How to Save a Life by Emma Scott
New Adult Romance with hints of Paranormal
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
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, 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.
This is a heartbreaking story about two people who should have always been together but never really got the chance… Until fate steps in… From the moment I started reading this book I was utterly captivated. The backstory and history of both the characters’ lives (Jo and Evan) is cruel, sad, very overwhelming. But the fact that these two damaged souls found peace and love with each other made it pretty inspirational. But of course, the cruelty of the world comes back swiftly and breaks these two apart.
This is a great read that really kept me interested throughout. Readers should be warned that there are hints of sexual abuse in this story and there are instances of physical violence. But the true love that emits from Jo and Evan truly overrides this other awful stuff and really makes the story whole and beautiful. In terms of characters, I have to admit that there were many instances where I wanted to literally reach into the pages and tear some of their heads off. Evan’s brothers for instance, are overly cruel and manipulative and are always causing problems for him. At some points I wish Evan would have manned up a bit, but I can sort of see why he didn’t. Evan is a complex character who was adopted by this family and his brothers can’t seem to accept him. Especially because there is something different about Evan. He seems to know when terrible things are happening... things he shouldn’t know about. This is where the hints of paranormal come from in this story. I think the fact that the author added this into the story is brilliant and it makes it utterly unique.
Jo, the heroine, is also a complex character. She had been sexually abused in the past and due to this abuse her mother takes her own life. To say this messed Jo up is an understatement and she is pretty much one of the most damaged characters I have ever read about. But Jo has a heart. She craves love and companionship and this is something she finds with Evan. But when fate steps in and cruelly lifts him out of her life, Jo is taken on a new journey where she will really have to stay strong. That is, until her love finds her again.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It’s very unique in the way that everything plays out and I could honestly feel the love that the characters were feeling. This is the first book I have read by Emma Scott and based on this, I will definitely be on the lookout to see where her writing takes her next. For those who are looking for a unique romance, I definitely recommend this one. It will not disappoint you in the slightest!