Sunday, September 09, 2012

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

A couple of months ago, I read a book by an author I liked before. Sara Zarr wrote Story of a Girl, a great book, and I had the pleasure of reading How to Save a Life by the same author. It has a dueling narrators, which Zarr gives very distinct voices. One of Jill, a cynical girl, still grieving over the death of her father, who can't believe her widowed mother has agreed to adopt a the child of a teenage girl, Mandy. No papers, just an email arrangement.

She hasn't had the baby yet, so Mandy comes to live with them for the last few months. Things aren't in place for a smooth transition. Jill still thinks her mother isn't acting logically, and Mandy, despite being about to become a mother, is very immature, and prone to lying. Clashes begin early, and expose still fresh scars on both sides.

I love the way Zarr lets you see the story from both perspectives. It takes talent to convincingly do two characters, but she pulls it off. Check it out!

Appropriate for high school and older.

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