For my second book of June, I went with «How to Save a Life» by S.D. Robertson and I’m so glad that I did! After picking up several books and not really feeling any of them, I craved something light, fast-paced but meaningful at the same time. And that’s exactly what I received.
«How to Save a Life» was the shot of positivity I so desperately needed. I just wish this book had a little bit more editing done to it, as it reads like it’s meant for an older generation while the message it carries is meant for everyone, and the sooner you learn it the better it will be.
Luke Craven is convinced that the world is against him; his once-happy life hasn’t been the same since he lost both of his parents and his wife in quick succession, and his everyday has become more about existing than living. But he is forced to reconsider his glass-half-empty outlook when he narrowly escapes a freak accident with his life – pushed to safety by a stranger, who isn’t so lucky. Determined to make her sacrifice count for something, Luke resolves to change his ways. And so begins a heart-warming tale of small acts of kindness, saying yes, and generally trying to make the world a better place. But when Luke’s renewed faith is tested, will he return to his miserable old ways?
Thank you Netgalley and Avon Books UK for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.
Luke Craven is a “glass-half-empty” kind of guy. This is something we learn right from the beginning of the story [even from the book] and are reminded throughout the entire story. You can probably guess from the blurb and just from this characteristic of the main character what this book will be about. And most-likely you’ll be right.
In this heartwarming novel, S.D. Robertson explores the possibility of turning your life around by making some minor changes, by being opening to opportunities and by trying to overcome our inner pessimists.
1 – You know the type of books that make you feel warm and fuzzy? The one that makes you smile because of the goodness it transpires? «How to Save a Life» is exactly that type of book. Luke runs his own hairdresser / barber shop for many years now. He works alone. He doesn’t have many friends. He lives alone with his cat. And he doesn’t hide his negative emotions towards the world and other people. Basically, he is not a nice person to be around.
Until one faithful day, when his life is put at risk and he finally sees the need to change. Maybe this need didn’t come naturally to him and started out as an honorable thing to do for someone else, but slowly Luke starts to see the importance of doing good, of being nice and helpful to the people around him.
2 – Following Luke’s transformation was pure joy. Even though he started off as rude and unpleasant, in just a couple of pages I was routing for him, smiling and mentally encouraging his deeds.
This is predominantly a slice of life kind of book, with little sub-plots here and there, but all of the author’s attention is on Luke. Even the side characters are there only to help us see Luke’s various facets and to help him through his journey.
3 – As much as I loved the story and message it conveyed, I couldn’t close my eyes to somewhat slow and repetitive writing. I feel like this book needed slightly more editing. The dialogues felt more like an exchange of monologues and the conversations felt too… (I can’t believe I’m going to say this)… polite.
I’m usually the one who cringes from swear words in books, so saying that I found the book “flawed” because it was too polite doesn’t feel right. But that’s exactly what it was! Noone in real life speaks like the characters in this book. If only the conversations were a little bit more polished, they would have felt more real as well which would have added so much more enjoyment from reading «How to Save a Life»!
I will always have a soft spot for the stories that make me want to be and do better. I don’t think this is the best character-driven book I’ve ever read. However, it’s so uplifting that I will make sure to recommend it to everyone, especially during these hard times. We all need a little bit of kindness in our lives right now. And I’m sure this book will inspire many of us to start the change within ourselves and extend the hand of friendship and support to a person in need.