Customer Reviews for

How to Save a Life

Average Rating 4.5
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

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3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted December 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Gorgeous Alternating Viewpoints of Two Scared Teenage Girls Whose Lives Collide

    This is one of the best YA novels, or novels, period, that I've ever read. Sara Zarr does a masterful job of alternating viewpoints of two scared teenagers, Mandy, because she's pregnant and embarking on a new life, and Jill, because her father has died ten months ago and she's still very unmoored from losing him. When Jill's mother, Robin, decides that she should adopt a baby and finds Mandy online, their lives collide, and this book, told in alternating chapters, lets us in on their present lives as well as what has come before. Neither dominates the story, but instead these two very different girls, Mandy having grown up in a broken home, mostly a longer, Jill, who has creature comforts and had friends (before she pushed them away) and a boyfriend, as they grudgingly learn about one another. The writing here is gorgeous, and I don't want to say too much more about the plot, other that it unfolds perfectly, with just the right amount of information, some of it shocking, some of it sad, some of it humorous. I cried multiple times and while the ending is wonderful, I'd love to see another book with these characters; I didn't want to let them go. I highly encourage you to read this. It deals with sensitive topics, among them teen pregnancy, not as "issues" per se but as very human stories, and Zarr makes the reader sympathize with most every character we meet, not just Mandy and Jill.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    VERY GOOD!

    DEFINITELY A MUST-READ! :D

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    I loved this story. It's told by two very authentic characters with distinct voices. It's a grief story with depth and heart.

    Highly recommended for fans of YA contemporary!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Review from Blkosiner's Book Blog

    How to Save a Life is an emotional, character driven novel, that I found myself very much enjoying.
    The two main characters, Jill and Mandy are very different, from their backgrounds, their views on life, and their attitudes toward life. This book smashes them together under the weirdest of circumstances, and I slowly learned more about them and why they act the way they do. Ms. Zarr did a wonderful job making their voices distinct, and unlike some books with dual perspective, I had no problems switching from one to another and keeping the characters individual.
    I could identify pieces of myself in both characters, but I didn't fully relate with one or the other. Meaning that I didn't understand some of their trains of thought like I might if I just fully connected/related with one character. (Reading this it sounds like a negative thing, but its not... none of it is in the writing or characterization, I think that Ms. Zarr did a terrific job, I'm just trying to convey that I'm different from the characters--hope that makes sense.) I admire the strength in Mandy, and the self-realization and the courage in Jill--even if it's a very hard road for her and those around her as she comes back into herself.
    This is a very neat take on teen pregnancy, adoption, and even has an interesting love triangle twist. I was very surprised at how some things turned out, happy at others, even if I did expect it, and left wanting to know more about the characters and what happens next even after the last page... And I say that in a good way, I was attached to them, and did not want to let them go! I think that the plot lines were well tied up and I was satisfied with the ending, I just wanted to know more if that makes sense.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    I believe this is one of the best novels I have ever read. I wou

    I believe this is one of the best novels I have ever read. I would recommend this book to anyone that is a teenager and willing to read a book including drama and reality. How to Save a Life has left my on the edge of my seat at times and other times almost in tears. This book is a perfect example of relationships, it shows a mother & daughter grieving loss of husband or father and moving forward to her daughter Jill’s grief screwing up her peer relationships. I agree on the earlier post on Barnes and Noble. Com with the user VSMN, the book does make you think about your own is relationships between family and friends, and encourages you to reach out to others who may be in the same position or situation as you. Jill’s mother influences you in many situations to think about death, love, or adding a new family member. Jill makes you also think about love, what life is like independent and on your own without a father, and makes you think about how to deal maturely with certain situations. Also, I think this book is perfect if you are grieving yourself, or if you need a book to relate to what you, yourself is going through.
    I believe that Jill’s mother taught her how to be a fighter for what she believed in. She always made her stronger and kept her up like a mother would do. I believe this because in one of the quotes Jill says her mom has always told her, “The squeaky wheel may always get the grease, but it also gets the grief.” Without Jill’s father being around I believe that Jill’s mother is trying her best to keep Jill under control and giving her life lessons as best as she can.

    My favorite character would be Jill because I think she has a very outgoing personality and reminds me of myself. I think she has a very mature aspect on life since her dad’s death and it has shown that it has made her stronger. For example, when dealing with her friend’s drama, her own drama, or family drama Jill always has something to say to bring her up in the best way possible.

    My favorite quote is “No one measures a life in weeks and days. You measure life in years and by the things that happen to you.” (Zarr) I really like this quote because it really reaches out to me and is based on something to live by. I think this quote connects to the fact that you have to look at the things you accomplish in your life to make you whole, not the little things that occur in weeks and days. When we measure life, we have to look at the big picture, and not the little details inside of it because those little things aren’t what structures our life and they don’t make it complete.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    A recommended read!

    I recently got this book for Christmas. I was so excited to learn about the girls' stories. After finishing the book I was already wanting to read it again. This is a GREAT story about two different girls trying to find their path in life and how those paths cross later on.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2011

    Highly recommended

    Really liked this book of relationships: mother & daughter grieving loss of husband/father and moving forward; daughter's grief screwing up her peer relationships; unwed teen-age mother escaping her homelife. Makes you think about your own relationships, value family & friends, and encourages you to reach out to others. Great read for young adults and book clubs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    Live To Read

    The two main characters, Jill and Mandy, could not be any more different. Jill is slightly too analytical while Mandy can be a bit of an airhead. Jill has a loving mother and stable home while Mandy is traveling from place to place with no stable home or loving mother. Jill has lost her father recently and still mourns while Mandy is about to give birth to new life.


    This book has a character for everyone. Between Ravi, Dylan, Mandy, and Jill the reader should be able to identify with at least one character. Their feelings are raw and exposed, this book is full of them and they are very pronounced. The reader is likely to get annoyed with all of the characters at some point in the story, but it takes a good writer to evoke any sort of reaction from the reader. The events in this book range from fast-paced to everyday scenes lapsing into quiet reflections. This book would be great for young adult/teen readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    This is just one of those books that leave you smiling and feeli

    This is just one of those books that leave you smiling and feeling good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    Brightfuture and dag

    Bright future. The she cat with large wings with shades of purple and her brother Dag who had what looked like wings made from metal brightfuture said somthing. "I and my brother want to join." She spoke witout moving her mouth

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    Deathclaw

    Walks in

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    Frozenstar

    She sighed. "I'm afraid of hurting a cat, any clanmates. After wha happened to my sister....."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Moongaze

    She sighed "you dont have to hid things away from me. Im just a blind cat most cats call me. Now frozenstar you can tell me whas bothering you." She was thinking if she should open her eyes agian but pushedthe thaught to a stand still..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    Hooked from the start

    I LOVED this book!!!!!! I do wish it had ended a little differently but overall it was a great book! If you like Sarah Dessen and similar authors you will definately like this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    I really wanted to like this book, but it just annoyed me and be

    I really wanted to like this book, but it just annoyed me and became such a chore to read. The plot was original and unique, but the writing style isn't for me. It wasn't a bad book, just not what I expected it to be. Won't read again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    AMAZING

    This is my favorite book, it is amazing how Sara captures the emotions and feelings of the characters. A must read!

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  • Posted November 23, 2013

    This books tells the stories of two girls from two different kin

    This books tells the stories of two girls from two different kinds of lives who cross paths in a weird situation. I don't want to give too much away but yall should definitely read this book. It gets started kinda slow to me but after I was hooked. It is a great book overall.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    Great

    This book is wonderful. I enjoyed it and it mademe cry beause it was awful that i got to not share it with my sister because she does not have a nook and I do.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    Havent read it but omgster...

    It looks sooooooooooo freaking sweet like the kind of story to inspire i will definatly put this on my reading list its goin to the top though i have literaly 56 book i already have to read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    This book was amazing! I couldn't put it down. It kept me intere

    This book was amazing! I couldn't put it down. It kept me interested. The only thing I long for is a sequel to this phenomenal book.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
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