Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to Save a Life

by Sara Zarr

Over the last year, Jill's life has been turned upside down.  She is still coping with the unexpected death of her father last year, when her mother decides that the best way to cope with her grief is to adopt a child.  But not just any child. 

Mandy might be almost 19, but she is not ready to cope with the child she is carrying.  In Jill's mother she sees her salvation, a person who can get her away from her hometown in the midwest, away from her mother and terrible home life. 

When Mandy arrives at Jill's, both are faced with decisions they didn't want to make.  With a situation neither expected.  With time, and patience, maybe they can come to understand each other, perhaps things will finally work out for both of them.

Zarr's book is a poignant look at a teenage mother who is faced with the decision of whether or not to give up her baby.  Mandy is a character who doesn't know any better.  She was raised with a set of morals that Jill, the product of an upper middle class family, can't understand. Mandy comes to live with Jill in the type of house she has only seen in magazines.  Both have to learn to understand the other in order to find a situation they can both live with.  It's a book with a happy ending, not a perfect one, but one that is definitely the best for all involved.  Really good read overall.

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