Updated: Mar 12
Title: How to save a life
Author: Eva Carter
Publish date: May 2021
Source: Netgalley ARC
Joel's heart stops as the rest of the world welcomes the start of a new century. What happens next will change the course of three people's lives forever.
Three lives entwined after an amazing act. One New Years Eve an aspiring college football star collapses from a cardiac arrest, two friends rush to his aid, Kerry saves his life with CPR, her best friend Tim freezes. All three are forever linked by this brave and terrifying time and the story shows exactly the repercussions of saving a life.
I absolutely loved this story and was hooked from the very beginning. The story follows the lives of the three teenagers and their reactions to the traumatic events of that New Years eve. It is told from the perspectives of each character and delves into their own feelings and actions following the event. Some very delicate themes are present. It describes addiction, depression, mental health and terminal illness to name a few. All of these themes are discussed with sensitivity and are important factors within the story.
Joel, Kerry and Tim all come to terms with the traumatic event in very different ways, and they find it impacts on their future decisions, sometimes without their knowledge. As the years go by they find themselves trying to navigate their lives, their feelings for each other, the choices they have made and have to make. As each spirals out of control they have to ask the question what does it mean to save a life?
The author tells the story from each point of view with insight and compassion and the relationships between the characters are complex. It is a mixture of genres I felt, starting as YA and moving into more adult fiction as they moved through the years. This worked really well and I applaud the author for being able to accurately portray each character and how they would act at each different stage of their life. At times I found the near misses and lost chances at happiness quite frustrating, especially due to the rash actions and thoughts of one character in particular. I wanted to shake them and tell them to stop being so ridiculous! However I think the depth of trauma was discussed very well and also the outcomes, dependent on how the characters dealt with it.
This was a fantastic read and I didn't want to put it down. From the beginning I was engaged and I practically inhaled it! The emotions throughout were superb. It also had some great tips and information on how to actually perform CPR and potentially save a life embedded within the fiction. I highly recommend this!