Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: October 8th, 2011
Genre: YA Contemporary
ISBN: 9780316036061
Pages: 341 pgs
Source: borrowed from the local library

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
Jill MacSweeney just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she’s been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends—everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she’s somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.

Mandy Kalinowski understands what it’s like to grow up unwanted—to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she’s sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It’s harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?

As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy—or as difficult—as it seems.

My Review: 
For some reason the first time I picked this book up I just couldn't get into it. I was kind of going through a bit of YA overload at the time. I ended up putting the book down for about a week or two and I was even going to bring it back to the library without completing it. I drove to my local library and I got there only to realize that the library wasn't open that day until 1pm. Well, it worked out in my benefit because it gave me a chance to read some more of this book while I waited for the library to open. I'm really glad that I did end up picking this book up again because I ended up really enjoying it. It is a book about an unconventional family. When the book begins we find out that Jill's father has passed away and her mother has the strange notion that now is the best time to adopt a baby. Here comes in Mandy who is pregnant and the same age as Jill. Mandy travels across the country to live with Jill and her mother until the baby is born. I have to admit that while I could relate with Jill's character, I had a really difficult time relating to Mandy. She is just such a strange girl who does weird things like write to some random man she meets on the train. As the book goes on you realize that Mandy has no one to love her and it is for this reason she seems so lost.
I really liked reading about the relationship between Jill and Mandy. In the beginning they are really unsure of each other but over time, they begin to really help each other's development into young women. This is not your typical teen pregnancy story and I really enjoyed reading it. Overall I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

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