How to Save a Life

Front Cover
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Oct 18, 2011 - Juvenile Fiction - 352 pages
36 Reviews
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.

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Sara Zarr is such a fabulous writer. - Goodreads
This book was sad and hard to read at times. - Goodreads
Now, the prose was phenomenal. - Goodreads
What Zarr is best as is character development. - Goodreads
I loved the writing. - Goodreads
For example, the prose. - Goodreads

Review: How to Save a Life

User Review  - Bookkaholic Magazine - Goodreads

(See our full review over at Bookkaholic.) Cringe-worthy at times, the writing does succeed at sounding like the teenagers who are narrating. The grammar is intentionally on the casual side, but seems ... Read full review

Review: How to Save a Life

User Review  - Basuhi - Goodreads

I had almost forgotten how effortless and engaging and emotionally honest a good contemporary could be. Almost. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Sara Zarr was raised in San Francisco, California, and now lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the author of Once Was Lost, Sweethearts, and the National Book Award finalist Story of a Girl. She can be found on the Web at

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