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Literature / How to Save a Life

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How To Save A Life is a 2011 Young Adult novel by Sara Zarr.

It tells the story of two teenage girls growing into adulthood. One, Jill, is suffering from months of depression following the death of her father. Not helping matters is her middle-aged mother's decision to deal with her grief by adopting. The other, Mandy, is the product of a broken home and several months pregnant, wants to give a better life for her child. Mandy moves into Jill's house for the last months of her pregnancy before giving her child up to Jill's mom for adoption. They both have to deal with growing up and letting go of their pasts.


Tropes associated with this work:

  • Abusive Parents: Mandy's mom constantly belittled her when she wasn't ignoring her.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Mandy has a very blunt, awkward approach to social interactions.
  • Disappeared Dad: For both Jill and Mandy. Jill's dad died in a car accident, while Mandy's dad was never present.


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