Josephine Clark is trapped. A harrowing past haunts her every time she looks in the mirror, and she can’t 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 Evan’s company, sneaking every night to meet him at the local pool. In the cool of the water and the warmth of Evan’s 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 Jo’s life now. Evan seems like a fading dream…until he reappears at the moment she needs him most. Guided by Evan’s strange intuition, they flee her small Louisiana town, on the run from the police, and Jo begins to suspect there is something more to his sudden return than he admits.
Over twelve days across America’s 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.
How to Save a Life is a complete second-chance STANDALONE novel with shades of the paranormal. It carries the characters from high school through to their early twenties. It is not YA; mature subject matter and sexual situations. TRIGGER WARNING: some domestic violence (on the page) and mentions of sexual abuse (off the page) For readers 18 years and up.
This review is hard to write for the simple fact that no amount of words will do justice to the way I feel about this captivating story. I often go into a book blind and with no expectations – I want the book to lead me to the destination. This was no different. Filled with the mesmerizing words of Emma Scott, How to Save a Life took hold of my heart and let me experience the heartbreaking beauty of a self-sacrificing, all consuming love. A connection that defies all odds and all logic, this journey is soul changing and spiritually gratifying.
Josephine (Jo) Clark and Evan Salinger are broken. Beaten down by the demons of society, they meet in their last few months of high school, with the story transitioning into adulthood. Between them both, they share scars that are destined to be permanent and memories that dampen every stream of light fighting to shine through. With plans to rid themselves of the poison that plagues their lives, dreams of the future and visions of laughs and adoration, Jo and Evan let themselves indulge in all the possibilities.
But old habits die hard and toxicity lingers. In a life changing moment Jo and Evan’s paths change dramatically. With a permanent shroud of uncertainty settling on all their visions of hope and happiness, a life apart is inevitable. Days turn into weeks, weeks to months and months to years. Before you know it four years have passed and life got a whole lot more complicated. Reliving memories of a happier time, readers will be racing through the pages, praying for their reunion…
Jo and Evan are written perfectly. With such depth and complexity, Scott’s attention to detail breathes life into the pain, the empathy, the heartache and hopefulness of their union. Through Jo and Evan, Scott gives a love story saturated in heartache and hopelessness life. Like a defibrillator, every poignant word is an experience serving as the revival of an unresponsive heart. The authenticity of these characters and their connection runs deep; it’s in the marrow of their bones and from one lost and shattered soul to another their love is the reawakening needed to let the light in.
For me, How to Save a Life is so much more than a book. The layers upon layers of emotions filled me up with every feeling needed to experience the beauty of Evan Salinger and heroism of Josephine Clark. There may be pain in this story but don’t let it overshadow the hidden jewels that are meticulously placed. Like a rose that grew from concrete the uniqueness of this story only enhances its perfection.
“I love you more than anything. More than my own life. No, that’s not true. You ARE my life.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emma Scott is a writer, marathon runner, and caffeine addict, who lives and writes in the California Bay Area. She has two smart, feisty little girls, a super-supportive husband, and is a demonstrated fan of the Oxford comma. She is also an unabashed Star Wars geek and comic book enthusiast who fell into romance writing when a writing contest prompt turned a 1000-word flash story into a full-blown novel. She also writes epic fantasy that suffers an epic word count.
She hopes you enjoy her work, encourages readers to leave feedback, and thinks it’s amusing to write about herself in the third person.
My third novel in the City Lights series (set in Paris) is called Beside You in the