Cover Image: How to Save a Life

How to Save a Life

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Member Reviews

I've never had such a hard time picking between three and four stars. This book, while not without its faults, was an easy and interesting read. Starting in 2000, the strike of the millennium, we meet Kerry and Tim, two somewhat nerdy want to be doctors partying the new millennium by drinking on a beach watching Joel Greenaway and his friends play football. That is until Joel's heart stops. Kicking into action, Kerry saves Joel's life. For 18 minutes she gives him CPR, and those 18 minutes, without her knowledge will define her whole life. Over the next 18 years, we watch as these characters run into one another, meeting as young adults, older adults and everything in between. This is a story of stupid decisions, drugs, unwanted conditions, and three people who continue to save one anothers lives in some way or another.

The reason why I finally settled on three stars is because these characters were not good people despite the author wanting you to think they are. All three of them, Kerry, Tim and Joel, were selfish characters, never thinking beyond their own nose. Kerry and Tim thought that because they wanted to be doctors that they were good. Kerry blamed her failure of her A-Levels on Joel. Joel blamed Kerry for his football career failing. Joel treated Zoe like rubbish. Kerry treated Tim like rubbish. Tim used everybody. They were toxic to one another from the get go, I felt like every time this book started to deal with their toxicity, it just enhanced it even further. Out of the three of them, I feel like Joel really was the most palatable in the end, he stepped up and admitted to his mistakes that he had made along the way. The drugs, the baby, the using, the selfishness. He kind of steps into his own but what I don't agree with is him being so willing to drop his life that he had with Liv to go with Kerry because he "loved her".

These characters were doomed from the beginning and that's why I can't rate this book higher. Despite this, I did enjoy this book. I thought it was an easy enough read.
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Absolutely loved this book! Admittedly it did lose me a bit in the middle where the story felt like it lost its way and meandered a bit but thankfully found its way back towards the end. 

A gripping tale of how life can change in a split second (or 18 minutes) and the power of a single white lie. How when one life changes, the effects can be catastrophic for the people around them. About finding courage, second chances and not giving up.

Yes the characters can be self serving and wallowing in their own pity, but this is what makes them 'real'. Everyone has moments when they lash out at loved ones, everyone has been that person that puts up with more than they should. Yes, you want to take these characters by the shoulders sometimes and shake them but to me, this is what makes them human. We all know Joel and a Kerry.. Tim I had a bit more trouble getting on with, he just seemed limp and bland but I guess we all know someone who's a bit of a wet blanket. 

**Thanks to netgalley and the publishers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Had me hooked from the very beginning! I was so invested in the characters from the opening of this book to the very end, they are well written and likeable. I loved the way this book really kept me guessing, I felt at times I knew what was coming and was completely wrong. A really enjoyable book, strong storytelling that I’ll remember for a long time
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This is a really good read, it’s a really gentle and beautifully written book that is about life, growing up and learning how to be the best you despite everything that is thrown in your path.  The characters are all really well written and equally flawed.  One of the things I really liked about this book is following the characters through 18 years of their lives so you get to know them that bit better and explore how they deal with the opening tragedy because the impact of such an event has a lasting impact all involved.
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this book had a strong opener but it kind of lost me in the middle part and towards the end. 

there are 3 main characters who we meet. their names are kerry and tim, who’ve known eachother for their whole lives and have plans to be doctors. along their way is where they meet joel who needs their emergency help; forever changing the trios lives. 

over the next 18 years we see how their lives are intertwined and how they fall in and out of each others lives through a love triangle. even though love triangles aren’t my favourite thing to read about this author handled it well 

the writing style is what kept me intrigued and hooked on the story with its ability to keep me engaged and that’s why i’m only giving it 3 stars.
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I really enjoyed this book.  The relationships between the 3 main characters and the way their lives intertwined over the years was very well written.  I really recommend reading this.
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As the millennium is rung in, a life is saved and this in turn leads to life-changing consequences of the three main characters involved. These characters are also our narrators and from their perspectives, we see how their stories unfold and entwine over a period of eighteen years.
This book was cleverly written; especially when it came to the CPR instructions that were given at the beginning of the different parts in the book. Story-wise, it was intriguing. Our characters dealt with many issues - drug abuse and failed careers being just a couple of examples. However, some parts were frustrating to read, especially when it came to the Kerry, the female protagonist and her knack of putting other peoples' needs and interests before hers until she eventually realised and found her own self-worth.
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Brilliant book, so much packed into one book. The first twist really got me; I didn’t see it coming at all! (no spoilers here!) The characters were great, a bit of a rocky ride for them all, and they all got on my nerves at different parts within the story but overall, they were likable characters. 

Thank you NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.
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Kerry, Joel and Tim. Three lives brought together by a cardiac arrest on millennium eve. The story follows their lives and how this affected them or should I say tortured them!
Each chapter is personalised to each character.
Humour, love, grief, fear, life struggles and challenges including drugs, unexpected pregnancy, failure and achievement.
I was gripped from the first chapter and that’s what you want from a book and this author can tell a story. Romantic rollercoaster throughout with the gripping expectation of a happy ending...
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Wow, wow, wow.  What. A. Book! I loved everything about this. I realised that I am the same age as the three main characters; Kerry, Tim and Jake, so I don’t know if that makes this book that bit more relatable for me. It feels like you are reading the memoirs of three people rather than a fiction novel. The book spans such a long period of time so you feel like you are on a journey with the character me as they go through their life struggles. The book is realistic in the sense that we all set goals for ourselves which sometimes don’t work out how we plan them, but that’s ok. Life seems to work itself out in the end. I compelling reason which had me gripped from start to finish.
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Oh my days, what an amazing story. This book is absolutely gripping caught up in the lives of Joel, Kerry and Tim.
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First of all, huge thanks to NetGalley, @panmacmillan and the author for an e-copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion. 

'How to Save a Life' begins on NYE 1999 and follows the lives of three characters: Tim Palmer, Kerry Smith and Joel Greenaway for the next eighteen years. After Joel's heart stops whilst playing football on millennium eve, Kerry springs into action and performs life-saving CPR for eighteen minutes whilst her best friend, aspiring future medic, Tim looks on in shock, unable to put into action the practices picked up in his training with St John's Ambulance. This event links all three characters for the next eighteen years. The book is so beautifully written and I enjoyed every single page. All characters were so well-constructed from the obvious three protagonists to Tim's demanding mother Elaine, the tragic Zöe and the ambitious Olivia. 

I wanted to end the year with a "lighter" read after my previous book about bigamy! I must say that it is 'light' in the sense it's above love, longing, missed opportunities and what-ifs, but it also deals with some gritty subjects from substance abuse, depression, the responsibilities on young caregivers and terminal illness. I loved the cyclical nature of the book; ending where it started on the Lawns on NYE but eighteen years later. Being 20 (only three years older than Kerry) on millennium eve, the novel was framed realistically with Kerry commenting that the postgrad Sita being "beautiful enough to be the fifth member of All Saints", the reference to the killing of Jill Dando, the terrorist attacks of 7/7 and the terrible unravelling of events in New York on 11/9 2001. 

The book will be published on 27th May 2021 and I know already that this will be a best seller. I am already casting Tim, Kerry and Joel for the eventual film adaptation!
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Slow burner: took a while to get going and the characters didn’t grab me immediately. It was a decent read in need of another edit before release, but overall likeable.
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Thanks to the author and publisher for the opportunity to read this. I didn’t finish sadly. Started off so incredibly pacy, gripped me immediately and then sort of slowed right down.
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How to Save a life by Eva Carter a heartfelt four-star read. This was lucky I gave it four-stars, if the story wasn’t as strong it would haven’t have gotten close. It took me so long to get into it, not because of the story as that was good if not so troubling at times but because of the characters. I am sure many people will adore this story; I did at times.
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This was a very dramatic story, captivating in its concept and explored some gritty subjects. I struggled with the characters but I suppose that was a good thing really it made them real in a very irritating and toxic way, I don't think I particularly liked any of them and observing the manipulation, shallowness and pettiness of their behaviour and ways of treating others was a bit of an addictive read but also infuriating. This isn't a love story but more of a life story of how the three characters severely mess up and hurt others along the way.
I did however love the ending, it felt fitting and was well written.
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This is the story of Joel, Kerry and Tim as Joel’s heart stops, Kerry saves him and Tim freezes. That moment changes all of them forever and keeps them connected.

It was good to see mental health covered in the book, and the changes and feeling accompanying the aftermath of a heart attack for all concerned. I could not like Tim as much as I tried, and I did want to just shake them all at various points and tell them to just get it together, but it was a good read.
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First huge thanks to Netgalley for this lovely Arc.

I just didn't know what this book is about. I love the title, and it remind me of the medical TV show, and I just requested. 
This was not really what I expected, but still was good. 
This book is just a slow burn, but I read it in one sitting. Love the characters and their development trough the book.
This just has it all love, loss, heartbreak. I just didn't know how important is to know CPR. 

I really enjoyed it. 3.5 stars.
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How To Save A Life drew my attention initially because of the synopsis which seemed like the perfect set up for a romance / drama novel and sounded super unique. I don't think I've read a novel in this genre with three character perspectives so that was also something different. I'll start with the positives; the writing itself was engaging and I quickly got into the story, I liked the initial premise and I also think that Carter touches upon some very relevant issues such as being a young carer for a loved one, chronic illness and addiction. I appreciated that these issues were approached so head on and the different experiences characters had with these issues felt well realised. 

However, none of these positive elements made up for how long winded and contrived the story itself was. The story follows Kerry, Tim and Joel over the course of about 18 years and trust me when I say, it definitely feels like it by the time you've finished reading. The plot points felt so dragged out and I was so frustrated reading this book because of that. At around 63% in there was still the same repetitive stuff happening and I was only reading on to see what would happen at the end. I like to give every book a fair shot but this was something else. Any time there was a sense of growth or development, bam, the author threw in another dramatic event which was so jarring. 

I also didn't connect to any of the characters, but the worst of the bunch definitely has to be Tim. He is one of the most unpleasant and manipulative characters I've ever had the displeasure of reading about. I really disliked the way he was so possessive of Kerry and felt so entitled to her time and love before they were even together, and once they're in the relationship, lies, controls and manipulates her constantly. I could go on and on honestly but rest assured, it still wouldn't be enough to explain how much I disliked him. A book like this can't work if you pretty much dislike all the characters, especially a character whose perspective we have the misfortune of reading through for so long. Now don't get me wrong, Kerry and Joel aren't without their flaws either and they certainly do their fair share of questionable things in the story but Tim vexed me to another level. Most of the characters issues could be solved if they just communicated with each other properly but alas, we get dragged through endless drama for no payoff or a satisfying conclusion. 

Overall, I can't in good conscience recommend this book because of all the reasons above which is unfortunate because it's not all bad and it had promise.
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This book! You go through a rollercoaster of emotions. One thing I can guarantee, you won’t want to put it down. 

We follow the life’s of three individuals and see how one large event impacts those lives for years to come. 

I felt really invested in all of the main characters, I think the emotions were heartfelt. The book tackles some really hard hitting issues that young people today, especially, go through, such as drug abuse, career pressure, mental health challenges, being a young care giver. 

Sometimes I found the book a bit frustrating but I am sure that is exactly what the author wanted. I can’t wait to read more from this author. 

Thank you for the early read. Everyone, grab a copy!
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