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How to Save a Life | [Sara Zarr]

How to Save a Life

Jill MacSweeny 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Jill MacSweeny 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.

Critically acclaimed author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr delivers a heart-wrenching story, told from dual perspectives, about the many roads that can lead us home.

©2011 Sara Zarr (P)2011 Listening Library

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    Jessica Houston, TX, United States 12-12-13
    Jessica Houston, TX, United States 12-12-13

    Reader, writer, teacher, consultant. I read mostly Young Adult and Genre Fiction, especially with a mix of literary style and commercial pacing.

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    "Fantastic offering from an incredible voice"
    What did you love best about How to Save a Life?

    The emotional pacing and turning points. Sara Zarr is so good at capturing the emotional tension and push/pull in characters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dylan- his genuineness and how he cared for Jill


    What does Ariadne Meyers and Cassandra Morris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They capture Mandy and Jill and really bring these two different, damaged girls to live. I could feel the pain in their voices as well as the hope.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I can't even pick one- the entire book moved me in a way I never expected. I had no desire to read a book that dealt with teen pregnancy, but I love Sara's writing and I'd heard such great things about the book. It's SO much more than teen pregnancy. The book isn't about that really. The book is about emotional damage and healing and what it means to be family and how it's okay to grieve and hurt and how to heal. It's beautiful and brilliant.


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