How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

How to Save a Life

Sara Zarr

341 pages first pub 2011 (editions)

fiction contemporary young adult lighthearted medium-paced


Jill MacSweeney 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. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels li...

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Community Reviews Summary of 1,186 reviews


emotional 83%
hopeful 50%
funny 33%
inspiring 33%
reflective 33%
sad 33%
adventurous 16%
challenging 16%
lighthearted 16%
mysterious 16%
tense 16%


slow 100%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 75% | A mix: 25%

Strong character development?

Yes: 75% | It's complicated: 25%

Loveable characters?

No: 50% | Yes: 50%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 66% | No: 33%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 75% | No: 25%

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