on February 9th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Josephine Clark is trapped. A harrowing past haunts her every time she looks in the mirror, and she canÔÇÖt 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 EvanÔÇÖs company, sneaking every night to meet him at the local pool. In the cool of the water and the warmth of EvanÔÇÖs 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 JoÔÇÖs life now. Evan seems like a fading dreamÔÇªuntil he reappears at the moment she needs him most. Guided by EvanÔÇÖs strange intuition, they flee her small Louisiana town, running from police and criminals alike, and Jo begins to suspect there is something more to his sudden return than he admits.
Over twelve days across AmericaÔÇÖs 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.
ÔÇ£What did I know about love? Jack and shit, thatÔÇÖs what. What little IÔÇÖd known had been ripped away, leaving only a gray haze of distant memories that were growing fainter by the day. My motherÔÇªSheÔÇÖd been my whole worldÔÇövibrant and full color, and now I could hardly see her face.ÔÇØ ~Jo
Every once in a while you come across this one book. This one book you expect to be good, since your friends and trusted fellow book-junkies have recommended it, only for it to surpass all your expectationsÔÇöfor it to completely blow you away. How to Save a Life by Emma Scott was that book for me. And I wish I could give it 10 stars.
┬áÔÇ£Maybe. I donÔÇÖt know, Jo. The only truth I have is that itÔÇÖs for us. Everything I do is for us. For you.ÔÇ£ ~ Evan
How to Save a Life is this one unique and extraordinary gem of a story you are lucky to find within the plethora of good books. ItÔÇÖs written exceptionally beautiful with raw emotions pouring out of the pages, making you ache in the most magnificent way. I felt like I was standing beside Jo and Evan, experiencing and feeling exactly what they did on each page.
ÔÇ£But the broken pieces in me that faintly cried to be put back together were reaching for whatever it was she was offering.ÔÇØ ~Jo
Josephine Clark has been through hell with no one there to save herÔÇönot until she takes matters into her own hands and saves herself. Unfortunately, while it might mostly save her physically, her past leaves deep visible and invisible scars. SheÔÇÖs brave, strong, independent, but also brokenÔÇöbut unlike so many others, sheÔÇÖs self-aware enough to realize she doesnÔÇÖt want to be broken forever. She wants to find loveÔÇöredemption. But it is not until she meets Evan, the town freak, that she feels love in its purity for the first time after losing her mother. Evan is her saving grace, her salvation, at least for a little while.
ÔÇ£Suffocating. Restricted. I was trapped between who I was and who they wanted me to be and it was crushing the life out of me so I could hardly breathe.ÔÇØ ~Evan
One moment in time is all it took to ruin Evan Salinger life and mark him as the town freak and dangerous. Ever since that fateful day, Evan has spent his days pretendingÔÇöpretending he is normal, pretending he doesnÔÇÖt care no one talks to him, pretending words donÔÇÖt hurt. When Jo walks into his life, one month before he is supposed to leave it all behind, and his life is again turned upside down. Jo changes everything simply because she believes himÔÇöbelieves in himÔÇöproving one simple act can change a person. Sadly, life is a cruel mistress and tragic circumstances rip the two apart before they have a chance.
ÔÇ£I know you donÔÇÖt believe me,ÔÇØ Evan said, his words echoing my thoughts with uncanny precision. ÔÇ£But you donÔÇÖt have to believe it for it to be true.ÔÇØ His fingertips moved soft and warm across the lightning crack that marred my cheek. ÔÇ£The Grand Canyon was carved by a river. It sliced through the rock, revealing layer upon layer of beauty. Beauty that couldnÔÇÖt be seen until the earth was cut open. One little sliver of waterÔÇªÔÇØ ~ Evan
Jo and EvanÔÇÖs relationship was beautiful. It wasnÔÇÖt guided by naivety, or unbelievable, but full of hope for a better life and future. They complemented each other perfectly, their broken parts aligning creating something extraordinary. And I absolutely adored Jo and EvanÔÇöbut especially Evan. He was the perfect combination between sexy and sweet. Both of them were able to see beneath the surface, past all the bullshit life piled on top of them. And their journey to freedom and safetyÔÇöso unexpected and unique. I never saw it coming. Evan gave Jo back her memories in the most astonishing way possible.
ÔÇ£You are not worthless,ÔÇØ Evan said roughly. ÔÇ£The very last fucking thing you are is worthless.ÔÇØ ÔÇ£I know IÔÇÖm not. Not anymore. And not because you told me, but because you give me the strength to believe it for myself,ÔÇØ I said, running my fingertips over his chest. ÔÇ£You make me feel beautiful, Evan. And whole. And alive. All that old, tired pain from Jasper, and the new pain of my time with LeeÔÇªWhen IÔÇÖm with you, it disappears.ÔÇØ ~ Jo
I ADORED this story. ItÔÇÖs beautiful, unique, and breaks your heart only to put it back together over and over. How to Save a Life had it all. An amazing and exceptional story line, characters complex in their flawedness, and stunningly raw writing that pulls you into the story from page on. This book has definitely made it into my TOP READS for 2016.
~Review by Anja