Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Review: How To Save a Life by Emma Scott

Josephine Clark is trapped. A harrowing past haunts her every time she looks in the mirror, and she can’t escape the violence of her everyday life. More and more, her thoughts turn to Evan Salinger, the boy she knew in high school. The boy they called a mental case. A loner. A freak. The boy who seemed to know things no one could know. For a few short weeks, Jo had found perfect solace in Evan’s company, sneaking every night to meet him at the local pool. In the cool of the water and the warmth of Evan’s arms around her, Jo had tasted something close to happiness. 

Cruel circumstances tore them apart, and four years later, the sweet memory of their time together is dissolving under the punishing reality of Jo’s life now. Evan seems like a fading dream…until he reappears at the moment she needs him most. Guided by Evan’s strange intuition, they flee her small Louisiana town, and Jo begins to suspect there is something more to his sudden return than he admits.

Over twelve days across America’s heartland, deep secrets come to light, buried pasts are unearthed, and the line between dreams and reality is blurred as Evan and Jo fight to hold on to their soul-deep love, and discover that there is more than one way to save a life.


How to Save a Life is a complete second-chance STANDALONE novel with shades of the paranormal. It carries the characters from high school through to their early twenties. It is not YA; mature subject matter, and sexual situations. TRIGGER WARNING: domestic violence (on the page) and mention of sexual abuse (off the page) For readers 18 years and up.

5 Stars
Review by Jen Skewes

Wow!  What a beautiful and amazing love story that is also so different from what I am used to reading.   I finished this book a few days ago and it is still on my mind.  I have been trying to figure out how to write this review in a way that will do this book justice.  And at the same time to not give anything away.  How To Save A Life is an intense and passionate love story between two characters that will capture your heart from the very beginning.  From the moment I started this book I did not want to put it down and when it was all over I was sad to see it end. 

Josephine hasn’t had an easy life.  After losing her mother, she went to live with her mother’s cousin Gerry.  But he is a truck driver so they are always on the move.  She has just settled in to their new place and once again she is starting a new school.  Jo has scars from her past, both physical and emotional.   On her fist day of school she sees and “feels” the boy sitting next to her, Evan Salinger.  She is not sure what it is about him but she feels this pull towards him.  She is warned to stay away because he is the “freak” of the school, the boy with mental issues, and the boy who is also bullied and picked on.

Evan has been through foster homes and about 3 years ago he was adopted by the Salingers.   Evan is extremely good looking which is what Josephine first notices about him and wonders how someone that good looking is considered the freak of the school.  But despite his physical appearance he is also very broken in his own way.  He is bullied in school, and leading the pack of those bullies is his adoptive brothers.  It killed me to see them treat him the way that they did.  My heart just broke for this boy who is so caring and protective and just needed to be loved and treated like he was someone.  Josephine ended being that person for Evan.  When they first met they formed this unlikely friendship which turned into so much more.  It became a love that was so intense and so passionate that it gave you goosebumps.   But when tragedy strikes it tears the two of them apart in a way that will break your heart.

It has been four long years since they have seen each other and Josephine needs Evan more than ever.  Will he be able to save her?

I don’t really want to go into any more detail about the plot of this story.  I would rather talk about Evan and Jo and how much I loved them.  Their love was so strong and so deep that you felt it.  They may have only known each other for a short time before they were ripped apart but it was like they were meant to be.  There was this connection between them that just felt so real.  They opened up to each other in ways that they never did before.  And when they told their secrets neither one of them ran or judged the other.   It was a love that was like no other.  One that no matter how much time has passed or how far apart you are, that love wil never die.  And it didn’t, even four years later. 

The first half of this book was beautiful and heart breaking at the same time.  But the second half was the part that had the angst and the suspense.  The moments where your heart is beating fast because you have no idea where their story is going. Evan saw things and made some decisions that I was not sure I understood.  I wondered what he was doing and why.  But in the end it all came together in such a beautiful way that you were left with a smile on your face.  This is my first book by Emma Scott but it will not be the last.  Her writing is beautiful and flawless.  It will make you feel it all with these characters.  What an absolutely amazing story and one that I highly recommend. 

There is a warning that this book is a bit on the paranormal side.  Let me just say that I am not a fan of paranormal, but this one did not feel like it at all.  It was a little different but that is what made this story even more amazing. 

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