WOW!!!  Let me start by saying that How to Save a Life is the first book that I have read by Emma Scott and if this book is any indicator of how she writes, well it certainly won’t be my last!!  I finished HTSAL last night, and I was dreaming and up thinking about it all night.  This book is way different than anything I have read in a very, very long time.  The story itself builds and flows along so naturally, I was completely lost in it!  I honestly don’t know how Emma Scott manages to write a story so sweet and innocent, yet so dark and truly sad at the same time! I am completely blown away because it absolutely works and was totally amazing!

Jo (short for Josephine) Clark has just moved to Planerville, Iowa with her guardian and Uncle Gerry.  Gerry is a long haul trucker who is rarely around.  Jo has lost everyone else in her life tragically.  Jo herself has suffered terribly and has the scar to prove it.  Moving often she likes to choose which reputation she wants in her new school. Slut happens to be one of them, but always on her terms.  Jo is one of the loneliest and saddest girls I have ever read about.  Poetry is her escape and therapy and she keeps herself at a very large distance from everyone.

Evan Salinger also has a reputation at the school and it’s not chosen or a good one; he’s the freak.  Beautiful blond hair and blue eyes, Evan has not one friend, even though his brothers attend the same school.  He is ridiculed and abused physically every single day fueled on by those 2 brothers.  He loves the calm tranquility of sneaking into the town pool every night, the only place he can find real peace. Evan is one of the loneliest and saddest boys I have ever read about.  My heart broke for this sweet, gentle and intuitive boy.  

We exchanged looks, a commiseration; the girl with a scar and the boy with the freaky rep….

All of that changes when Jo and Evan become friends.  They are kindred spirits and fate has most definitely given them each other.  The love and pure beauty of their relationship is unmistakable from the beginning.  The story unfolds and heartbreaking events occur and they are torn apart so brutally that I was completely shattered.  But, Evan made a promise to Jo, that he would always come back for her and he keeps his word. 4 years later Evan knows that Jo is in trouble and he moves heaven and earth to get to her and save her, putting them on a journey envisioned in Evan’s dreams that they must follow.  I was so completely lost in every word that Emma Scott wrote that I completely neglected the world around me… This book is just that powerful!!!

Evan and Jo’s journey of survival through hatred, tragedy and terrible sad events was always underlined by the feeling and absolute pure love they have for one another. The sexual chemistry was off the charts, and the fact that it builds and smolders from the minute they meet makes it even hotter!  Always honest with each other; they were able to build a foundation that was so strong and so deep. I am telling you, I felt it.

“I felt happy. Because of Evan. Evan breathed his love into me and I was happy   -Jo

This book was like a roller coaster of events and emotions.  Evan and Jo had to fight and scrape against the world for every little piece of happiness that they had. At times it seemed as though the trouble was too much to overcome, but, like Jo, I too had faith in Evan Salinger.. I am a believer!

“I’ll always come back to you” - Evan

This wonderful, amazing and beautiful love story had me dreaming about words like faith and trust and hope and love.  This book is in my bones and I will remember and revel in it for a long time to come.  Emma Scott has given us a gift with these characters and their story.  It is undoubtedly one of my favorite books ever and will easily top my list for 2016. Five seriously beautiful lip smacks from me!!!


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