How to Save a Life by Emma Scott ~ 5 EMOTIOMAL STARS!!!
How to Save a Life is a standalone, contemporary, second-chance romance with shades of the paranormal (dream).
TRIGGER WARNING: domestic violence (on the page) and mention of sexual abuse (off the page) For readers 18 years and up as it contains mature subject matter and sexual situations.
“I love you. I’ll love your forever and I’ll never stop.”
I was very fortunate to receive the ARC in exchange for an honest review. It took me two days to finish this book. Normally I devoured Emma’s book in one sitting but H2SaL was particularly emotional such that I felt I needed a break. Emma has the power to capture my mind and soul and touch my heart so deeply. I feel like I am living through these characters. I feel all their pain and heart ache. This story is so intense and heart-wrenching, it consumed my emotions and my mind completely. I have not been able to stop thinking about it the last couple of days.
So what is this story about? H2SaL is particularly unique so it’s hard to explain the whole thing without spoiling it for you. So a summary is below but I won’t say more than what is already revealed about the plot. The story follows Jo and Evan from high school to young adulthood.
“You believed me. Or maybe you didn’t, but you accepted me. And that had never happened to me before.”
Josephine “Jo” Clark’s life was shit, living with her uncle who is a truck driver that moves around every other month. Once again Jo found herself at a new high school, just a few months shy of graduation. Here, Jo met Evan Salinger, a town freak, a mental case who had a stunt at a local mental institution. Why? Because he seems to know things that no one else knows and only he can explain. Evan’s life is not much different than Jo’s. He was dealt a shit card all his life. Abandoned as a child, tossed from one foster home to the next. He was finally adopted and given a meal, clothing, and a roof over his head. But is his life really better??? Jo and Evan connected with each other on a deep emotional level. Jo was his soul mate, his heart. For a short time, Jo and Evan find solace and happiness in each other. They finally found the normal.
“…I fell in love with you for you. Not just because you were the first girl I’d ever kissed or touch. I fell in love with your strength and your fire…”
Nothing good lasts forever. Their happiness was cut short. Jo and Evan were torn apart, each trapped in their own prison for the next four years. Jo begins to give up hope and dream of Evan.
“I’m here…I’m home. Waiting for you. Come back to me.”
Until one day, Evan’s intuition leads him to Jo just in time to rescue Jo from a violent relationship. So, how did Evan find Jo? How did he know Jo was in trouble? Well, there is certainly more that what meets the eyes… For the next couple weeks, they trek across America in search for the Center when “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.” Will their love alone be enough to overcome all spectacles and bring them home?
There are some new names — Justin and Amy who are introduced toward the end of the book. Who are they? You will have to read and find out. Wink wink 😉
“The majesty of the Canyon is that depth. All that beauty lay buried for years until the river cut it open. Then all was revealed.”
I fell in love with Emma’s writing in Rush and Endless Possibility. I knew I would love H2SaL and Emma does not disappoint. I am beyond loving this book. It has consumed my thoughts for the last couple of days. This book is not a happy Sunday read. It’s heart-wrenching, angsty, sad, emotional one but there is a silver lining and HEA. HTSaL is far beyond a love story. I think this book is a dedication to all of us who are just a little different in our own way whether physical or emotional. Being different isn’t a crime. You were all placed on this earth for a reason. You are beautiful. You are somebody important. You are significant and you deserve to be happy and to be loved. Sort of like what the author described: The Grand Canyon rock once sliced open by a river, reveal layer upon layer of beauty. I think this book is particularly difficult for me to read in light of my son recently changing schools for some of the same reasons the characters were going through.
I don’t know what was the inspiration behind Emma’s HTSaL but I am so glad she wrote this story. It speaks to all of us probably at one point or the other. This story really moves me like no other – it’s a testament of everlasting love, perseverance, acceptance, and survival. I am getting emotional again just writing this review. I love Emma’s writing period – just exquisite. Her words touch my heart so deeply. The plot is intense, brilliant, captivating and inspirational. This is not a book to be missed. You will fall in love with Emma Scott’s story too. So if you are in a mood for a thought provoking and deeply emotional story of love and life, this is THE BOOK for you.
“And he’ll know he is loved.”