Book Review: How To Save A Life by Emma Scott

27471553How To Save A Life by Emma Scott

Published on: 9 February 2016
Published by:
New adult, Romance, Contemporary
Add it on: Goodreads
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Favorite quote: “I will mark the minutes, and guard your peace”

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.

I’ve been in love with Emma Scott and all of her works since I’ve read Love Beyond Words last year. Maybe that’s why I hold all her subsequent works with great expectations. And sadly… this novel just didn’t reach it.

I’m not gonna lie. There are good parts in the story—great ones, even. Emma Scott’s writing has always been riveting. But in this novel, it was even more raw and beautifully heart wrenching. Hers is a magnet that pulls my heart out of my body and into her words.

Jo Clark is not my most favorite Emma Scott heroine. She’s hurt and has been through a lot, yes, and I could even understand her angst-y, jaded attitude. But Jo, to me, seems helpless. And for some reason, it seems like she isn’t doing anything about her life all throughout the story. I just can’t connect with her. Evan, on the other hand, is a darling. To me, he’s not as hot as say, Julian Kovac, or as brooding as Noah Lake. He is like a hot chocolate that warms me up in a cold rainy day. But that and the writing wasn’t enough for the story to reach my high expectations in Emma Scott’s works.

The first half of the story was heart-wrenching but also sweet and tender. I absolutely love the part where Evan and Jo found each other. That with all the things that are happening in their young lives, they found home and safety in each other. But then the second half felt…different. I mean, I get it that they’ve grown up after four years. This part is darker, harsher. It’s like I suddenly stepped into a gloomier world through a portal without noticing and I’m confused beyond words. (Saw what I did there?)

This is where I can’t connect. Not just the characters, but the purpose of the second half of the story and Evan’s “preparation”. There were even moments while I was reading this novel when I was wondering what will happen if we were given a glimpse of those four years that they were apart. Will the transition to the second half be better? We’ll never know.

Nevertheless, this book was a good read and Emma Scott continues on with her incredible writing. I’m sure there are many who will love this novel. In my case, it’s just not the best that I’ve read of Emma Scott. Regardless, I’m still excited with her upcoming releases and I hope the next will be better.

3 stars


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