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How to Save a Life
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. 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.
* "Woven together from two simple threads, the resulting tapestry is as beautiful as it is real. A story that will resonate beyond its final page."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
* "Filled with so many frustrations, so many dilemmas needing reasonable solutions, and so much hope and faith in the midst of sadness, Zarr's novel is a rich tapestry of love and survival that will resonate with even the most cynical readers."—Booklist (starred review)
* "Zarr...crafts intimate and authentic portraits of two vulnerable teens struggling to cope with uncertain futures....Their slow, cautious efforts to build trust and better understand the meaning of family are expressed with the deepest compassion and kindness."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
* "The imperfection of the characters and the uniqueness of their situations come together in a compulsively readable novel. Zarr has established herself as an author who must not be missed."—VOYA (starred review)
* "Another heavy-hitting page-turner from Zarr....A must read."—School Library Journal (starred review)