5 out of 5 Stars
*I was provided a copy of How to Save a Life by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*
Josephine Clark is scarred in more ways than one. Weeks away from graduating high school and starting out on her own, she meets Evan Salinger, the town freak. Evan has been labeled a mental case by the rest of the students. He claims to see things in his dreams he otherwise has no way of knowing, and Jo is warned to stay away from him. But Jo is a freak in her own mind, and the pair quickly find solace in each other, building a soul-deep relationship. With Evan by her side, Jo’s future looks a little brighter, until they’re ripped apart by circumstances outside their control.
Several years later, Jo is hanging on by a thread. When Evan finds her, the thread snaps and they have to go on the run from the law. Evan’s visions keep them moving in what he’s sure is the right direction, although things only seem to be getting worse from Jo’s perspective. It’ll take a lot of faith for them to finally be able to live the life they’ve dreamed of all these years.
How to Save a Life is a second chance romance with a bit of paranormal fueling the plot. Even if you’re not a fan of paranormal stories, this is one book you should take a chance on. The paranormal aspect is so well incorporated it feels like a natural part of Evan’s character. He’s just a regular high school kid who happens to have dreams that end up coming true. He intensely feels the visions, and they guide all his decisions in life. Because of their love—an emotion foreign to both main characters at the start of the novel—Jo is able to trust in Evan’s instincts even if she doesn’t understand them. The journey this takes them on is intense and thrilling, resulting in a book I couldn’t put down once I started reading it.
Both Jo and Evan are flawed characters, which made me love them all the more. Issues in Jo’s past have shaped who she is now, and it’s easy to understand why she doesn’t trust many people. Evan knows he can’t depend on anyone but himself, and he also understands there are sacrifices he has to make in order to reach his destiny. He has to trust his visions, even when he doesn’t fully understand them.
The romance between the two was well-developed even though it occurred over a short period of time. It was clear these two people were meant to be together, but the journey throughout the book made for a wild ride that kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting and hoping they would find their happily-ever-after.
Ms. Scott has a way with drawing out emotions to pull the reader into the world of her characters. Several times I was in tears over these characters. I highly recommend this book and will definitely read more by this author.