HOW TO SAVE A LIFE
It’s been a while since a book has toyed with our emotions on such a grand scale, drawing us in and hitting every right note along the way. Not only is Zarr’s latest masterfully written, but the story never misses a beat. It realistically captures the grieving processes of two teens. Never fear, it’s never depressing — it's real and uplifting, tough at times but overall just plain wonderful.
Jill’s mother Robin has gone crazy. After the unexpected death of Jill’s dad, Robin decides to adopt the unborn child of 18-year-old Mandy. Jill voices her dismay, making it clear she does not support Robin’s decision — for not only is Robin adopting a baby, but she’s allowing Mandy to live with them until the baby is born. Mandy has run away from a terrible home situation. She’s resting all her hopes on Robin adopting her child and figures she’ll deal with the rest after. But moody, sullen Jill isn’t making life easy and Mandy is starting to wonder if adoption is really the best option. (LITTLE, BROWN, Jan., 341 pp., $17.99, HC, IBSN: 9780316036061, 14 & Up)