarming story, beautifully written with good descriptive characters.

I can thoroughly recommend this book and thank you to Netgalley an Avon Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
Lisa Aiello
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: just-fiction
What a moving and immersive tale with so many lessons. Luke leads a relatively simple life. He owns a barbershop and is good at what he does. He is not an unkind man, but he is a grump and a bit negative. Life has dealt him a few blows. He lost both of his parents in an accident, his wife unexpectedly left him, and it's just him and his cat. Life isn't unbearable, but it also isn't joyful. One day, while seeking shelter from the rain, a scaffolding collapses on him and a woman who was also shari ...more
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How to Save a Life
S.D. Robertson
(Review written on 18th August 2020)

Having read, and loved, If Ever I Fall by S.D. Robertson back in February 2018, I was very much looking forward to reading How to Save a Life. I have not been disappointed. This author certainly knows how to write an emotional story.
In this book we meet Luke, who initially comes across as a grumpy character who doesn’t really have the time of day for anyone. You would think this would make it easy to dislike him, but somehow ev
Alexandra WhimsyPages
Jun 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-2020
«How to Save a Life» was the shot of positivity I so desperately needed.
In this heartwarming novel, S.D. Robertson explores the possibility of turning your life around by making some minor changes, by being opening to opportunities and by trying to overcome our inner pessimists.

Luke Craven is a “glass-half-empty” kind of guy. This is something we learn right from the beginning of the story [even from the book] and are reminded throughout the entire story. You can probably guess from the blu
Julie Williams
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a fan of novels by this author and eagerly await a new release and this is the 5th book to be published and did not disappoint.

The story begins with the main character Luke having a near death encounter whilst sheltering from the rain. He is suddenly pushed out of the way from falling scaffolding and debris by complete stranger Iris who is also weathering out the storm, but is not so lucky and loses her life.

Luke a divorcee owns a small barber shop in Manchester and tends to keep to himself
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Luke Craven is more of ‘a cup half empty’ than ‘a cup half full’ sort of man. Life hasn’t been kind to him at the very beginning of this story and thrown him a series of ‘curve balls’. He detests his neighbours and tries to avoid them at all costs, has no time for socialising, has rowed with his cousin so fiercely that they are estranged and does not do chit-chat with the customers in his Barbers Shop. He doesn’t mix with the owners of other businesses in the same street as his or with casual ac ...more
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, novels, arc
***I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book will be out on June 11th, 2020***

This book touched me on various levels.
In perfect SD Robertson's style, the reader is dragged into the main character's feelings and life with such a force that s/he ends up feeling genuinely for the guy, as if he was family or a close friend.
It's the fifth novel from this author I read and I can safely say he is an artist of feelings.

Life has put Luke, a thirty-nine yea
Jess Bickerton
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I think of all the books I've read from S.D. Robertson the thoughts that come to mind are evocative, thought-provoking and insightful. He's become one of the authors that I eagerly await their next publication. How to Save a Life, Robertson's newest publication (released today!) is no exception!

A story of a 40 year-old man, Luke, who has become disengaged with life and mostly comes across to others as being irritable, grumpy and unfriendly. A typical glass-half-empty outlook on life. When I
Margaret Duke-Wyer
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, reviewed
This is a completely unexpected treasure. As we set off on our journey with Luke, I was not sure I liked the style, or indeed the character, in this book. The dialogue and explanations of Luke’s inner voice seemed over simplistic and somewhat unsophisticated: we join him as he is closing up his (cheap as chips type) barber shop and makes his way home through the inclement weather. Then alarmingly his life is in danger, he survives but only due to a stranger’s bravery – a doctor – and she saved h ...more
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something really bad happens at the beginning of the story which changes Luke Craven's life forever, and in a way that's no bad thing as Luke has sort of lost his way and it takes a really tragic set of circumstances to jolt him out of his, let's be honest, rather miserable life.

What then follows is a thought provoking read which has all the trademark characteristics which are so evident in this author's writing. We are skilfully maneuvered through the aftermath of loss and grief and taken on a
Melissa Young
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-read
A feel good book about a guy down on his luck who seems to get a second chance at life! Heartwarming with lovable characters who really make the story great!
Luke is a glass half empty kind of guy, looking down on others and just plain miserable after losing his parents and getting divorced in the same short span. It doesn’t matter that it has been several years since those events, he still hasn’t gotten over it. This all changes the day of his brief meeting with Iris. Standing under scaffolding,
Laura Stevenson
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Luke Craven is a bit of a misery guts who has let life pass him by after the sudden death of his parents and getting divorced from his wife but one freak accident changes everything for him. After a storm leaves Luke's life in danger and a stranger (who saved him) dead he resolves to turn his life around and start to see the brighter side of life.

I loved that Luke was so real and relateable. I could just picture him and his little barber shop in my head and I was rooting for him to finally start
Becky Sumner
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I first started to read this book I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I wasn't sure how the story would go but I was interested to see where the journey would take me.
I instantly found Luke a normal kind of guy. With a pessimistic attitude but a get on with it mind set that helped him through everything that has happened in his past and everything that came in his future.
He goes through so much during this story and parts of it made me want to reach inside the book to give him a hug and tel
Jun 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This story is about Luke who owns and single handedly runs a barbershop. Luke is a very pessimistic person. We find out later on why this is. One day Luke is walking home from work when there is a bad storm. He takes shelter under some scaffolding where a woman is also sheltering. The scaffolding is not secure and the woman pushes Luke out of the way. In doing so she saves his life. This sparks a change in Luke and he
Hannah Coe
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, as soon as I started reading it I was attracted by two facts. 1 - that it was written with a male main character and 2 - that it was set in Manchester, the Northern Quarter to be precise. I can’t think of many other books I’ve read that have a male lead so this was interesting to me straight away. When I discovered the setting it was another reason why I had to read the book.

I could picture the scenes and events of the book from recollections of streets that I’ve act
Kathleen Gray
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When Iris pushes Luke out of the way of falling scaffolding- everything changes. He's had a really rough go and is in the pits, not so much living as existing. Her selfless act, however, makes him rethink his life and he realizes that he has to wake up. It's not this easy, really, to deal with depression but Robertson has written the sort of novel that argues for kindness. Paying it forward means more than dropping extra change at the cash register; Luke slowly comes around to the realization th ...more
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is such a different read ,Luke is a hairdresser ,a bit grumpy with a very pessimistic attitude but he gets through life though it is a lonely one .Then his life is saved one night in a freak accident by Iris and he decides to change his life and turn it around because of her.This is a heartwarming story that is full of hope.There are some brilliant characters and I enjoyed this book very much .Many Thanks to the Publishers the Author and NetGalley for my preview copy in return for an honest ...more
Hannah Symonds
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like all of S. D. Robertson's books this was another powerful yet thought provoking story. This time about a guy called Luke, who is a bit of a grumpy old man, after a chance but harrowing encounter with a stranger he realises that things happen for a reason and tries to do good and mend his ways. I thought all the things Luke did were very courageous and how people helped him warmed my heart. This book will show you that it is never to late to have a more positive attitude.I look forward to the ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to publisher Avon Books UK and NetGalley for a digital advance reader's copy. All comments and opinions are my own.

If you're looking for a feel-good story about a "glass-half empty" kind of guy, this is the book for you. Luke starts out as a man with a negative attitude, someone who is selfish and frequently feels sorry for himself. After a nearly fatal accident, he begins to make changes in his life, how he treats others, and opens his heart as he learns about hope and second chances. Th
Joanne Hull
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the second book I have read by S D Robertson and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was easy to identify with the main character Luke and the personal crisis he was going through. Luke has a life experience that makes him realise that he needs to change his outlook. Meeting a girl called Iris brings him down a road where he never thought he would go. It would be great to have a sequel to see how Luke continues in his new way of thinking.
Philippa Mckenna
Luke is a true pessimist. His glass is always half empty, never half full. After losing his parents, swiftly followed by his wife, Luke lives quite a solitary existence, with only his cat, Alfred for company. A freak accident during a storm proves a life changing experience for Luke, and the story that follows is heartwarming and quite lovely. Yes, at some points it's really, really cheesy, but that fits well with the story. ...more
Grace Ann
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Well what can I say. A truly inspiring book that goes to show how people can have an impact on the lives around them. The powerful message behind the book is, always stay positive and remember never judge a book by its cover. Luke is an ordanary guy who is trying to stay dry from the rain when he meets Iris. But what he doesn't know is that his life is about to change. You will have to read the book to find out more. ...more
T Rowley
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a heartwarming story which puts life in perspective. It basically follows the story of Luke, who is grumpy and pessimistic and how he tries to turn his life around to become a more positive thinker and how this has a bigger impact in his life more than he could have imagined.
A good read which I recommend and I rated it a 4⭐️.
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received this book "How To Save A Life", although on Goodreads it appears to be called "Mr Blue Sky" from NetGalley and all opinions expressed are my own. Poor Luke, things just seem to be going wrong at every turn in his life. I thought the book was okay. I didn't find anything exciting about the story. I didn't really connect with the characters. ...more
Chantelle Hazelden
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Netgalley and Avon books for an ARC.

A really enjoyable tale.

Looking at the subject of depression in a way that lends balance and insight.

As the reader you come away with a sense of hope.

This is a powerful book that looks at the idea of how we see things and how positivity can make such a big difference to us all.

Highly recommended

Full review to come on my blog.
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Former journalist S.D. Robertson quit his role as a local newspaper editor to pursue a lifelong ambition of becoming a novelist.

An English graduate from the University of Manchester, he’s also worked as a holiday rep, door-to-door salesman, train cleaner, kitchen porter and mobile phone network engineer.

Stuart lives in a village in North West England with his wife and daughter. There’s also his

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