Review: ‘How To Save A Life’ by Lauren K. McKellarPosted: September 19, 2015
I learnt the hard way that labels stick. Laura took “lovely”, and the teacher branded me “ladylike”. It stuck with me, even through my high school years. It felt like that was all I’d ever be.
Until everything changed.
Lia the liar.
Lia the lost …
Now the choices are endless. But I don’t want to be any of those either.
My name is Lia Stanton. And this is my story.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Lauren McKellar’s writing, so perhaps it won’t be a surprise that this book BLEW ME AWAY. Lauren is one of a few contemporary authors who are on my “must read” list, and for very good reason. (With most, I’m like, “Yeah, but where’s the magic? Vampires? Witches? …no?”)
Lia is a seventeen year old in desperate need of a hug. She’s effectively the adult in her family life because of her mother’s issues with alcohol, but she doesn’t want her friends to know about it because above all else she can’t stand being the object of pity. Of course, that means that she doesn’t cry for help when she really should.
The closest Lia gets to a cry for help is her music. She’s a pianist, and her dream is to win a scholarship and move to Melbourne, away from her family and the people who know its secrets.
Enter Jase. I love Jase so hard. Lauren has this knack for writing amazing love interests, you guys! Jase is covered in tattoos and mixes a wicked cocktail (you can tell Lauren’s hubby is a bartender), but he also has this deeper side that makes me want to
Can’t say that. :p
Jase leaves the most adorable notes on Lia’s wind-shield after hearing her play. I love them so hard.
I was broken.
I was scared.
Then I believed.
This is how you
Make me feel.
Other parts of the story are told through the use of flashbacks (often via nightmares). These were masterfully handled. Sometimes if I’m more interested in one storyline than another, I resent books that jump between times like this, but these flashbacks were interested and gave just enough detail to keep you on the hook.
Despite me needing to censor my review, the heat level in How to Save a Life is “medium” rather than “scorching”. The most we get is some heated kissing scenes. However, there is a problematic scene in there for those that are triggered by certain issues. It’s hard to say what without spoilers, but you can probably guess.
The only slight quibble I have is with one of the elements of the ending. It felt just a little bit too “happily ever after”, given the way previous events played out. But this quibble wasn’t enough to make me dock half a star or anything, and if anyone deserves a happily ever after, it’s Lia!