Cover Image: How to Save a Life

How to Save a Life

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this book.  The characters were likeable even when they weren't very nice.  The cpr facts were interesting. All in all it was a nice story
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Let me kick things off by saying that this will be going on my top ten books of 2021 list!

This is a character driven story as each chapter follows either Kerry, Joel or Tim during a period in their life which are all perfectly interlinked as the years go by. I completely fell in love with Joel and I was desperate for him to succeed after everything that had happened to him.

The story will take you on a roller coaster of emotions from heartache to frustration at the choices that some of the characters make. Whilst we take this journey with the three of them there is also a very important message and that is about the importance of CPR. I loved how this book explored not just the moment Kerry saved Joel’s life but also how this event was life changing to not just Joel but Kerry, and even Tim.

I’ll admit I wasn’t fond of Tim to begin with but his story was important and I did grow to like him as he matured later on. Each of these characters dealt with some tough situations in their lives which the author handled with care.

This book will stay with you long after reading, as will the each of the characters. They felt like friends of mine and I couldn’t put the book down as I desperately needed to know that they were all going to be ok – I just wanted each of them to be happy.

Overall this is a story about love, survival, acceptance and finding out who as a person you want to be in life. Such a tender and beautiful story that I encourage everyone to read.
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So I really tried with this book and I was wanting to like it but I just not about it. It really wasnt what I thought it would be. The characters were bland and I really didnt like any of them.
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Brilliant. This story will tie you in emotional knots! 

New Year’s Eve 1999, Kerry, Tim and Joel are all out for the evening when Joel’s heart stops. Kerry and Tim are both first aiders and Kerry’s training kicks in to save Joel. 

What follows is an emotional tale of love, life, career dreams, illness, despair and triumph! How will the lives of the 3 map out, what will they mean to each other and will they be happy? 

A rollercoaster of a ride which will keep you gripped and longing for a happy ending! A brilliant read.
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On Millennium Eve, aspiring footballer Joel falls to the ground - his heart has stopped. Would be medical students Kerry and Tim are nearby. Kerry rushes into action, and after a ten-min attack of paralysis, Tim eventually joins in to help too. They are lucky, and Joel's life is saved, even if he has to wear a career-destroying pacemaker from that moment on.

This incident goes onto affect them all for the next 18 years as they come in and out of each other's lives - and as the two men (when they feel like it) compete for Kerry's heart.

I suppose this is where I struggled a bit. Tim is not a sympathetic character and we spend a fair bit of time in his viewpoint. Joel's not much better, treating Kerry with affection one minute, then dropping her the next. They both struggle with addiction, and to be honest I just thought Kerry, walk away from these idiots for good!

So that level of reaction shows you the author is a good writer, because I did care about what happened and I was compelled to keep turning the pages. But I often got frustrated with the characters and their decisions and I'm not sure if it's a book I'd ever go back to because of that. Intrigued to see what the author does next.
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It’s nearly midnight on the eve of the millennium when eighteen-year-old Joel’s heart stops. A school friend, Kerry, performs CPR, ultimately saving Joel’s life, while her best friend Tim freezes, unable to help. That moment of life and death changes the course of all three lives over the next two decades.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of How to Save a Life in February this year and I flew through it over a couple of days. Exploring love, bravery and friendship, it illustrates how just one moment can change the course of your entire life.

It’s about the messiness of love and the challenges we face when trying to decide who we are and what we want to do with our lives. It reminds us that we are only human.

It reminded me that we only have one life to live, so we better live it well. A heart-warming and hopeful story, if you’re a fan of Love, Rosie, then this book is one for you.
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How To Save A Life - Eva Carter

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review thanks to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley. 

Kerry Smith is going to save lives--and so is her best friend, Tim Palmer. After years of working towards medical school, they are about to sit for their entrance exams. But on the eve of the new millennium, a classmate goes into cardiac arrest, changing everything.

For nearly eighteen minutes, rising soccer star Joel Greenaway is dead. For nearly eighteen minutes, Kerry performs CPR on her long-time crush. And for nearly eighteen minutes, Tim is too shocked to help. And though they don't yet know it, those eighteen minutes will change the next eighteen years of their lives.

We follow Kerry, Joel and Tim for the first 18 years of the millennium, starting when Kerry saves Joel’s life following a cardiac arrest. The book alternates perspective so as the reader you get to see the story from all sides. 

This book is easy to follow, however I struggled with the connection to the characters. It is a story of long-lasting friendship and second chances. 

Rating 4/5
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If you like biopics, then this book is for you. 

Following the lives of Joel, Tim and Kerry as 18-36 years old, How to Save a Life highlights how vital First Aid is in the chain of survival of patients as well as a longitudinal study on the trauma involved in performing CPR and recovering from being technically dead. And, well, just how messy and flawed humans are. 

So, the premise of this story sounded really interesting. As a first aider myself I hope to be gung ho in an emergency situation like Kerry, but I also hope to never have to use it. 

But, and it’s unpopular opinion time, no matter how well this story was written and how interesting it was to see how these three characters were affected by the events of the opening chapter, and subsequent traumas of life, I found it difficult to warm to them. They got better as the the book progressed, but I didn’t find them overly likeable. And having 3 POV characters, that you don’t really like, kind of affects your enjoyment of the story as a whole. 

Don’t get me wrong, I did like it. But I didn’t love it. 

Thank you to Eva Carter, Pan Macmillan, and NetGalley for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Lots to love in this story which takes place over 18 years and following three intertwined characters with very different lives. Both loved and hated all three characters at different spells in their life, with plenty of times they all deserved a hard shake. But the writing kept me hooked and I loved the hard fought for ending.
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This book follows the life of three teenagers through a time line as they grow, brought together after an incident involving all three. The live entwine and the plot is easy to follow. The characters are likeable. This book did not wow me but I still felt it was ok for a light hearted read.
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An easy to read, light and airy story. I didn't find the characters very likeable though and struggled to finish.

[Free copy kindly provided by NetGallery in return for my honest review]
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It is just before midnight on the eve of the new millenium in Brighton when 17 year old Joel, popular professional football apprentice, falls to the ground, his heart having stopped. His classmate Kerry, who has a crush on him, sees it happen, and as she and her best friend Tim both want to be doctors and have first aid training from the St Johns Hospital cadets, she knows how to give CPR and springs into action. Tim freezes until just before the ambulance arrives, but then gets the credit for saving Joel’s life, while Kerry keeps quiet, wanting him to impress his invalid mother for whom he is the carer. This event will change the lives of all three teenagers. Kerry and Joel get to know each other and fall in love as he recovers, but when he realises he can no longer play football professionally, he ends their relationship and goes into a downward spiral. Heartbroken, she fails to get the A level grades she needs for medical school, while Tim, who isn’t really sure that is what he wants, heads off to train as a doctor with vital support from Kerry. These three will cross paths repeatedly over the years- will they be able to move forward and find happiness?
This is an involving story featuring three flawed but likeable characters who are realistic and well drawn, and who each tell their own experiences. Essentially a love story, it is as one reviewer mentioned reminiscent of David Nicholls’s “One Day,” with obstacles arising to keep the young lovers Kerry and Joel from getting together, but it has its own distinct voice as well and covers such topics as working in medicine, addiction, being a carer, sacrifice for family and the anguish of losing your hopes and dreams at a young age through a medical condition. You will be rooting for this trio to come through and find their own way.
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I received a copy of this e-arc in exchange for an honest review thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan.

Wow, this was an absolute rollercoaster of a book!

This book follows the perspectives of Tim, Joel and Kerry - the 3 main characters who’s lives always seem to entwine in some way. Following there paths from 1999 to 2018 felt like watching them grow up!

I’m not a big fan of realism in books, hence why i’m a fan of thriller books. At first, I thought it had an interesting start before it tailed off and became a bit boring.

However, I did actually start enjoying it more as the story went on. I became more and more invested in for Joel and Kerry’s relationship. Every time they seemed to connect, they’d be thrown apart again. They had that tragic love-story vibe.

I have to say though, that ending! It made me so happy! The whole story came in a full circle which was brilliant.
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Three lives entwined since teenage years. Linked and repelled at the same moment. Moving from teenage years through to late thirties. A fascinating and compelling story. It kept me totally engrossed and anticipating the next event in the story.
I loved it.
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Light & long, but loveable.
I usually like a grittier read, and this took a while to get invested into the characters, but I soon became part of the 'sliding doors' trilogy of Kerry, Tim & Joel, eager to see where their lives would intersect next. 
Well researched and heartfelt, particularly towards the end, I enjoyed this and it would make a perfect holiday read.
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Thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for providing an ARC in return for an honest review.

In short, How to Save a Life is a great read.  It tells the story of three lives, Kerry, Tim and Joel, which are intertwined from their teen years at school through into adulthood.  It opens on the millennium New Year's Eve where an event changes the course of all three protagonist's lives.  Initially it felt a bit soapy to me - like the extended holiday edition of Hollyoaks, but in time as I got more involved with the story, and events continued through the years, I got more and more into the book, and ended up racing to the finish.  It's written in a similar style to Normal People or David Nicholl's One Day, with the story spanning best part of 20 years and being told from all three character's perspectives.  

A great read, one I'd recommend for packing in your suitcase for that long awaited holiday, and escaping into it on a sunlounger.
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This is a gritty realistic view of three people who lives were changed at the millennium new years eve, the story follows them all over the years and yep it shows that life can be unkind at times and hard.  This was written very well and I enjoyed reading this.

Thank you to NetGalley and publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a honest review.
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My head had this down as a YA novel based on the fact our 3 main characters are teenagers in the beginning of the book but it really isnt so dont be put off it that isn't usually your thing! You grow up with them chapter after chapter and I found that quite addictive. 
I can't say I particularly liked the characters but the story was so captivating that I couldnt stop wanting to read just 1 more chapter before bed. 

It felt different to all other books and itll stick around in my brain for a long time...and seriously, I think everyone should take a first aid course.
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This book took a long time to get into. It was a very slow burn, and I was a little bit lost as to where the book was actually going. But after about 30% of the way through I was fully engrossed.
The book spans many years, which is something that I love with romantic novels as it just makes it feel so much more believable. (Never a fan for the love at first sight tropes!)
The book felt incredibly original, and I haven't read anything like this before. In the authors note at the end of the book Eva Carter explains her reasonings for writing this book and it completely makes sense.
I will definitely say it's a slow burn, but overall I really enjoyed reading and didn't want the book to end.
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This is an easy read. It's a book about how one experience can change your life and it's written from the perspective of 3 key characters; Tim, Joel and Kerry.
Unfortunately, I found the characters so distasteful and generally unlikeable, I found it difficult to engage in the story or really care.

I absolutely understand that you don't need to like the characters to enjoy the book. However, there needs to be something to keep you reading and I found it a slog. So, overall, for me an OK read.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to preview.
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