Save Me ($9.99 Ed.)

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Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of Think Twice and Look Again comes an emotionally powerful novel about a split-second choice, agonizing consequences, and the need for justice

Rose McKenna volunteers as a lunch mom in her daughter Melly's school in order to keep an eye on Amanda, a mean girl who's been bullying her daughter. Her fears come true when the bullying begins, sending Melly to the bathroom in tears. Just as Rose is about ...

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Save Me: A Novel

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Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of Think Twice and Look Again comes an emotionally powerful novel about a split-second choice, agonizing consequences, and the need for justice

Rose McKenna volunteers as a lunch mom in her daughter Melly's school in order to keep an eye on Amanda, a mean girl who's been bullying her daughter. Her fears come true when the bullying begins, sending Melly to the bathroom in tears. Just as Rose is about to follow after her daughter, a massive explosion goes off in the kitchen, sending the room into chaos. Rose finds herself faced with the horrifying decision of whether or not to run to the bathroom to rescue her daughter or usher Amanda to safety. She believes she has accomplished both, only to discover that Amanda, for an unknown reason, ran back into the school once out of Rose's sight. In an instance, Rose goes from hero to villain as the small community blames Amanda's injuries on her. In the days that follow, Rose's life starts to fall to pieces, Amanda's mother decides to sue, her marriage is put to the test, and worse, when her daughter returns to school, the bullying only intensifies. Rose must take matters into her own hands and get down to the truth of what really happened that fateful day in order to save herself, her marriage and her family.

In the way that Look Again had readers questioning everything they thought they knew about family, Save Me will have readers wondering just how far they would go to save the ones they love. Lisa Scottoline is writing about real issues that resonate with real women, and the results are emotional, heartbreaking and honest.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250059888
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Edition description: Value Promotion Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author of novels including Look Again, Lady Killer, Think Twice, and Everywhere That Mary Went. She also writes a weekly column, "Chick Wit," with her daughter Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer. The columns have been collected in Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog and My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space. She has won an Edgar® Award and Cosmopolitan magazine's "Fun Fearless Fiction" Award, and she is the president of Mystery Writers of America. She teaches a course on justice and fiction at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. She lives in the Philadelphia area.

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    1. Hometown:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 1, 1955
    2. Place of Birth:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981
    2. Website:

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

1. SAVE ME explores the mother and child relationship, at its heart. What do you think defines a mother? How is a mother and child relationship different than any other relationship? Look at other forms of culture, like art, for example. How many depictions are there of mother and child? And how many of father and child? Are we discriminating against fathers, or diminishing them, by all this talk of the mother-child bond? And by doing so, do we create a self-fulfilling prophecy?

2. In SAVE ME, Melly is the victim of bullying because of a birthmark on her face. Do you think bullying is different today than years ago? Do you think that the bullying is getting worse, or are we just hearing more about it because of the Internet? What do you think parents and schools should do to help curb bullying? What kind of punishment do you think is appropriate for the child who is doing the bullying? What about those who watch and say nothing? Are they, or aren't they, equally as culpable? Do you think that school programs and curricula that build up self-esteem and a sense of community will really make a difference?

3. Rose experienced her own bullying at the hands of the angry parents, which gave her new perspective on what Melly was going through. Do you have any experience with bullying between adults? In what ways are adults better equipped to deal with bullying than children? What impact can bullying have on adults, and what can an adult do if they are faced with a bully? What impact does being a bully, or being a bully as an adult, have on their children?

4. Rose steps in to defend Melly against her bully. Do you think it was a good idea? Why or why not? How do you think a parent's involvement hurts or helps the situation? At what point do you think a parent needs to involve themselves in the situation? What steps would you take to help your child if they were being bullied, and how far would you be willing to go?

5. What impact do you think a physical blemish has on a child, and how do you think it effects their identity, their relationship with their family, and their relationship with the outside world? Take it a step further - like how about physical differences, like a child in a wheelchair? Or learning challenges, that aren't so visible? Or how about discriminations based on race, religion or sexual orientation? Melly's father reacted very badly to Melly's birthmark. What did his reaction make you feel about him?

6. Many of Lisa's books center on single mothers or blended families. Do you think the love of one great parent is enough to sustain a child through life? Does it take a husband, too? Or a village?

7. As Rose found out, volunteering comes with risks. The book makes clear that this is a problem in the law of many states, maybe even where you live. What do you think of the laws in terms of protecting those who volunteer their time? What changes, if any, would you make to the laws to protect volunteers? Should we expand the Good Samaritan statues to include volunteers and to encourage even more people to volunteer?

8. How did you feel about Rose keeping her secret past from Leo? Did you understand her reasoning? Did you agree or disagree with it? What impact do you think Rose's past will have on her marriage as she moves forward? Do you think she will ever really be able to escape what happened? Will he forgive her not telling him? How do secrets impact intimacy in our lives?

9. Rose was called a "helicopter" parent, a term often used in today's society with a negative connotation. What separates helicopter parenting from good parenting? What kind of parent do you think Rose was? What mistakes do you think she made? Do you think she was a good mother? Do you think she favors Melly, or the baby? Or treats them equally?

10. How did you feel about Amanda in the beginning of the book? How, if at all, did your opinion of her change by the end of the book? What do you think causes children to be bullies? Under what circumstances would you ever feel bad for the bully? In punishing a bully, do you think their personal circumstances should be taken into account?

11. What did you think of Rose's lawyers' strategy? Did you agree or disagree with it? Why or why not? Do you think they were just passing the blame, or do you think the school had a responsibility in what happened? Do you think that litigation is another form of bullying? Do you know anybody who is sue-happy?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 435 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(154)

4 Star

(100)

3 Star

(92)

2 Star

(40)

1 Star

(49)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 438 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 27, 2011

    I don't recommend

    The only saving grace was that I read this in store, and I didn't have to pay for it. I cannot remember any of her other books being so poorly written, I was cringing at points. While I liked the premise, I am not a fan of the writing or the characters.

    18 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great thriller

    In Pennsylvania, an explosion erupts at the Reesburgh Elementary School cafeteria. Although the cafeteria was almost empty, some students and workers were still inside. Initially knocked out by the blast lunch mother Rose McKenna rescues three students (Danielle, Amanda and Emily) before coming to the aid of her trapped beloved daughter Melly. Three people died in the ensuing inferno.

    Rose's heroic act gets noticed when she faces civil and criminal charges because Amanda went missing after being lectured by Rose. Amanda is unconscious on a stretcher when her mother Eileen accuses Rose of neglect. Rose's husband Leo Ingrassia a lawyer defends his wife's actions under the stress and chaos of the moment. The media acts like vultures tearing at Rose while legal pressure and community stress cause a schism between the hassled couple; which is ripped further asunder when the publicity opens a secret from Rose's past with a vengeance.

    This is a great thriller that grips the audience from the opening explosion and never slows down Rose is vilified unfairly by the families and the media. Her only public defender is her husband until her dark secret surfaces. Readers will feel for the beleaguered heroine as much more implodes in her life, but like the Energizer Bunny she keeps on ticking.

    Harriet Klausner

    18 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Lost focus

    I thought the moral dilemma posed fascinating. I also thought the book would deal with the consequences of the protagonist's choice. And it started to deal with that but then it became about a woman solving some movie-like plot from a big mean corporation. That storyline sounded fake to me; that a regular mom would outwit both the police department and the FBI? She would outwit assassins? Come on! The aftermath of her decisions would have been so gripping! What about the ending??? Everything's great? Everyone's happy? Please! To sum up, it posed an interesting question but then went a different, disappointing way. I suppose that's what bothered me the most: I was disappointed. I wish I hadn't spent $20 on it!

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    Very disappointing -- wasted my money

    Based on the description, I thought this would be a book that dealt with a real issue that could happen today, but very disappointed to find it was another "whodunit" book with a mother running around the state fighting crime.

    I did not bother to finish...

    13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Crucial Seconds, Unforeseen Consequences..

    Crucial Seconds, Unforeseen Consequences.. Life's critical situations come without warning, forcing us to choose quickly. What seemed the right choice then may appear different the next day. When Rose regains consciousness, finding the lunchroom at school in flames, who will she choose to save, the dazed and injured children near by or her daughter trapped in the restroom? The cost of this decision will forever change her life. Chapter by chapter Roses' unspoken past influences her choices and endangers her marriage and family relationships. The outcome finds her on shaky ground with a battle she must fight to win. Lisa's characters come alive from page one. You will see the action, hear the danger and feel the story. Save Me will captivate your heart.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2011

    Don't waste your time

    Soccer-mom to Wonder-Woman in a few short days! Pretty unbelievable premise, outrageous plot , and sophomoric rhetoric. Along with the misspellings and grammatical errors, I found this one to be an insult to my intelligence. Authors lose their credibility in a heartbeat when they do this. Lunch-room mommy of shy kid saves the day by solving a brutal murder plot by giant conglomerate!! How soap-opera is that? Honestly, I wish I'd saved my money. Never again; I will stick to Turow and Grisham. In a word: inane.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Not as good as I thought it would be. Disappointing.

    Have read other books by this author and enjoyed them. This one seemed too far fetched. Title character had no allies. Too many other plots intertwined together.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2011

    Not a fan - would not recommend

    I thought this was very poorly developed. I've not read any other L. Scottoline novels and probably won't. It read as a child's attempt to create a story where the heroine combats evil but it was unbelievable in so many ways. I was very disappointed in the novel and was glad to finish it to move on.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Recently picked this one up from the library and I'm happy to sa

    Recently picked this one up from the library and I'm happy to say I didn't pay for it. While the initial moral issue posed in the very beginning was interesting. However it turned from a story about relationship between child and mother into a ridiculously overdone, unrealistic story about crime and murder. Think something along the line of lunch mom gone CSI within three hours. It seemed as though the author lost her train of thought in the middle of the book and the whole thing was very extreme. Another thing was the poor writing. The author relied on several phrases throughout the book that the repetition became annoying. To name a few, "on the fly.." "fed the car gas.." "chirped it unlocked..". I also noticed she was over descriptive. For example, every time she got in the car, we had to know that she started the engine, pressed the gas, backed out, and zoomed out of the parking lot. Really now? Overall, this novel was a bust. I'm telling you don't waste your time or money.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    Confused

    How can someone write a review on this book when it doesn't come out until April?

    6 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2011

    waste of time and money

    Good idea but poorly organized. Lines in the story were repetitive. Parts of the story line were a waste. The use of time in the book didn't seem workable.
    Why would you use car accidents three times in a story as a means to kill off characters ( the little boy, the carpentar and friend, her ex husband)? How many times can you use the line," she fed the car some gas." The character Kristen Canton was pathetic, as a teacher, I can tell you she did not seem believable.

    Lisa Scottoline, I love your Philadelphia Inquirer articles but your books are very disappointing. I have read two and I'm not reading another one.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    Save Your Money, Get it from the Library

    I loved the premise of this book. I was excited to see where the author took the main character and the fall out of such a monumental decision. It started well, and then just fell apart. The main character was weak, indecisive, and too concerned with what the other's around her thought. The story was nothing like the synopsis, I ended up feeling cheated as I thought I bought a drama/tear jerker type story and ended up with a "big corporations are evil/conspiracy" type story. I was glad when it was over and sorry that I spent more than $5 on it.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    NOT RECOMMENDED-BORROW FROM LIBRARY if you must read.

    Weak plot, no character depth, contrived situations right until the end. More for upper elementary school girls who might enjoy a story with childish HAPPY ENDING. Unrealistic. Repetitive phrasing. I hope not read the words, "ON THE FLY" or "HIT THE GAS" again. Weak editing. (why would a pony seem immensely large to Rose). Most disappointing Lisa Scottoline book read. Was it written by a ghost writer? She usually never disappoints, but this novel did. Hope there is no sequel.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2011

    just ok

    Not written or edited as well as her other books. I preordered this book and was disappointed.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Unbelievable plot

    I never buy a book without reading the reviews but since I am a Scottoline fan, I did so this time. Mistake! I read them AFTER I purchased it. I agree with all the bad reviews. The first half just made me angry and the second half was such a ridiculous premise I thought about not finishing it. Totally unbelievable tripe.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    This story is ridiculous!

    I thought this book was going to be about bullying and what would you do in this situation? The book went from realistic to so far fetched within a short time frame. The mom went from ordinary woman to super detective without blinking an eye. What? Normal people would have never figured out this plot unless they were really into conspiracy theories and have a photographic memory. She just happened to remember seeing the big security guard? Yeah right!! And she solved the crime, made friends with everyone and found some self esteem along the way all within a week. Save your money!! There are better books out there.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Super Mom

    Bullying, and shining a spotlight thereon, is heralded as the reason this novel was written, but it plays such a minor role in the story that one wonders why it is even raised, except perhaps for the widespread publicity attendant to the subject. It does occupy, along with much extraneous and superfluous background, about the first half of the book. It is not until this reader got past that point that a modicum of interest arose.

    The plot is a mishmash of twisted lines. It begins with a fire in a newly opened elementary school, in which three persons are killed and two young children injured, one of whom is the young victim of the bullying, the eight-year-old daughter of Rose McKenna. Rose, serving as a lunch mom, saves two girls (one of them the bully), ushering them toward an exit, and returns through the fire to save her daughter, who is locked in the bathroom, emerging initially as a “hero,” but then criticized when it is learned that the bully was injured in the fire (how? It seems she returned to get something she had left behind) and Rose is accused of ignoring her in favor of her own daughter.

    Faced with civil and criminal charges, Rose undertakes to discover the reason for the fire (officially attributed to accidental causes) when she suspects foul play. This leads to further action, somewhat beyond belief. The novel is carefully constructed and well-written, but somehow doesn’t fulfill its purpose, since, essentially, it is a murder mystery, but so overloaded with superfluous subplot that it becomes burdensome to read. The author usually writes legal thrillers which I have found to be so much better, and I for one hope she returns to that milieu.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing

    I really wanted to like this book. I finished it in hopes that it would get better but I was disappointed. The premise - that a mother has to make a split second decision about whether to save her own child or someone else's and the consequences of that decision - was interesting and had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, that potential is never realized. The problems? 1 - The dialogue is many times cheesy and unrealistic. I found myself rolling my eyes quite often throughout the entire book. Especially the scenes between Rose and Leo. 2 - The chapters are very short which irritated me. I suppose the author used this style to try and ramp up the suspense but in reality it just irritated me. Just when things were getting good the chapter would end. It made for some choppy reading instead of a smooth buildup of suspense. 3 - The characters were not believable. Many of them were very one dimensional - Leo (the husband), Melly (the daughter), Eileen (the other girl's mother), the lawyer and others. They all played a very specific role in the advancement of the plot - and that's all. They were never developed enough to be believable people to me and much of their personalities seemed cliched to me. Rose herself was a little ridiculous. She was very wishy washy. At first she's the assertive mother lion, then she becomes this jellyfish and then she becomes a superhero. If there had been good character development that showed the character's personal progression through these stages it would have been ok, but as written she seems to almost have multiple personalities. 4 - The story starts out as one thing and then turns into something different altogether. The first half of the book is about Rose's dilemma (as described in the book's description) and how she must deal with the fallout - other people's perceptions of her, the media, legal issues, etc. This part of the book was interesting despite the flaws above. And then, the second half of the book is something completely different. We no longer hear about the lawsuits or criminal aspects of the story. We no longer see anything about how she deals with the new public perception of her. Instead, this turns into a bad mystery novel where the main character goes off on her own to solve a completely unbelievable mystery - why the fire happened in the first place. The circumstances that are revealed are ridiculous to say the least. This book is trying too hard to be too many things: a commentary on bullying, an emotional drama about an impossible decision, a Nancy Drew style mystery. It succeeds at none of them. I give it 2 stars because there were some parts (the first few chapters in particular) that held my interest and it was not bad enough for me to stop reading. Some entertainment can be had with this book if you are aware of its failings and are able to overlook them and suspend your belief for a little while. If you are looking for a real drama, look to Jodi Picoult or others. If you are looking for a serious mystery, look elsewhere. If you want a somewhat cheesy but maybe entertaining read continue with this one.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very Disappointing

    I really had to force myself to finish this. I was intrigued by the premise and couldn't wait to get it. It started weak and then went into weird detective mode. The whole thing was unbelievable and not up to Scottoline standards. The story was nothing like the synopsis. I was expecting a tear jerker and got what i wanted because I cried thinking I wasted money on this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    Not Good

    This story is not believable. Poorly written.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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