Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
How To Save a Life by Sara Zarr
From the back of the book: Jill MacSweeney just wants everything to 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. You can’t lose one family member and simply replace him with a new one, and when her mom decides to adopt a baby, that’s exactly what it feels like she’s trying to do. And that’s decidedly not normal. With her world crumbling around her, can Jill come to embrace a new member of the family?
Mandy Kalinowski knows 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, she knows she wants a better life for her baby. But can giving up a child be as easy as it seems? And will she ever be able to find someone to care for her too?
What I liked about the book: This story is beautifully written. Granted it’s a story about teen pregnancy,but one with a happy ending. It doesn’t glorify it, nor does it vilify Mandy for being a pregnant teen – a rather nice compromise. I liked that that story is told alternating between the view points of the two teens. Both girls are searching to fill a hole in their life. It is a story about grief AND healing. Mandy and Jill are both well developed characters that are easy to like. And while the ending may be a tad bit after school special mixed with a made for TV happy ending, it is truly a heart warming read.
What I didn’t like about the book: I can’t think of anything I didn’t like. I highly recommended it for readers who enjoy young adult novels and are looking for a happy ending.