How To Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Sara Zarr’s newest novel will absolutely delight her fans, both old and new. She tells this story from two disparate perspectives: high school senior Jill and pregnant nineteen year old Mandy. Jill’s father died suddenly nearly a year before, and she and her mom are not dealing well with the loss. In fact, Jill has practically disowned her friends and has broken up with her boyfriend Dylan three times because she refuses to let him see her pain and grief, getting mean and snarky instead. Her mom Robin has decided to adopt a baby, much to Jill’s shock and anger.
“Adding someone to a family, though? Is major. Life-changing. Permanent. When someone’s been subtracted from a family, you can’t just balance it out with a new acquisition. In the months after Dad died, a couple people told us we should get a dog. A dog! How is this all that different?” she says.
Robin found Mandy on New Year’s Eve through an open adoption website. Mandy told Robin she is pregnant from true love, but Robin and her daughter Jill slowly find out that sometimes Mandy lies to cover terrible secrets from her past. In addition, Mandy has numerous demands for the adoption of her baby, all of which Robin goes along with, making Jill fume even more. The ending will probably not come as a complete surprise to most readers, but it’s emotionally satisfying and a logical conclusion to everything that’s happened in the story.
This was an amazing story; I found it hard to put the book down. I highly recommend it to all teen readers, especially fans of Sara Zarr, Jodi Piccoult and Sarah Dessen.